Better Compost

Worm composting is one of the easiest and quickest ways to convert your table scraps into rich, healthy, organic soil for your garden. Carina Molnar was kind enough to pass along to Better Farm a big bin already in the throes of what we call vermicomposting.

Inside the bin are hundreds of what I believe to be red wigglers; one of the best worms around when it comes to compost. They eat fast, and provide some of the darkest, densest, nutrient-rich soil there is.

Into the bin go coffee grounds, vegetable and fruit rinds, unfinished salad scraps, and the like (no bones or meat). If the bin starts to smell, wet some strips of newspaper in the sink, ring them out like a sponge, and put those in the bin. The pH level will right itself in no time. You can also ensure a smell-less bin by not overpowering your worms. Only put in as much as gets gobbled up. It doesn't do anyone any good to fill the whole bin at once with table scraps only to suffer through the rot process. Always err on the less-is-more side of things.

I've been turning the compost (which, if you have sealed in a heavy-duty plastic bin like ours, you can keep right under your kitchen sink) over with a trowel every week or so; and have already used it to bring several houseplants back to life. In a few weeks I'll start adding it little by little to the acre we've plotted outside for next year's crops.


Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.