1. Is there something wrong with you?  Do you really have boxes of worms in your kitchen?
    • No, and yes. In that order.
  2. Do they stink?
    • No, my worm bins do not stink.  If they did, I wouldn't keep them.  What, do you think I'm crazy?
  3. What in the heck do you feed worms?
    • All of the junk I don't eat:
      • carrot tops and peels
      • the hard bits holding a lettuce head together as well as the outer-most leaves
      • potato peels
      • old herbs and vegetables
      • leftover pasta and rice
      • rinds and the seedy-stringy stuff in the middle of melons
      • bananas and/or peels
      • stale cereal, crackers and tortillas, etc. 
      • avocado skins and pits
      • cherry pits and stems
      • juiced (or not) limes and lemons as well as their seeds 
      • coffee grounds and filters
      • vegetarian dishes I've made and found to be gross
      • Bill's facial hair  
      • The list goes on and on, but basically anything organic except meat and dairy.
  4. Why not meat and dairy?
    • Meat and dairy take much longer to break down than fruits and vegetables.  And that means they have a greater tendency of making my worm bins stink. Only a crazy person keeps stinky shit in their apartment. I am not crazy.
  5. So all you need to do is have a box of worms and dump fruits and vegetables in there?
    • Not exactly. The worm habitat is primarily damp paper products (which they also eat), supplemented with foodstuff that is buried in the paper product. If left in a box of only decaying fruits and vegetables, the worms would drown as the food stuff rotted becoming more and more juicy wet.
    • The worms best for vermiculture are oxygen-breathing, top-soil dwelling worms; thus you need to make sure they have oxygen!  Turning the worm bin material regularly is a good thing for the worms as it aerates their space.You will have to incorporate paper goods regularly and aerate the worm bin regularly (once a month at a minimum). I try to do my feeding/aerating at least once a week. More on this in future blog posts. 
  6. How much paper to vegetarian food in a worm bin?
    • Guessing, I'd say a ratio of 5 or greater paper to1 food. I don't push the food limit as I don't care to have a mess on my hands. More on this later in future posts.
  7. What about critters invading the worm bin(s), such as ants and mice/rats and flies?
    • I've never had a problem with nuisances in my apartment-kept worm bins, fruit flies being the only exception.  Fruit flies can be a big problem if the paper:food ratio is not maintained or if the primary worm food is fresh fruit.  But that's easily prevented by freezing the worm food and allowing it to thaw before feeding the worms as the freezing process kills the fruit fly eggs/larvae
  8. What? I would have to have a section of my food space dedicated to worm food? That's disgusting!
    • Not necessarily.  It depends on how much food waste you generate and how many worms you keep. There is no law that says once you have worms you have to keep all of your food waste. 
      • The excess can go out the way it did before you kept worms. Personally, I try to save all of it for my worms, allowing it to break down in the fridge a bit before feeding, but I have quite a few worms now. Still, some weeks, I have to throw potential worm food out. I feel a little bad about it, but realize it's only a fraction of what I used to shove down the garbage disposal or into a plastic bag.
    • No, it's not disgusting.
      • Think about it: when you clean out your refrigerator, how much of the stuff you decide is "bad" old vegetables and fruits? Watery lettuces and wilted fresh herbs? Soft apples? A cucumber you'd forgotten that is now a cucumber-liquid pool in a bag? You've been storing worm food all along!  If you have worms, you'll have a compost receptacle available in your kitchen to deal with those icky items without resorting to mass dump or mass wastewater.  
    •  What CAN'T you feed worms?
      • Honestly, you can feed worms anything you want.  But you'll find that worms will not eat stickers (Chiquita stickers on bananas), plastic (the windows of envelopes or ground up credit cards), seeds (which will wind up germinating in your worm bin, leaving you a bunch of green growth and husks that the worms won't mess with until ancient), and pits (from say avocados, though they will germinate quite nicely too).
      • Many websites will tell you to avoid feeding worms acidic or spicy foods as worm skin is delicate.  I found that to be a bunch of hooey.  My worms will eat acidic and spicy foods, including kimchi, though they do prefer melons. I go easy on the acidic and spicy foods, but the worms will eat anything in moderation. And like kids, I try to give my worms a variety of foods regularly so that they don't turn their noses up at anything.  For me, it really is a system of "what I get, they get".
    • And the last, but not least, question: how can I start a worm bin?