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Demonstration: Introduction to vermicomposting

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of waste your kitchen and garden produces. There are a lot of different methods and the Baton Roots team continues to test them and share the results during the monthly Sow Good Saturday demonstrations.

In this demonstration, SK Groll gives an overview of worm composting, also known as vermicomposting. It is the process of using worms to break down organic material into nutrient-rich compost. This compost can then be used in gardens and landscapes to improve soil health and help plants grow better. Worm composting is a great way to recycle food waste, cardboard, paper, leaves, and other biodegradable materials. It also produces no unpleasant smells like traditional methods of composting can.

There are many different options for vermicompost.

1) Buy a premade bin (like the one used in this demo);

2) DIY your own out of plastic storage containers or 5-gallon buckets;

3) Build a worm tunnel right into your garden beds.

In most methods of worm farming, there are some similar elements to the process and layering.

Components of Worm Bins

  • Physical structure- box or container;

  • Biological organisms- the worms and their associates;

  • Controlled environment- temperature, moisture, acidity, ventilation;

  • Maintenance procedures- preparing bedding, burying kitchen scraps and food waste, separating worms from their castings;

  • Production procedures- making use of the castings (worm manure).

Benefits of worm bins

  • Reduce food waste;

  • Make your own free fertilizers with worm castings and worm tea;

  • Learn and explore.

“I want to build my own worm bin. Where do I get started?”

  • Read Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System by Mary Appelhof and Joanne Olszewski;

  • Check out the tons of great YouTube videos, blog posts, and resources online;

  • Go to a class in Lafayette, LA at Worm Lady Recycles;

  • Weigh your organic kitchen waste for a few weeks to determine average amount produced and pick the right sized worm bin for your household;

  • Determine the quantity of worms you need and order worms (WLR);

  • Purchase a bin or materials and assemble;

  • Determine what type of bedding you will use and buy or recycle it;

  • Assemble your bin and add bedding;

  • Add worms to bedding;

  • Bury food waste;

  • Check moisture levels periodically, add new food waste, look for cocoons and young worms;

  • Harvest worms, prepare new bedding;

  • Use the vermicompost on houseplants or in your garden!

“I would NEVER have my own worm bin, BUT I love my plants. How can I still use vermicomposting?”

  • You can buy worm castings and worm compost tea from This regional business, located in Lafayette, LA sells worm team and worm castings, and they will ship anywhere in the US!

Worm Fun Facts:

  • Worms are a type of invertebrate that can be found in nearly all environments on Earth;

  • There are more than 20,000 species of worms known to science, and new ones continue to be discovered every year;

  • Worms have been around for over 500 million years – making them one of the oldest creatures on our planet;

  • Some types of worm can live up to 10 years or more; others only survive for a few weeks or months depending on their environment and diet;

  • Some worms can produce antibodies which help protect them from disease;

  • They are allergic to their own poop!

For additional tips and direct conversations, join Baton Roots on the first Saturday of every month for Sow Good Saturday. Along with a demonstration, there are opportunities to get your hands dirty in the garden, participate in light stretching activities with local instructors, and taste healthy recipe dishes from Chef Traci Vincent with the American Heart Association.

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