Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set up and Maintain a Worm Composting System, Second Edition
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Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set up and Maintain a Worm Composting System, Second Edition

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  644 ratings  ·  121 reviews
The definitive guide to vermicomposting-a process using redworms to recycle food waste into nutrient-rich food for plants. Newly revised and updated, this 162 page manual provides complete illustrated instructions on setting up and maintaining small-scale worm composting systems. Topics include different bins, what kind of worms to use, sex life of a worm, preparing worm b...more
Paperback, 162 pages
Published November 1st 1997 by Flower Press (first published June 30th 1997)
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Community Reviews

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jess
Ok this book is hella old but guess what? Worms are older and they haven't changed since this book was written so the book looks adorably dated, but the information is so perfectly totally relevant.

So I checked this out from the library, bought about a pound of worms from the Olympia Farmers market, and set up a couple buckets of rotting garbage in my basement. I have since turned into a total garbage-o-phile. I mean, i am feeding my worms cardboard macaroni boxes and trying to name them all. (...more
kimberly
I checked this book out from the library approximately 59,120 times. It's very thorough, but not necessary very "quick and dirty". There's talk of buying worm bins, making your own worm bins, but only the DIY wooden worm bin instructions seemed super step-by-step. And no way I'm building a wooden worm bin that's gonna decompose in a few years on account of excess moisture, etc. I'm a recipe girl, I like following directions.

Exact. Directions.

So, to REALLY get me started, I needed THIS:
http://l...more
loneconspirator
After reading this very quick book I felt I knew enough to get started feeding my garbage to worms - it is a very good start to that, and enough to get you to where you can figure out what you need to do.

This is fussy, but one thing just baffles me about this book. At one point she knocks down people that grind up their food for the worms because it is an inappropriate use of energy and it contradicts some of the intention of having a worm bin. Ok, the existence of hand operated grinders slipped...more
Ann
Wow. I added this to my "currently reading" list about three hours ago, and just spent three hours becoming totally psyched about starting my own worm bin. If you register for the vermicomposting class through Hamilton County's Department of Environmental Services, this is the book that comes along with the bin and worms and so forth. I didn't make the deadline for the class, but a friend from school took it a few years ago and let me borrow her book. Anyway, the book is so great that I think I...more
Yousaf Shaikh
If you're researching vermicomposting or are ready to take the plunge, one book will have come up numerous times : Worms Eat My Garbage.

It is a great resource! It gives you the basics about vermicomposting such as : various bin setups (commercial vs home-made), the type of worms you should be using, common problems one might encounter, online resources, etc.

There are some rudimentary pictures included, but I felt they were a bit much (came across as filler material, but to each his own). The mat...more
Robert
Several years ago I stumbled across vermicomposting. I became immediately interested. I soon purchased this book, a box, and a textbook. Soon after that we began keeping worms in the classroom. What a wonderful hobby!

This book is an excellent introduction to the hobby. I believe it is considered the bible of vermicomposting.
Lori
This is a good book about vermicomposting, and the science is very sound. I was looking for a little more in the way of troubleshooting, and it wasn't readily available in this book. A troubleshooting guide or table in the appendix would be a wonderful addition. Most sources for vermicomposting information make it sound like you can just dump some worms in a bucket with some bedding and food and magical things happen to give you compost. I did a lot of research before building my worm bin and ge...more
Abigail
Thank you, Ms. Appelhof, for sharing your gifts with us. Not only is this book efficient and informative, it is actually entertaining. I laughed, I learned, I set up a compost bin. Anyone seeking to do the same would be well-served by picking up this little tome.
Erin
I checked this book out of the library so that I could prepare for starting my own worm farm. I am expanding my gardens this year, and with Florida's sandy soil, I need to find ways to supplement it. I've read that vermicomposting is a great way to produce nutrition for a garden, and that Mary Appelhof is the #1 expert on the subject.

