After my post about our Worm Factory I got an email from a reader that asked if we put all our scraps from the table immediately into the worm condo AND if we microwave them first. I guess microwaving kitchen scraps to soften them up is a common practice.
The answer to both is no. We collect our kitchen scraps in a smaller compost collector because we don’t want to overwhelm our worms and we will very likely be generating more waste than they will be able to handle anyway, at least until we start having generations of worms babies. We also want to soften up our scraps and start the decomp process so that it will be faster and easier for the worms to tackle but we do not have a microwave. Nor do we want one, microwaves are not good for your health.
To that end we first collect food waste in a kitchen compost collector. This allows us to collect any excess food waste that can’t go in the worm bin yet and it gets the compost brewing in the meantime. We chose the Exaco Trading ECO-2000 2.4 Gallon Kitchen Compost Waste Collector for a couple reasons. Firstly because it was one of the biggest ones for the money (less than $20). Yes, I would have preferred a stainless steel or ceramic collector but we are a family of five… the rinky dink one gallon size on those models would be filled in a week… or less. Larger ones cost more than we wanted to invest. And of course any plastic that helps us in our greener living journey overall gets a pass from me.
Right now it sits on top of the worm bin but it could easily go under the sink as well. Our old collector was a big mixing bowl that was open and visible every time you passed by… yuck. I like this system much better. We mix it occasionally with a wooden mixing spoon or I dump it into a bowl and then dump it back in the composter to reverse the top/bottom.
Another aspect of our composting system is the fact that I collect a lot of scraps and freeze them. When I get a nice large bunch I will make my homemade vegetable broth and this is even better than microwaving. The scraps are super soft and I have broth to boot. Easy peasy!
Wednesday, February 9th, 2011