A simple, alternative composting method is vermiposting, which relies on red wiggler worms to recycle food scraps and other organic material into a valuable soil. Vermipost is awesome because it is cheap, requires little physical effort, no expensive devices and is odor free. Imagine that. Vermipost or castings (worm feces) is valuable compost because it does not concentrate salinity which means there is relatively closed moisture; no water leaching into the ground, causing no increased salts. The vermipost is rich in microbial (bacteria, fungi, protazoa) life and can be mixed directly in to beds or potting soil mixes because it also contains humus (undigested organic matter, usually from leaves). When mixed in appropriate ratios (about 15-20%) it will not burn plants, pets or kids. There is absolutely no need for those pesky “Danger- This Yard Has Just Been Fertilized” signs.
Worm bins are relatively self regulating. If you feed them a lot, aerate their habitat and put more effort into them, they will break down your scraps and reproduce. Even if these bins are forgotten about for months on end, the worms will just eat each other. I have seen bins in serious states of neglect still make a healthy recovery. Harvesting is easy, and a fun kids’ activity. To start, prepare the bedding for your worms in the bin you have chosen. The bedding will be like a re-creation of the worms’ natural habitat. Fill the bin with organic materials (raw fruit, vegetable scraps, cardboard, egg cartons, newspaper, straw, dry grass) and sprinkle a handful of dirt on top, moistening slightly with water. Allow the water to soak for a least a day before adding the worms. Avoid putting citrus fruits, fats, oils, dairy, or pet feces in the bin. There are several kinds of worms that are sold for vermiposting (finding a vendor online is easy to do).
Feed the worms regularly, but not too much at first. I fed mine at least once a week in the beginning, and as the worms reproduced, I fed them more often. After several months, there should be a nice worm compost in your bin. Simply dump the contents of your bin out, throwing the undigested stuff back into the bin, making small mounds. Worms don’t like light so they will go to the center, leaving all their rich leftovers right at your finger tips. Dig it into your beds before planting, or add it to potting or seedling soil. Keep in mind the amount of food scraps you wish to compost and how much space you have to store the bin. I use a medium-sized “Rubbermaid” plastic container with a lid (make sure the lid is not air-tight) which is kept in my basement. You can also have a wooden container, just remember the wood will eventually be eaten. To the yogurt of the soil world!