5 Free Sources of Worm Food for Vermicomposting
If you are trying to maximize your worm compost output or grow your worm herd, you will need to find free sources of worm food beyond the food scraps that your family produces. This article includes a list of free or cheap sources of large quantities of worm food.
- Coffee shops. The added bonus here is that your worm bin will smell like delicious coffee! Most Starbucks coffee shops already bag up their spent coffee grounds for composters and gardeners. All you have to do is ask for it. If you have a favorite local shop, ask them if they would be willing to share. I ended up leaving a bucket with my name and cell phone number writing on it at the coffee shop near my house. When the bucket is full, they call me to come get it.
- Pulp from a juice bar. Juice pulp has the added benefit of being shredded which makes it easy for the worms to eat.
- Horse stables. Most horse stables would be happy to part with some manure. Especially if you offer to help clean it out of the stales. A word of caution here, check with the owner to see what medication the horses are on. Some horse meds don’t work well with composting worms or with the vegetables you may want to grow with your worm compost.
- Restaurants. Restaurants can be a good source of worm food but make sure you are clear with them that you only want pre-cooked food scraps. Post cooked food waste (leftovers) may contain oils and salts that are harmful to composting worms. Also, be careful about quantity. If you get a restaurant to commit to sorting their pre-cooked food scraps, they may want to give you all of them which you may not be ready to handle. A small, local restaurant may be willing to work with you for smaller quantities. You may want to start by asking the restaurant to do a food waste audit to determine how much food waste they produce.Then, you can decide if you have enough worms to handle that amount.
Your neighbors. Your family may not produce enough food scrap worm food for your growing worm herd (or micro worm business) but 2 or 3 families may. Ask your neighbors if they would be willing to collect their food scraps and share. You could even offer to share some finished worm compost with them in return.
Do you have any more free sources of worm food?? If so, please share in the comments below.
Ready to start your worm composting hobby? Buy my book! How to Start a Worm Bin: Your Guide to Getting Started with Worm Composting.
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