The smell- If you were to ask me what the bin smells like, the only description I can think to give is that it smells like a vermicompost bin. I noticed last week while taking out the trash that my garbage smells much worse than the bin. According to Appelhof’s book, this is because the bedding of torn up newspapers and cardboard helps airflow, which in turn creates an aerobic environment, compared to the anaerobic conditions usually found in a normal garbage pail. I never did too well in biology class, but I think that means something like, being an ecosystem with strong air circulation and the process of…ummmm…my brain hurts. It just doesn’t smell bad, okay?
The worms- Over the past week, I have been concerned that conditions in the bin were a little off because whenever I opened the lid I would noticed a few worms always near the top, trying to climb out. I wasn’t sure if there wasn’t enough oxygen, too much water, or something wrong with a certain food which created a toxic environment. I added a fresh top layer of bedding and when I opened the bin today only a couple worms were trying to escape.
The other day, I found two dead worms in the basement. My theory is that they managed to escape only to be picked up by my feline friend, looking for a little snack, except she quickly realized they were not nearly as decadent as her Wellness brand cat food and decided to spit them out in order to enjoy the dried pellets that have defined her meaningless and miserable existence for the past seven years.
Another thing that I noticed about the worms is that they are much bigger than a month ago and are also starting to reproduce in large numbers. While sifting through the castings, I found many cocoons. (There was a lot, those little horn balls are getting it on hard core. It’s like one big nasty food composting hermaphrodite orgy.)
The food- The worms have been getting fed about once a week. I don’t give them every single bit of food waste, but they do get the scrapes from two-three meals a week. I had originally read on the Internet that the worms won’t eat meat, but according to Appelhof, the do. A published book seems more credible than some idiots blog, so, I gave them a chicken leg this afternoon; we’ll see how that goes. I also finely ground six eggshells and added it to the bin. This helps create nitrates, which apparently the worms enjoy; who doesn't?
You can see in the below video what it looks like in the bin. It is filling up fast with disgusting worm crap precious worm castings.