Meet the McWormersons

Happy Earth Day, people of Earth! To celebrate, I thought I’d gross you out and introduce you to the McWormersons, the little army of compost makers that live in my basement.


Visual approximation. Want to see the real thing? Click the picture.

A few years ago, I started looking for a better way to get rid of my kitchen scraps. For two people, we generate a lot. I wanted to turn the scraps into compost for my garden but my suburban yard is too small for traditional compost methods. I’d rather use the space I have for plants, not a big pile of compost. As I was researching space-saving ways to compost, I ran across several websites that explained how to create a worm compost bin that can be kept indoors with no mess and no smell. After an easy set up, the worms do all the work.

After extensive research, I set up my bins, bought 1,000 red wigglers and set them to work. Within a few weeks, they started turning my kitchen scraps into black gold to use on my garden. Once a week, they  get all of my vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds and filters (I only used unbleached filters), rice and noodles that haven’t been made with oil and, occasionally, clean dried egg shells. They also get several inches of bedding made from shredded newspaper each time I feed them.

As pets go, the McWormersons are the best. I feed them once a week, never have to take them outside to go to the bathroom at 3 a.m. in the middle of winter and they work harder than any pet I’ve ever had. As far as I can tell, they do only three things: Eat, have worm sex and poop nutritious, black compost. They may not be warm, fuzzy or cuddly, but if I close my eyes, I can imagine their little cheers of joy at seeing me when I open their bins to feed them.

This summer, I’ll keep you updated on the McWormersons and show you how I set up my bins, feed them and harvest their castings (a.k.a. compost).