Pineapple Vermicomposting

Seeing a good-sized chunk of pineapple – past its prime – sitting in the fridge recently made me think that it might be fun to set up a little experiment. Nothing fancy – I simply want to monitor how long it takes for the worms to process it.

Some claim that pineapple is a “harmful” worm food – something that’s best avoided altogether (see “Are Pineapple and Papaya Harmful to Worms?“). I myself tend to take a much more mellow stance. While I certainly wouldn’t add a heap of it all at once, due to the high acidity, in moderation I think it’s perfectly fine (and I always use it when I have it).

That said, I’ve never closely monitored the pineapple breakdown process before, so I thought it might be fun to do so. I also thought it my be interesting to try it in two different systems. So I cut the piece of pineapple in half and added one chunk to my enclosed plastic Euro bin, and the other chunk went into my VB48.

In both cases, the chunk-o-pineapple is up near the surface. In the Euro bin I put a couple strips of moist newsprint over top (remember there is also a lid on the bin), while in the VB48 (which doesn’t currently have a lid) I covered it with some biodegradable plastic “mulch” (see “The Beast – 03-26-13” if you’re not sure what I’m referring to).

Below are my “Day 0” images. I will continue taking pictures every few days so you can actually SEE what’s happening.

I’m definitely interested to see how quickly the pineapple breaks down.
Stay tuned!

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  1. Knowing pineapple is acidic, I am interesting to see the end result. Good luck..

    • John W.
    • April 4, 2013

    I have used big chucks of pineapple before.
    I have had positive experiences. I think taht even though it is an acidy food…it has SO MUCH sugar that it explodes with what the worms want. I guess the pros of tons of food outweigh the cons of their skin being burnt!

  2. I’ve got a wife that LOVES fresh pineapple, a pineapple corer, and an unlimited supply of Worm Inns. I have no problem putting 6-8 pineapples (cored) in a single Worm Inn. When pineapples go on sale, I buy a ton of them.

  3. Look forward to that one! I know pineapples will eat iron with no problem. Of course so will picante sauce. My worms seem to like rotten onions. May be a good “Worm inn” challenge here B! Let me save up a few rotten onions. Maybe just grind some up? Cool thing about onions is some are sweet. Vidalias come availabe might try different type onions. Maybe you should start a discussion for a volunteer group? I see peppers as another challenge. It warms up i may make a “Worm inn Gymnasium?” Lol!

    • maui_ont
    • April 7, 2013

    I find pineapple makes my worm composter smell better than pleasent. I know oranges also can be a no no- but it gives a citrus twist to a great earthy smell!

    • oneman
    • April 10, 2013

    Its true! and goes beyond everything we have been taught. they love onions/peppers/garlic/chillies and citrus peel, it all seams to be no problem for them. They never know when to stop, it still amazes me!

    • Bentley
    • April 11, 2013

    Thanks for all the feedback. Should have an update today.
    Someone actually just posted a comment on the older pineapple post (linked above) saying pineapple wiped out her worm population. I could see maybe if a LOT of it was added and the worms were forced to be in contact with it – but if added in moderation I’m doubtful that would be the culprit (or at least not the only one).

  4. Hello Friends – how do I keep my worm farm from smelling rotten?

    • oneman
    • May 10, 2013

    Hello Luke.

    Not sure what system you are using. It sounds like you system is too wet and does not have enough air flow. Too much rotting food will cause the smell so add more carbon rich material ( shredded cardboard or paper ) this will help. Refrain from adding any more food untill the smell has gone.

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