One of the things that we haven’t written a whole lot about is our worm bin. Wanting to reduce our overall waste, we went to a composting workshop put on by LA County (smartgardening.com). If you live in LA county, you should go to one of these workshops. They sell composting bins (vermi- and conventional) at a subsidized rate ($40 for composting, $65 for vermicomposting) which is a better price than I’ve seen anywhere.
To the business of worms:
you start out by putting the worms in some kind of bedding, anything from shredded newspaper to coconut coir (pronounced “core”, the fibers between the husk and the shell of the coconut). You then add ay kind of vegetable waste you want, and the worms do their thing. They eat the food, digest it, and poop out the waste. Soon, your bin will look like this:
The worm poop (“castings”) is super high in nitrogen, which is what you really want in a good fertilizer for your garden. Another byproduct of the worms is “worm juice”, or worm pee. This is also super high in nitrogen. When you harvest this worm juice, you dilute it 20:1 with regular water.
We’ve found that the worm bin, while producing fertilizer and worm juice, has helped us tremendously in our efforts to reduce the amount of waste we produce. On a weekly basis, we only put one full bag of trash out. Between recycling and composting, we’ve managed to cut our waste down quite a lot.