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Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set up and Maintain a Worm Composting System, Second Edition [Paperback]

Mary Appelhof , Mary F. Fenton
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)


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Paperback $10.09  
Paperback, November 1, 1997 --  
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Book Description

November 1, 1997 0942256107 978-0942256109 Revised
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.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"... 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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Flower Press; Revised edition (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0942256107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0942256109
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #540,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
74 of 74 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so great, leaves a lot to be desired November 19, 2012
Format:Paperback
This is a cute and eccentric, rather dated, oddly organized, and not very scientific guide to vermicomposting. It's fine on the basics of keeping a worm composter, but much of its advice is easy to misunderstand or understand incompletely due to the lack of good pictures and hands-on, detailed description of specific scenarios. On some issues it is simply wrong. If you really want to understand your worms and the compost ecosystem you're creating for them, you'll be better off reading multiple online sources devoted to vermicomposting and talking with people who do it.

"Worms Eat My Garbage," like many guides, provides fine advice as far as it goes; it just doesn't explain much about *why* you should do this or not do that. It also fails to put the key issues front and center for people new to worm and compost care: how the worms will behave in your vermicomposter if they are healthy or unhealthy, what they need or like and don't like in their environment and diet, how to understand what you see, and the main ways you can screw up.

I don't believe the book ever points out that worms live on *microbes* in decomposing organic matter, and they only eat your "garbage" in the process of getting at microbes. Explaining the chemistry of composting and decomposition processes (aerobic and anaerobic) would be really helpful, but that's not really covered here either. For example, nitrogen and sugars or starches can break down into wet, potentially toxic byproducts like ammonia and alcohols, which are not good for worms in quantity, especially if the worms can't get away from them. How pH/acidity levels rise and fall is a related concern you won't learn much about from this book.

Here is an example that is typical of the book's main flaw.
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121 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey! I loved this book! November 21, 2001
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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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73 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must" Book for Home Vermicomposters! December 20, 1999
Format:Paperback
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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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "user friendly" guide to recycling kitchen food waste January 14, 2004
Format:Paperback
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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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for those with an interest in worms April 23, 2000
Format:Paperback
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All you need to know to start your own compost August 26, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I must say that I knew most of the stuff contained in the book, since the web contains a LOT of information. Nevertheless, the online info is quite dispersed. Here you can have all the knowledge in one book. Also, I did not give it 5 stars, because I think it still lacks a bit of professionalism; the author indeed knew a lot from decades for worm composting, but still, a lot of her knowledge was empiric and seems unsure of some of the causes. For instance, she emphasizes a lot on cold climates and gives little info on hot climates.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I enjoyed all of the information and found this book to not only be informative and interesting but also very easy to read. I also found the author to be humorous in her writing. This book gives the do's and don'ts that are very helpful.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I got more updated information on the Internet.
I got more updated information on the Internet.
Published 4 days ago by B. Little
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book, interesting reading and great tips
Published 6 days ago by P. Christensen
5.0 out of 5 stars How to care for Worms
Who knew it was so detailed a process. I enjoyed this book and felt like I was prepared to keep the worms alive at least for a week. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Nicole Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Worms Eat My Garbage.
I knew the product was good before I ordered.
Mary Applehoff is (was) the best.
These 2 books are presents for my kids who grow crops organically.
Published 25 days ago by Paula Worthley
4.0 out of 5 stars Good basic book on worm composting.
I enjoyed reading this book and felt that the book provided a good basic foundation on starting the worm composting. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michelle T. Ota
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy
The book is detailed and fun to read. It got me excited to start my own. Since then I have with the worm factory 360. For a beginner this sure seems like the way to go. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tonia Van Voorst
5.0 out of 5 stars Worms eat my garbage
Very informative and easy to follow. Will have to set up bins under the rabbit cages when the weather warms up. Thnx for the info.
Published 1 month ago by Damie
4.0 out of 5 stars A good buy
Very good informative book. I've read a couple of different books on vermicomposting and in my opinion this is the easiest reading and most information packed book.
Published 2 months ago by Robert Granillo
5.0 out of 5 stars good informative book on starting a worm farm
This book gives you all the information needed to start your own worm farm. It gives many suggestions on how to start a farm and how to care for the different worms.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars worms
the book has answered any questions that the insert with the worms did not.
The whole thing isnt all that complicated, but I'm certain it saved us from making some... Read more
Published 2 months ago by pilgrim
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