Worm composting....it's vegetable Reincarnation!
I keep a bin of red wriggler (Eisenia fetida) composting worms in my basement. All the very choicest discarded tidbits from the kitchen such as fruit and vegetable peelings and scraps, egg shells, tea bags, banana peels, and used coffee grounds with filters, and shredded brown paper, all go to the worms, and the rest of the kitchen and garden scraps just go into our regular outdoor compost bins. In return, every few months I get a nice big 10 or 15 pound tray full of pure black earthworm castings for my garden. For free.
I hadn't harvested from my worm bin since the Fall, and today I refreshed their bedding and rotated out about 25 lbs. of wonderful rich castings.
I purposely harvested today because today I prepared the tomato patch. After deep digging the whole bed, I pounded in the stakes. Into the ground around each tomato stake, I hoed in about 12 cups of earthworm castings. Tomorrow I am going to buy the 16 tomato plants at my favorite local growers' stand. Tomatos are the one vegetable I buy already potted as plants....everthing else I direct seed into the ground in my veggie garden. I just don't want to get involved with starting seed indoors under lights, and our short growing season doesn't really give enough time to start tomatos from seed outdoors. I've already put in the stakes and planted my cucumber seeds. So now the tomato bed is ready as well.
I like to think about how so much of what we used to throw into the garbage to eventually wind up in landfills now instead gets re-cycled back through our two simple home composting systems and helps us grow our vegetables. And how amazing to think that some of the scraps from those vegetables will yet again go back to the worms to travel another cycle. It's vegetable reincarnation!