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Worms Eat My Garbage [Paperback]

Mary Appelhof
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Paperback, July 1 2003 --  
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Book Description

July 1 2003 0942256107 978-0942256109 2nd edition
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 beddings, how to meet the needs of the worms, what kinds of foods to feed the worms, harvesting worms, and making potting soil from the vermicompost produced. A 63 page bibliography, 24 annotated references, a glossary,and comprehensive index make this a valuabe reference book as well as a practical manual.

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"... people ... will thank [Appelhof] for showing us ... how we can eat better food by growing gardens with wormpower." -- Pete Seeger, folksinger, environmental activist

"You might say that Kalamazoo has become the epicenter of vermiculture (a fancy name for worm composting) ..." -- Anne Raver, The New York Times

"[This book] supplies everything you want to know about worm composting but didn't know where to ask." -- Green Living Magazine

About the Author

Mary Appelhof, prepared by master's degrees in biology and education, has spent the past 25 years working with earthworms to develop a system for using redworms to process organic waste. As a leader in recycling and composting, she has received the National Recycling Coalition's "Composter of the Year" award and Renew America's special merit for the environmental success of her work.

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Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Now in its revised second edition, Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof is a practical and "user friendly" guide to recycling kitchen food waste, producing fertilizer for house and garden plants, growing fishing worms, and saving money, all through the process of a worm composting system. Worms Eat My Garbage is a simple, effective, "how-to" guide covering everything from how to set up a worm bin, to what types of garbage are best for worm composting, to taking care of the worms, to effectively saving money while reaping the benefits of the process. Worms Eat My Garbage is easy-to-follow, thorough, and enthusiastically recommended reference for environmentalists and gardeners.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey! I loved this book! Nov. 21 2001
This was a fun book about the little creepy crawlers! It gives a very solid scientific introduction to the little critters and answers most of your basic questions about worms. The focus of the book has to with vermiculture--the use of worms for developing super-rich compost material for organic gardens. Vermicompost is without a doubt the best composting material available for organic gardeners, and setting up your own vermicomposting bin is the best way to get yourself some of this richly organic fertilizer.
The book details how you can set up your own vermicompost bin, either by making it yourself or by purchasing a commercial worm bin. It also even describes how some school systems have saved themselves bundles of money by having worms eat the schoolkids' lunch scraps rather than pay for commercial garbagemen to haul the stuff away!
I would most strongly recommend this book for anybody interested in either worms, vermicomposting or organic gardening. It's a very fun read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Bible of Worm Composting Feb. 27 2001
Worms Eat My Garbage is an informative and fun guide to worm composting (vermicomposting). It is no wonder this book has been accepted as The Guide by worm composters- it is a complete guide to planning, setting up, and using a worm composting system either indoors or outdoors. Different end goals are discussed (more worms, versus more compost) in view of the maintenance required to achieve the goals. A happy medium is recommended. A list of organic kitchen waste that can be composted is included. The author does not shy away from composting small amounts of meat, which the worms will gladly eat, though it may smell.
The amount of information about the life of worms is just right. The reproduction of worms is described at a layperson level, as well as other interesting worm facts, like the cut a worm in half myth.
The book is very easy reading, written at a 5th grade level, making it appropriate for classroom use or science projects. The illustrators' drawings make the book fun as well as aiding visual learners.
The author recommends commercial bins as well as homemade designs, with pictures of each. Plans for some homemade bins are included.
I enjoyed the section on a zero-waste society. With standard glass, metal and paper recycling, and the worms to recycle organic waste, the only items in my trash are plastics. This means I can go much longer between emptying my trash, mostly because it doesn't smell but also because the volume is reduced.
I was disappointed that the book, although it is very comprehensive, does not discuss composting items rather than kitchen waste and paper for worm bedding. For instance, animal waste can be composted using red worms, as long as the compost is not placed on plants or trees used for human consumption. Also, the book didn't mention that scrap organic cloth, such as cotton, wool, and linen, can be composted.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must" Book for Home Vermicomposters! Dec 20 1999
Mary Appelhof's book is both amusing and educational. This is the "Vermi Bible" for most people who compost their household waste with worms (vermicomposting).

This 2nd edition includes description and discussion on commercially-available vermicomposting bins. Unfortunately, with the excitement and growing interest in worm composting, there are bins now available that are not reviewed in the book. (I guess we'll need a 3rd Edition!)

For the beginner as well as the worm hobbyist, I recommend this book highly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for those with an interest in worms April 23 2000
This is an excellent book for anyone interested in lowering the ammount of garbage they send to the landfills. If you have an interest in raising more healthy plants, better fising bait, or just want the experience this is the book to start with. While written on a 10th grade reading level, this book is wonderful reading for anyone. My background is in biology and I found some of the side notes very useful. This is a book that everyone should read even if you have no desire to raise worms.
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By A Customer
This book has taught me about what i need for my worm farm that im getting in a week or two....Only problem is there are almost absoloutly no wormdealers here
Well i rate this book a five because it explains the book clearly and doesnt have mumbojumbo throughout the book I read this book in one day i ate it up
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