Compost list after crab dinner

rickd59December 6, 2009

It's Dungeness crab season here on the west coast and I'm going to try adding crab shells to my worm bin this year even though it's not conventional worm food. They should compost sort of like egg shells, right? I'll bury them deep and we'll see how stinky it gets.

In the past we've stored them in the freezer until garbage pickup day.

Here's a list of everything that went into the bin after dinner last night:

crab shells

garlic skins and trimmings

trimmings from one bunch of fresh spinach

radish greens

beet greens and trimmings

avocado skin and pit

bell pepper core

tomato core

celery trimmings

wine bottle cork

two slices of stale bread

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I've fed my worms on large prawn shells in the past, no problems. And rotting smoked fish, and rotten eggs!!
I reckon as long as you have enough worms to eat things fast, and you cover the potentially offensive material with some finished Vermicompost to absorb smells (and provide extra micro-organisms, you should be okay.
Also the more varied your feed, the better you VC out the other end. (richer in micronutrients)
But wine corks- I've fished them out whole after a year!!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 7:19PM
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I have fed shrimp shells and garlic to my worms from time to time and never found any recognizable bits when I harvested. I am also unsure if the wine cork will break down in a timely manner. Please let us know what the outcome is when you harvest.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 9:36PM
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Aren't wine corks treated so that they don't decompose? Otherwise you'd have a dry bottle wouldn't you?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 12:14AM
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Come to think of it, I've recently discarded shrimp shells into the garbage. I'll have to try to remember to put those into the worm bin too.

I suspect the wine corks will take as long as a chunk of wood to break down. I'm not aware that they're treated. I'll either keep sifting them out of the castings and back into the active composting box, or simply bury them in the garden with the castings.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 3:33PM
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Crab shells are like gold in the compost world

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 5:19PM
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I've used crab shells buried in the compost and found that after about 2 weeks most were quite soft and hand breakable. The crab smell was pretty much gone after about a week or so. I read somewhere about adding chitin (crab shells are a source of this) to compost to encourage the bacteria that feed on chitin to multiply. As their food source is depleted they feed on other chitin in the form of nematodes in the soil that attack plant roots. I don't eat crab that regularly but any that I do have is getting busted into small bits and put in my worm bins from now on.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 3:02PM
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