Earthworms at work

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					Live Green Cincinnati » Blog Archive » Earthworms at work                                                                            Page 1 of 3


Earthworms at work
Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
By Brianne Fahey

And speaking of compost, are you ready to try Vermicompost?

This shot is a handful of the good stuff, taken at Emersion Design. They are turning coffee grounds and other selected food wastes into a valuable,
rich, planting soil. Just add worms and watch them eat away at your discards and leave you the gift of compost. Enjoy this vermicompost Q&A
with Nikki Marksberry at Emersion Design.

Why Vermicompost?
Emersion Design had a recycling program before we had office furniture, phones or computers. It is important to us to keep as much as possible
out of Mt. Rumpke (during our recent office expansion, 99.27% of all construction waste/debris was diverted from the landfill). Emersion started a
vermicompost for several reasons; 1. It’s portable and can easily be controlled indoors, 2. It’s inexpensive to start especially if you make your own
3. And because worms are cool!

How do you get started?
I heard an interview with The Worm Lady on NPR and was “hooked.” There are a number of websites about vermicomposting and Shawn Hesse –
an architect in our office and the local USGBC Chapter President- had a book with step by step instructions how to make a worm bin. We took a
big Rubbermaid container, drilled holes, added food scrap, newspaper, and worms. Viola!

Where is your bin?
We keep our bin in our break area under the table.

What do you put in it?
Anything that can biodegrade goes in our vermicompost. Coffee Grounds, apple cores, spoiled leftovers, and then we cover the food with bedding
made of white paper or newspaper

Doesn’t it smell?
We have had no problems with odor or other bugs. As long as there is enough bedding on the food only the worms are happy and other critters stay

How long does it take to make compost?
The food is eaten by the worms within a couple of weeks (it takes less time if the food is spoiled and already growing mold or fungus). It takes
three to five months before there is enough worm castings or soil to harvest.

What do you do with the compost?
For now the compost has gone to office plants and to my neighbor’s organic garden. It’s great fertilizer!

Topics: green building, re-use resources | Comments RSS

2 Comments on “Earthworms at work”

  1. Sep 25, 2008 - 10:09 am
     Jill                                                            10/7/2008
Live Green Cincinnati » Blog Archive » Earthworms at work                                                                                                                                                                               Page 2 of 3

           Have you read the worms can eat half their body weight each day? Mine don’t eat anywhere near that amount, and I was curious if you
           thought that was the case with yours. (Mine are also fed with my office scraps and various fruit/veggie scraps from my friends and family.)

    2. Sep 25, 2008 - 11:45 am

           Jill, I don’t know how much they eat exactly (I don’t know how many worms are in the bin now, started with 200). I have found they eat
           much faster if the food is “pre-composted.” Put it in an air-tight container and let it start to decompose, they like it much better than fresh
           food. Also be careful not to put in too much of any one thing. Lots of citrus or coffee grounds will make it too acidic.

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Live Green Cincinnati » Blog Archive » Earthworms at work                                               Page 3 of 3

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