Last weekend, we decided to begin a compost worm bin. Kelli and I have been interested in these composting worms for a while, but just never made the effort to start one. A lot of the procrastination had to do with the start up costs.
There is a local business woman who has been specializing in providing these compost worms and worm bin kits for several years. Her business is called Waikiki Worm Company. The business recently expanded and is now in a larger retail space just outside of Waikiki, at 1917 S. King Street.
We started with the basic set up. It comes with:
-A 1/4 pound of EPIGEIC Perionyx excavatus, a.k.a. Hawaii's native composting worms. (Click for worm info.) Sold ala carte at Waikiki Worm Company for $40 + tax. It comes in a quart size zip lock bag with some vermicompost that contains the other organisms to help start the composting process. -A 10 gallon plastic bin with "Waikiki Worm Company" logo and pre-fabricated holes. Of course you could buy this bin from Walmart or somewhere for about $5-$10, but it won't have the official logo on it and you'll need to drill your own holes. -A basic worm bin starter book titled "Worms Eat My Garbage" by Mary Appelhof. I've read about half of it, not in order. There are interesting parts, but has a lot about designing your own worm bin. I wasn't very interested in that part because I don't really want design information. I enjoyed the parts of the book that gave more explanation on the care of the worms. -Start up instruction leaflet & couple worm-y bumper stickers. The total with tax came out to $71.20. The other things we purchased to complete our set up was a larger plastic container to fit under the bin to be used as a drip tray and a couple bricks to prop the bin over the drip tray for adequate ventilation. That was another $10 or so.
We started with the 1/4 pound because it's suggested that they will be able to keep up with 2 adults average weekly food waste that can be added to the bin. The suggested consumption amount is 2 pounds of fruit, vegetable or grain waste per week.
It takes a while for the entire process to look like vermicompost. In approximately 4-6 months we should have our first batch of nutritious compost for our plants. Right now it just looks like a bunch of worms eating fruit and vegetable waste. I'll post another update when they start to break down more of it.