Growing food indoors can be a great step towards living a more eco-friendly and sustainable way of life. But there is a lot more you can do to make your food growing efforts even greener. One of these things is to reduce the amount you need to buy by recycling kitchen scraps and other household waste such as paper and cardboard to make your own compost, which can be used as a growing medium for your edible plants. There are several ways to compost indoors, and in small spaces. One of the best of these is called vermiculture. Vermiculture is the process of using worms to help you to create a good, fertile compost for your plants. Read on to discover exactly how worms can help with growing food indoors:
You are probably already aware that the worms in the soil outside help to keep the subsoil ecosystem functioning as it should. Earthworms are vital to growing food outside. But worms can help inside too. While it would not be much good having worms in the small containers on your windowsills and shelves, they can help when placed in a wormery, where they will eat up food and excrete castings which help to make an especially rich and fertile compost for growing plants.
The worms you need for a wormery are called 'tiger worms' and you can order them online in many parts of the world. These worms are especially good at the job of breaking down compost. They need air, food, water, and the right temperature – between around ten and twenty-five degrees Celsius is ideal. When you get all of those things right, you can pretty much leave them to get on with their job of making your compost, simply adding kitchen scraps and cardboard and paper in small amounts as you go along.
There are a number of different ways to make your own wormery, or you can just buy one online. Either way, you'll need to think a little about how big your wormery will need to be before you get one. How big your wormery should be will depend on how much food waste you generate – of course this depends on how many people live in your home.
Once you have decided how large your wormery should be and ether bought or constructed it, it is time to prepare for your worms (and order them for delivery). The worms will need to be given some food, and a layer of 'bedding' (shredded paper, cardboard). Adding a little soil just at first can also help to make sure the worms have everything they need.
There is a lot to learn about keeping your worms happy over time, but there is nothing difficult about the process – even kids will love giving it a go. You might feel a little funny about keeping worms and compost in the house, but the worms will stay in their wormery as long as the conditions are right, and, surprisingly, there will be little smell to a well-kept wormery either.