Square Feet: We've Got Worms!
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Square Feet: We’ve Got Worms!

Every two weeks, Torontoist looks to fill up all the square feet in your abode. Eschewing the IKEA catalogue, delve into the unique design shops, interesting sales, and easy do-it-yourself projects that can be found scattered throughout Toronto.
The green bin program has been met with little resistance as one of the better initiatives the city has taken on to divert a greater percentage of waste from landfills. Since many of the residents of Toronto are apartment and condo dwellers, they may not get their hands on the environmentally friendly disposal system until mid-2008 and that’s if things go according to plan. The thing is, we’ve got organic waste now.
Composting may conjure up images of fly-attracting, fetid piles of decomposing matter destined for large backyards in rural areas, but understanding some of the process behind it can show how composting can still be appropriate for the indoors. The quick version is that worms (which would normally come out from the ground) eat scraps and poop out a natural fertilizer that keeps just like any other fertilizer purchased in a bag. The worms can eat half their weight in one day which prevents food from emitting smells or attracting insects because of the quick consumption.
Vermicomposting is the name of the process and requires not just any worm, but Red Wiggler worms specifically. The main supplier of these worms to Toronto is Cathy’s Crawly Composters from Bradford and she can get the wiggly things and a bin for them to you in two days. If her $13 shipping is a bit much, Grassroots Environmental Products offers a discount by ordering them several pounds at a time and allows their customers to get as little as half a pound. The wait time is substantially longer as they hold onto orders until they reach a five pound total, and that can easily amount to two weeks.
While you’re waiting, you can book a workshop with Cathy or Lee Valley (in Spring or Fall only) to teach you how to care for your new hungry friends, but a quick Google search will provide you a wealth of information. Bins can be bought from a number of sources but the easiest and cheapest solution would be to build your own with these instructions or using a cheap bin from IKEA that already has several spots for breathing holes and can simply be tucked away into a cupboard. Your plants will thank you for all the gourmet food.
Photo by Vanessa Toye.