Use worms to recycle and reap the rewards

Published: Apr. 29, 2009 at 10:31 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 30, 2009 at 6:34 PM HST
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Mindy Jaffe
Mindy Jaffe

By Tracy Gladden - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Composting with worms transforms garbage into a nutrient-rich fertilizer for plants. And the practice is catching on. It might look like dirt, but many consider it gold, gardeners gold. This giant bucket of worm poop, also called vermicast, can do wonders for a garden.

"It is the best in the world, it is natures finest fertilizer because it contains all of those nutrients from the food waste you used to throw away," Mindy Jaffe said.

Mindy Jaffe is bringing fertilizers back to basics with her Waikiki Worm Company. Learn to recycle food products with earthworms and reap great rewards.

"You use 8 gallons of our precious water to flush one gallon of food into the sewer system," Jaffe said.

She says whether your throwing food waste into the disposal, the landfill or H-power, it's adding to the problem rather than solving it. That's where these squirmy things come in.

"The best way to manage your food waste is to compost it on site and the worms make it possible even for people living in small apartments," Jaffe said.

The most environmentally friendly way to dispose of fruit vegetable and grain waste is to compost it. "The worms don't like the light so you can arrange things so that the worms move away from the light and just get into a ball for you," Jaffe said.

After you get your first starter colony of worms, just six months later take a look at what you can have, fifteen pounds of vermicast for your garden.

"Garbage to gold I swear," Jaffe said.

Add just 20 percent of this to your garden and produce healthier, more pest resistant plants and it's all thanks to a hand full of squirmy wormies. The Waikiki Worm Company already has one of its large scale composting bins up and running at Hokulani elementary school.