Love in a time of worm composting

More than you knew you needed to know about getting started with worm composting at home

B. Lorraine Smith


Worm-composting is the ultimate portal to connectedness and renewal. In this article I’ll (mostly) stick to practical stuff to get you started. (All photos by me.)

A dear friend asked me if I have tips for getting a worm composter started. As I began to answer, I realized I have been meaning to write about this for years.

So, to all the worm compost-curious folks out there, this one’s for you. I will share three guiding principles and a nine-step process, learned over 25 years of worm composting.

Worm composting is very simple. The human’s job is to create the right conditions and get out of the way.

Warning: If this seems TLDR, at least search below for the word “disaster” and take notes. Worm composting is simple but it takes some learning. If you just want official expertise and products, here’s the ultimate source: Worm Farming Secrets.* (But maybe still search for “disaster” below.)

Honestly, I don’t understand why we’re all taught to brush our teeth and say “please” and “thank you” while worm composting remains shrouded in mystery. The benefits are collective, reducing pressure on waste collection systems. Individuals benefit, too — we get amazing soil out of the deal.

The benefits of worm composting are far beyond these practical outcomes. It is a portal to connectedness and renewal. But for now I’ll stick with the practical stuff.

Worms eating your food scraps in your home all year long! What could possible go wrong? A lot if you can’t be bothered.

Worm composting is a lot like life. If we let others take responsibility for our stuff — at a microscopic or macroscopic level — trouble comes home to roost. What’s great about worm composting (as in life) is that when we do pay attention and learn new things, the rewards can be lovely.

Life-affirming, dare I say.

One last thing before we get our hands dirty. This a little messy and unglamorous. It’s instagrammability is very low — although I have…



B. Lorraine Smith

Former sustainability consultant replacing ESG with reality-based insights about corporate purpose and impact.