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Are Worms Vegetarians?
Someone has brought up a very good point in commenting on my last post.
I really did mean to mention this but got ahead of myself as I am sometimes prone to do and well, I forgot. So, thank you pondlady for bringing it up.
It's not so much that worms are vegetarians, because really they aren't. They will eat anything that has lived and died. However, there are a lot of other critters that are attracted to meat, and fat, and bones. And, since the decomposition rate of these are much slower, they are not a desirable addition to your worm bin, or any compost bin.
Therefore, you do not want to add, meat or bones to your compost system.
Dairy products? I wouldn't dump a load of cheese or dump old salad dressing into the system. But if you have a dinner plate that has uneaten salad with dressing and some grated cheese on it, go ahead and dump it in the compost bucket. Your system will handle it just fine. Bury it and cover it with a good layer of bedding and let the composting begin. There isn't much of anything that your system can not handle in moderation.
Citrus peels are something I am very careful about. While I don't worry about the peel from an orange or two, if someone had decided to juice a bag of oranges for orange juice I would not put all of those peels in my worm bin. There is a substance in citrus peels that the worms don't seem like too much.
Likewise, with oak leaves or pine needles. While I would not worry about a small amount of these in my worm bin, I would not dump a load of either of these items in my bin as well. The outer coating on oak leaves and pine needles is very slow to decompose. And yet in nature these things do decompose quite nicely in time. The tanin is a substance the worms don't seem to like either.
Another thing I watch for is making sure that any manure I use has composted at least 6 months. There are some exceptions. Rabbit manure, because it is not a "hot" manure, can be used immediately. As a matter of fact rabbits and worms are a great combination. But that's for another post.
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So basically some items call for moderation WW? I'll just summarise the list you posted:
Thanks for the helpful info- my worm tub is outside and the lid blew off, it filled with rain, and apparently worms don't swim, alas!
My old worm bed, in the now gone house, was always filled with pine needles. Worms must have decided they were OK. Either that or they just stayed under them. And since I do not eat dead flesh or any dairy, I figure the worms don't either. I have elevated the worm bed here because we have had so much rain.
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