Worms at Work: Harvesting the Awesome Power of Worms with Vermiculture and Vermicomposting

Worms at Work: Harvesting the Awesome Power of Worms with Vermiculture and Vermicomposting

by Crystal Stevens

If you've never heard of vermicompost, I'm not surprised.  It's an obscure word for your average Joe, but the concept is pretty simple.  It's basically worm-assisted compost.  It's much more effective than an unassisted compost heap, in a number of ways.  For one thing, the worms process the compost in a way that frees up the most nutrients for new, growing plants to use.  For another, things get processed much faster with all those worms at work.  Harvest the power of their natural processes (eating) and voila!  You have some great fertilizer, all ready to go into your new garden bed for the season.  All without spending any money.  Yeah, you have to get some worms to start yourself off, but if you DIY the enclosure, that's literally the ONLY thing you have to buy:  as long as you're feeding them semi-regularly, the system is self-sustaining!  If this is starting to sound enticing, you should probably turn to Stevens's book for more information.  After all, I'm no vermicompost expert--I just write book descriptions.

Lucky for you, Crystal Stevens is quite the expert.  In her book Worms at Work (yep, the one you're reading about right now!), she goes over the setup of a vermicompost system, with details on everything from where to buy worms, current prices, and how to build a worm bin to what to feed them and how best to use their leavings.  It has all the specifics a first-timer might need diving into this endeavor, but organizes and lists them in a way that keeps the book from ever being dense.  Stevens's advice is friendly and astute, but always concise.  This thin book packs a lot in, so open it up and dig in!  Pun intended.