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Garden Book Review: "Worms Eat My Garbage"

About "Worms Eat My Garbage"

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worms eat my garbage
Described as "the definitive guide to composting with worms," Mary Appelhof's classic Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System is a must-read for those interested in partnering with worms to reduce their food waste and help their gardens grow better.

Review: "Worms Eat My Garbage"

If you are thinking of setting up a worm bin of your own, reading Mary Appelhof's Worms Eat My Garbage would be an excellent way to get started. Appelhof, who is the founder of Flowerfield Industries (through which she not only published the book, but also developed and began selling her Worm-A-Way vermicomposting system) was, to put it mildly, a total worm geek. She was a biologist, and taught people all over the world how to compost with worms. Her book has become the definitive guide to vermicomposting, which is as it should be.

Worms Eat My Garbage is absolutely loaded with information that is vital to those either considering or just getting started with vermicomposting. Appelhof covers everything from where to place a worm bin, to why red wigglers are preferred, to what the bin should be made from and which beddings are best. She answers questions such as how many worms you should get for your particular family size and amount of vegetable food waste. She covers commonly-asked questions about worms. She explains why you see critters other than worms in you bin, and why that's a good thing. And she answers your burning questions about....worm sex.

Truly, if you have a question about getting started with worm bins, this is the book to read. Appelhof's enthusiasm for her topic is evident and infectious. And if you read this book, you'll have a good idea of what to expect when you employ worms to eat your garbage.

Quotes From "Worms Eat My Garbage"

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • "In deciding where to put your worm bin, consider both the worms' needs and your own."
  • "To meet your needs, a home vermicomposting system will have to measure up to your expectations, provide a convenient method for converting organic waste to a usable end product, and satisfy your concept of suitable aesthetics.
  • Regarding bin size: "Plan on one square foot of surface for each pound of garbage per week."
  • On beddings: "Worm beddings are multi-functional since they not only hold moisture, but provide a medium in which the worms can work, as well as a place to bury the garbage....The most desirable beddings are also light and fluffy, the two conditions necessary for air exchange throughout the depth of the container.
  • "Given enough time, practically any amount of organic matter will eventually break down and decompose in a worm culture."
  • "One favorable aspect of having 'worms as pets' is that you can go away without having to make boarding arrangements with the vet or a neighbor."
  • "Our current industrial society treats waste as something to throw away, to get rid of, to dispose of. We need to change the way we think about waste. We need to think, 'Waste is a resource. Resources have value.'"


If you are considering getting started with vermicomposting, Mary Appelhof's books is the place to start. She not only clearly and concisely answers the most common questions about setting up and maintaining a worm bin, but also include plenty of diagrams and plans to help you do so more effectively. I highly recommend this book to anyone considering starting a worm bin.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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