Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Fancies - Should I Worm Out of This?

I'm thinking of worming out of a class on worm composting.

Yes, it is the first Wednesday of fall here in upstate New York, time for my Wednesday Fall Fancies feature.  I did this last year on Wednesdays and will do so again this year - featuring anything to do with fall.

The outdoor composting season is almost over here in the Binghamton area.  Soon, the long winter will be here, and I will be struggling with the issue of winter composting.  To be exact: what to do with vegetable scraps?

I don't want to throw them out in the garbage.  They make nice compost; "gold" to any gardener.  I can't put them in a frozen compost heap.  Composting doesn't "happen" in the winter here.  But I don't want them in a plastic bag on the back door, where they will mold and rot and stink, either.

What to do?  How to continue composting in the winter?

Some people get crocks with deodorizing disks to do indoor composting.  Some (I am told) will put bags out on the back porch to freeze, for addition to the compost heap when spring comes.  That must be fun when the first warm weather comes.

Last week, I found out about a worm composting workshop being put on by the Cooperative Extension of Broome County in October.  The Broome County Division of Solid Waste Management the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation are providing funding, so the workshop is free.  For attending, I get "a worm bin made from a plastic tote bin, complete with bedding and some starter worms."  There is a limit of one bin per household, and you must attend the workshop to receive the bin."

I was told (by someone else who had just signed up) that space was filling up fast.  I signed up just in time.

So, that evening, proud of myself, I told my spouse, the main gardener (and cook) of our family, that I had signed up for the workshop.  Wouldn't it be fun, being able to compost with worms?

His response was his "are you kidding me?" look.  We've been married over 35 years, so I know that look well.

His concern was, with our small family of two, that we would be able to keep the worms alive.  We eat a fair amount of veggies, but his fear is that we won't have enough.

And, in doing some reading, I'm finding other concerns - smell (which we are trying to avoid by doing this worm composting in the first place) and fruit flies.  We used to have some major fruit fly problems years ago with homegrown storage onions, and I don't care to rerun that adventure. (My son built simple, cheap traps for them but - you haven't lived until you have fruit flies in the house.  They breed - and breed - and breed.  It ranked up there with the infestation of pantry moths we had once, but at least that doesn't seem to be a hazard).

But, even putting the fear of fruit flies aside, my spouse has another valid point:  work.

It sounds like a lot of work for the return of compost.

So, I am going to turn to my Readers.  My dear, sweet, knowledgeable, Readers.

Readers:  have any of you composted indoors with worms?  Or know anyone who has? Or, would you even think of it?  Or, would you run screaming into the night at the mere thought of worms in the house?  Were you successful?  Or was it too much bother?

Should I embrace this wormy adventure? Or should I free up my space in the workshop for someone else?


  1. I wanna start a garden next year. I'll have to pin this for next fall!

  2. This is way beyond my expertise, but you go girl! It seems like the frozen ground would definitely be an issue and bringing the worms inside? Wow, I hope it works out for you.

  3. We have a worm farm but not indoors sorry, we don't have to in Oz.
    There are some really great small bench top composting systems available over here that are relatively odourless and are small.
    I have had fruit fly too si I completely understand!!

  4. Worm composting sounds like a good idea until you consider the consequences. I wouldn't bother. I can't see why you can't dump your daily buildup of peelings etc onto a pile outside. When the weather warms, it will be ready to turn.

  5. Hmm, I'm not sure about it that! It may smell & be very unhygienic! Probably more hassle than it's worth!

  6. No m'am. No worms for me. Can't even bait a hook.


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