Worm Smoothies (or, How to Spoil your Vermiculture)

When Sara and I inherited the internship, the one major thing that carried over besides the plot was a red wriggler vermicompost bin.

Red wriggler is a common name for Eisenia foetida. Red wriggler worms are epigeal, meaning they are adapted to live above the soil surface in an environment of decaying organic matter such as leaves.

A couple of our red wrigglers

This makes E. fetida perfect for composting, as it thrives in an environment of decaying vegetable scraps and produces a fine, dark vermicompost comprised of bedding materials (in our case, shredded paper) food scraps, and vermicast (worm poop). Vermicompost is an excellent organic fertilizer.

Vermicompost from our bin

Our worms are potentially some of the luckiest red wrigglers in existence, because not only do they have an entire cafe/catering service worth of food scraps to eat, we make it easy for them.

So, how to make a worm smoothie. Which is not a smoothie made out of worms, but a smoothie for worms.

First, take your bucket of kitchen scraps (wilted lettuce, strawberry tops, slightly moldy tomatoes, old onions, eggshells, etc.) helpfully saved for the worms by the kitchen staff.

Then add water,

Now for the fun part. Grab your giant hand mixer and grind it into a stinky, thick paste. Bonus points if you can splash some on the other intern. (Just kidding, that’s gross.)

Finally, pour your smoothie(s) on the worms. We feed ours once a week, and only on one side of the bin. That way, they all migrate over to where the food is, leaving the vermicompost in the other half of the bin free of worms and ready to go on the garden.

Eat up, little guys!

Eat up, little guys

click images for larger view

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Alan Stanford said,

    Ladies, I have numerous books on insect control with a slant towards Integrated Pest Management (minimal or no use of pesticides) My masters degree at Washington State University was in entomology. My specialty in that degree was applied agricultural ent. Many on my books and other publications are from westerm universities entension services. My best recent purchase in a beautiful publication by the California University Entension Services. It is cramed with good information on alterntive pest management for small gardens. You are welcome to barrow this and other volumes. A-

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