Tonawanda News


May 19, 2013

Worm composting an organic, fast way to produce fertilizer

Tonawanda News — Some people might get a little squeamish when they hear what Master Gardener Gale Klinshaw, of the Town of Lockport, likes to do for a hobby. 

It involves critters some might describe as squishy, wriggly and even slimy.

“I’m passionate about my worms,” Klinshaw said in a recent interview. 

In fact, it was the first thing she said when asked about worm composting.

Klinshaw keeps hundreds of red wiggler worms — it’s hard to put a definite number on it, she said — that break down food and even paper trash into fertilizer material for her garden. The little critters, kept in a worm farm — Klinshaw calls it a worm house — have lived inside her home for about four years.

“I asked my husband if he thought I’d be too crazy to keep worms in the house and he said, ‘As long as they don’t climb out,’ ” she said with a laugh.

Klinshaw, who keeps an outdoor vegetable garden, flowers and potted plants indoors, said she decided to start using worm composting about four years ago as part of her effort to try to garden more organically. She wanted a fertilizer she knew doesn’t have any harmful chemicals.

“I don’t put any chemicals whatsoever in my garden,” she said, adding that she’s also used traditional composting for years.

But that’s not all the worms are good for. 

John Farfaglia, educator with the Niagara Cornell Cooperative Extension, said in addition to keeping things organic in the garden, many people turn to worm composting as a recycling method.

“If someone was just interested in recycling, even if they’re not full time gardeners, I’m sure it’s a good way to eliminate that type of waste and doing it in a very natural way,” he said, adding that it could be a good alternative to traditional composting.

Text Only
  • SUN LIFE Volunteers honored 1 040614.jpg Women Who Move the City (and beyond)

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE POUND 1040614j jpg.jpg Rock n' roll fitness

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - crib notes RGB Enough of this winter -- it's time for spring

    Midway through separating the bits of dog food from the shredded paper towel pieces on the saturated bed sheet that had been strewn across the dining-room table, I finally realized I’d had enough.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Dear readers, it's me, Kenny

    I have bad knees. I have been told to blame my grandmother. I have also been told to blame her for my love of animals. Today, we celebrate the 100th Critter Companions column.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE mummies 1 033014.jpg 'Mummies of the World' exhibit arrives in Buffalo

    As visitors arrived for the recent NCAA basketball tournament games in Buffalo, a much older group of visitors arrived via motorcade at the Buffalo Museum of Science — but these newcomers to the Queen City wouldn’t be seeking out a place to have a beer between games or where to find the region’s best chicken wings.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - double trouble RGB Years later, still spending sunny days on Sesame Street

    I always knew we’d hit “the Elmo years.”

    Going into parenthood, it seemed like a given. Both my husband and I  were “Sesame Street” fans from childhood ourselves, and we were happy enough to pass it on to a new generation. And we knew, having friends with children of the applicable age, that in this day and age “Sesame Street” equalled Elmo, the squeaky-voiced “furry red menace” (thus dubbed by Oscar the Grouch) of parents everywhere.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Local Restaurant Week 2 033014.jpg Back for another bite

    As spring finally starts to unfold in Western New York, residents are likely eager to get out of their houses — and organizers of Local Restaurant Week hope they’ll consider eating out as they do that.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wineries invite visitors to take a Taste of the Trail

    If one weekend of food and wine pairings is a good thing, two weekends of food and wine pairings must be even better.

    For the first time, the Taste of the Trail event, which takes place Friday through April 6 and April 11 to 13 on the Niagara Wine Trail, will be split into two weekends, with half the trail’s wineries taking part the first weekend and half the second, said Elizabeth Maute, wine trail coordinator.

    March 31, 2014

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Rewards for playing nice

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE signs of spring 1 032314.jpg Region's favorite signs of spring gear up for season

    Ah, the signs of spring: The birdsong, the flowers, the green grass, the flowing waters of the Erie Canal or Niagara River ... and the words “Opening soon” on the marquee of your favorite seasonal business.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo