Vermicomposting Cheese?

Continuing with my theme of “how many crazy things can I vermicompost?” (lol), I decided to toss in part of a “Cheese String” the other day. I wasn’t expecting much due to the fat and salt content of the cheese, but have ended up quite surprised by the results.

Not sure “vermicomposting” is the appropriate term – since the worms are not-surprisingly showing zero interest in the cheese – but springtails, mites and a small beetle variety have been going to town on it!


DAY 0




DAY 1



DAY 2



DAY 4



Below is a close-up of the underside of the cheese.


While I certainly don’t have plans to start adding lots of cheese to my systems (again, the salt and fat are a concern) – it’s pretty interesting to see what the critters do with this material!

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Comments

  1. OK, if you’re talking crazy. Another view.

    I focus on compost, with which the worms help… However.
    I have a big (gish) bin, 1m cubed. As I understand it,
    ‘your’ worms prefer the surface (my case under a layer of carpet)
    whereas ‘earth’ worms (is that the right name?)burrow and
    prefer to go deep…. Hence
    Is it possible to keep both happy, let the surface ones feed on
    my household scraps, and the earthworms keep munching
    the compost-to-be deeper down?
    If I buy earthworms… what are they called please?
    Fishing shop? My local supermarket don’t stock them
    A nearly serious question, having just dropped 2 cubic
    metres of compost on my garden!
    Dave

    • Kim from Milwaukee
    • April 26, 2013

    @Dave, check a bait shop, I believe you’d just ask for earthworms. Or if you’re cheap like me, just dig up a clod of dirt in the yard that has earthworms…or better yet, site your bin over soil and the earthworms will migrate up I’m thinking.

    A compost bin is a metropolis of creatures that break down anything that was once alive. I have voles living in mine now since they also love the veggies and corn-based kitty litter I use. It’s fascinating to see all the creatures, big and small, that help to keep our environment healthy and clean.

    • John W
    • April 27, 2013

    I wonder how many newbies will be dumping all of their cheese in their rubbermaid because this is the first blog they have ever read?!!
    haha I can hear all the worms screaming now! 🙂

    • Lynn
    • April 28, 2013

    This newbie is in New England, with limited space and an inside Worm Factory 360 in a corner in the kitchen, and I have no intention of adding cheese, primarily because I would rather eat it myself, thank you! What I would like to know though, (exposing my newbieness) is what the round brown things in the last pic are??? I’ve had mites, odd sprouts, mushrooms, but nothing that looks like that?

    • John W
    • April 28, 2013

    Some of those look like mites.
    If i recall there are 3 types of mites that tend to show up in worm bins.
    When you are ready to get a better worm bin I would recommend the Worm Inn. You can buy it from this web page if you want.
    I started off with the Worm Factory 360 myself…and the worm inn will make everything so much easier for you.

    • John W
    • April 28, 2013
    • Lynn
    • April 29, 2013

    Thanks for the link, John. I’ve only had the little white ones (that’s all I’ve seen, anyhow), and they were definitely due to too much moisture. Once I started turning the lid to make bigger openings, it dried up and the mites pretty much died out. I still see them now and then but not in any huge numbers.

    When I’m ready to get a “better” worm bin? I researched a lot of different bins, and settled on this one because I have the flexibility to control how many trays I use, so I control how much compost I have to use. I don’t have the room to store it during the winter in any kind of conditions that will keep it usable until spring, unless there’s more for me to learn, which absolutely would NOT surprise me! I find that the one never-ending thing about worms and composting with them is that there is always something new/different to read somewhere, LOL!

    • John W
    • April 29, 2013

    That is why I got the WF 360. but the same applies to the worm inn. You only have to compost what you have. The BEAUTY of worms is they self-regulate their population. If you have enough food for 80,000 worms they will make enough worms to eat it…If you are like me and my wife we only have enough scraps for a handfull of worms and that is all the worms that are in my worm inn. I still have my WF 360…I just don’t use it near as much now that I have my Worm Inn.
    The WF 360 probably is the BEST plastic bin though!

  2. Now that’s neat right there! I put in some sharp cheddar and wound up ditching that experiment. Amazing the oils in it when it starts breaking down. My worms stayed clear of the area. Different cheese has various amounts of oils. Sharp cheddar may not be all that good for us to eat either. But it does taste good! Lol!

    • Kim from Milwaukee
    • April 30, 2013

    Bentley, if it is true worms feed mostly on the decaying food particles wouldn’t they eat any mold that grows on the cheese? That’s the only cheese I would put into the bin, sliced off moldy bits. Maybe that would be another experiment idea….hmmmm?

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