*Article and photos on composting contributed by Team EcoEtsy member and Master Gardener Mary Ellen Coumerilh of MaryZoom .
The most basic component of a successful organic garden is the soil. Without the proper nutrients in the soil, plants will be small and blooms and yields will be disappointing. One of the best and most sustainable ways of providing organic nutrients to your soil is by adding worm castings, which is basically worm manure produced by the red wiggler compost worm (Eisenia fetida). Worm castings not only provide nutrients but also introduce beneficial microbes into your soil.
Worm composting is a great way to recycle your kitchen scraps, even in the cold winter weather when a traditional compost pile is not practical. It is also a fun project to teach children about sustainable organic gardening practices.
One use for vermicompost is to make worm compost tea. The way I do it is to put a little bit of the compost in the bottom of a recycled gallon milk jug, maybe about 1/4 cup, fill it with water (if you have rainwater, that’s even better!), shake it good and let it steep for awhile and then use that mixture to water my plants. Make sure to shake your jug up good every time you use it.
If you would like to try your hand at building a worm bin, this site offers a good overview on a DIY worm bin and how to use it.
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