Reaping the Benefits of Composting
The fundamental knowledge of our predecessors about composting, seems to have been somewhat forgotten in recent times with the increase in popularity of composting and composting with worms. This has resulted in both traditional composters and wormeries for sale that too often yield poor results.
Hence, many people give up disappointed, believing that composting in general is a waste of time. This is not so, and we believe that the problems are due to a lack of correct information and the many unsuitable products available today.
The traditional method of composting is known as aerobic composting. Aerobic composting is where the waste to be composted is piled into a heap or a wooden container. As this is done, both moisture and air are mixed in enabling naturally occurring flora and fauna to get to work breaking down the waste. During this decomposition process heat is produced, and in order to keep this action going, more air and moisture has to be added and this achieved by moving or turning over the heap. This requires effort.
The problem we often have today with plastic based composting bins, is that they do not encourage the waste to be turned over, too frequently resulting in the composting process grinding to a halt.
In the last decade or so we have seen a growth in worm composting, or vermicomposting, as it is properly known. The waste to be composted is slowly added to a colony of specialist worms that eat their way through the waste producing worm compost or casts. This product is considered to be the best of all composts.
Although, this process requires less physical effort than aerobic composting (the heap does not need to be moved), it is limited in that only relatively small amounts of waste can added and processed, which takes more time.