This book could definitely use an update. It was written in 1982, before worm farms were commercially produced, before the internet, and at the start of interest i...more
Heather
This book is generally regarded as a timeless classic and the go-to for vermicomposting: composting with worms. A few weeks ago I had a thought after bumping into the Master Recycler program at the Milwaukie Farmers' Market. Could I start collecting food scraps for compost at my workplace, and stash a worm bin in my office so it wouldn't be necessary for me to remember to take the stuff home?

Usually when I get an idea like that I think on it for an eternity before anything happens. The worm bin,...more
Carl Wade
Pg 71 Her philosophy is summed up here. Worms take the place of the garbage disposal and sever system so grinding doesn't make since.
Pg 154 A lot of big words here. Her science education is showing.
Pg 121 More people recycle now than vote. Looks like a Chapter on zero waste. What a great subject!
Pg 12: Much more air is needed than I have allowed. Foul smelling anaerobic action sets in with no air either because it is compressed or not enough vents.
Pg 13: aerobic environment doesn't produce bad...more
Angela
My boyfriend's brother and sister-in-law have a worm farm, in their apartment, and it is fascinating to me. The Worm pea I got from her has already helped my poor house plants, so I have fantasies of having my own worm farm.

Still fascinating. I am a little concerned about the other critters that come to play in the worm farm (worms I am ok with, millipedes maybe not so much) - but I am still thinking this would be excellent to have.

Now that I am in the new house, and realize that I don't want t...more
Happyreader
I am obsessed with what my worms are eating. I worry that I'm not feeding them enough, feeding them too much, feeding them foods they like or don't like. I worry if they're getting the right balance of nutrients. Which is why I'm only giving this book three stars. Good overview on the worms, answers the basic questions, but once the worms arrived, I found I wanted even more on the actual care and feeding of worms. Yes, worms doesn't like citrus, oils, meats, dairy. Get that. But I've also learne...more
Audie
When I heard of vermicomposting all I can think of is "little kids would love that!" Plus it's a "pet" that would require minimum maintenance of just your garbage and a cleaning every 4 or so months. While there is tons of information on the internet (check your local DNR, city composting or a simple google search) all resources reference this book so I checked it out from my library.

It doesn't disappoint. It answers all your questions, provides plans and different options for raising worms depe...more
Cortney
This was a really quick and incredibly informative read on vermicomposting. My partner and I are vegetarians who produce a lot of vegetable waste, but we live in an apartment which rules out traditional composting. I wanted to look into worm composting as an alternative, so I read this book as research.

If we were going to be in America for more than one more year, I'd do it. It's a pretty simple system, it's all natural, and you get lots of great compost for your garden. However, it's a bit too...more
Susan
A must have for anyone with a vermicomposter and/or who would like to reduce the amount of garbage they produce.

The book provides solid, helpful, easy-to-follow advice and information about having, maintaining, and harvesting a worm bin (aka vermicomposter). It is written in plain English that is accessible to the layperson while still not 'dumbing down' the topic.
Sean
What a wonderful little book. I want all how-to books to be written by science teachers. Appelhof has achieved an immensely readable, entertaining, yet "sciency" lesson on worms that can eat your garbage. She covers the why you would, why it works, how to do it, what can go wrong, and where you learn more. I'm a fan.
Silverwillow
This was a great, informative little book! For how short it is it packs a punch - and who doesn't like conciseness? Anyone who is new to composting would greatly benefit from the experiences discussed, but even the more experienced could potentially pick up a few tips and tricks within these pages. Basically, everyone should read this, come on, it's a short book! What do you have to lose, except what you could gain by NOT reading it(okay, okay, I'm done with that)!

I will definitely have to keep...more
Christy
i have really learned a lot from this book. i was thinking abut doing vermicomposting this year but i have learned that it wouldn't be worth it since it takes like 4 months to get everything started and working. i will have to buy this book to have on hand when we do get started.

after finishing the book i am absolutely amazed! i loved the book and will definitely purchase it for a reference when i am actually able to have a worm compost system. if you have been trying to compost and had a hard t...more
Heidi
"For anyone interested in urban homesteading, gardening, recycling, composting, or just making your garbage smell less, this is the perfect book for you. Appelhof introduces vermicomposting (worm composting) in a clear, easy-to-understand manner, without over simplifiying. There are many options and techniques for this wonderful process, and she gives you all the options. The writing is well-organizes, entertaining, and spare. I used the book to refine my own worm composter and have seen improvm...more
Emily McCune
Wow, what a wonderful, inspiring, and motivating read this was! Super old, but still so relevant and easy to understand. An excellent beginner's book to vermiculture/vermicomposting - including step-by-step instructions on worm bin construction.

Vermicomposting is completely new to me, and I've had MANY questions in my head which have been forming for about two years now (since I first got the idea in my head), and this book answered every single question!

Five stars, DEFINITELY read this if you w...more
Sara Elkin
A basic book about vermicomposting. Delved deeply into stuff I could care less about (worm anatomy, for example), and a little too nonchalant about important topics (exactly how much food do I feed these things, and what if it starts to stink?!). Positive and upbeat, but not a lot of important details. Maybe it isn't as hard (or smelly) as I've imagined, but I'm just not there yet. So being the type A personality that I am, I bought a pre-made system appropriately called "Can-O-Worms". Let's hop...more
Rebekka
This book was first published in the 1980's; I read the revised version that came out in the late 1990's and, despite it's "age" [even though for me 2009 wasn't that long ago], there is still so much that is relevant to today.

I am a self taught vermicomposter and I was still able to learn just as much; the science is actually rather easy to understand, that is if you're scientifically or mechanically oriented.

A very easy and fast book to read if you're just thinking about it, just starting, or a...more
Erica
Great little book on vermicomposting. Looking back through it, I wish I kept my system going!
kk
I've read a few worm composting books and this is the only book that put my worm bin into the successful zone. If you are concerned about your impact on this earth - vermicomposting is one way to lessen the waste we create. Instead of feeding the dump with a valuable resource you can feed your gardens and indoor plants. I easily and cheaply made my own bin. I keep it in our living space and no one would ever know it - this book teaches you how to do it.
Hansen Wendlandt
What a perfect start for moving from gardening and recycling, to a deeper commitment to green living! This book provides more than you need to know to start a vermicompost bin, for producing less garbage, great dirt for stronger plants, and a fun new 1000 pets! The instructions are really quite simple, and Appelhof is clear and complete, right down to the type of leaf that can be added. After a single week, I am arranging for a second bin!
Joan
The handbook that helps me with my wormoes. I have read it piece by piece as necessary, it is generally a good reference book for vermicomposting.

The only drawback is that it doesn't give me enough rules. I love rules! Tell me exactly what I need to do, and I will follow it to a "t"! But I guess, why make rules if you don't need to?

The wormoes are just hippies like their caretakers~ they don't mind roughing it a little.
Richard
Apr 12, 2010 Richard rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who has, wants to have, or hopes to have a garden.
Luckily this was available at the San Francisco Public Library, 'cause it seems to have attracted really excessive prices on at Amazon.

But that's probably because it is a crazy good book on getting your yard healthy the natural way: don't put your kitchen waste in that green bin the sanitation technicians bring by — toss it in your compost heap!

Strongly recommended to anyone with a garden.
Jasmin
A great introductory guide to vermiculture (worm composting). It is a quick read that broadly covers many components of vermiculture. If you already have a decent understanding of vermiculture, you might want to look into something that goes into more detail. However, she does provide a great list of recommended reading at the end of the book, which is quite helpful.
Debbie
The author has an indoor composting system! While I prefer my outdoor bin (despite the frequent raids by mice and racoons) I like to keep all smells and critters outside. She insists the smells are nought and that the red worms decompose the food without odors. Since red worms would die outside in the winter, she keeps them safe and warm all year long indoors.
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