Too much coffee (compost posting)

Note: the summary of the BACA meeting is at the main In Shaw site.
I stopped by the U Street Starbucks for coffee grounds for the compost. Normally, they are pretty good, but I did get the deer in the headlights look from the kid behind the counter. I mention the Grounds for Your Grounds program. Deer. Headlights. Then I have to wait for someone who has been there at least 4 months to catch this thrilling conversation and explain to their co-worker that I want the espresso pods in the little drawer and take my little plastic bag and dump them in. I go away happy and dump the coffee grounds in my compost bin out in the backyard.
The compost bin mind you is a 30 gallon garbage can with holes drilled in the top and bottom. Nothing fancy. I’m thinking of moving to stacked storage bins next year, so I can have phases of compost. The current bin works well, I just gotta sift out the undecomposed matter.
The compost worms have been doing a great job eating my garbage. I throw in shredded receipts, dryer lint, egg shells, salad and other veggies that have gone bad in the fridge, dead plants from the previous year, discarded parts of fruits and veggies, used tea bags and coffee grounds. The worms eat it and I get compost. Life seems to have been good for the worms as they have been having little baby worms. At first I thought the pale babies were maggots, but looking closer I noticed they were longer and skinnier than maggots.
When I went to dump the coffee in, I stirred up the compost, bringing some adult and a lot of baby worms to the surface and put the espresso in. They went crazy. The baby worms were in constant movement, dancing around like crazy, surrounded by coffee grounds. I got worried and wondered if their little baby worm bodies could not take the caffeine still in the grounds….. Oh well.
Also as a garden thing The Garden District is back open.

5 thoughts on “Too much coffee (compost posting)”

  1. Coffee grounds are highly acidic, and may have caused worm discomfort or agony. I’ll just call you Abu Ghirab from here on out. >; )

    I just got an idea for your back area…a big ceramic or cement planters, like the kind that are 1 1/2′ X 2′ X 3′ or 4′? They would hold lots of soil and compost, and hold enough so that they wouldn’t dry out on the backyard heat of summer.

    Okay, I have to remember to throw some lime in the mix to even it out.
    Cement planters ah no. I’m a puny weak girl with no upper body strength who likes lightweight plastic or anything I can lift. I’ll leave the cement to big handsome manly men like yourself.

  3. I’ve read several different sources that say brewing rids the grounds of most of the acid, so you weren’t caffeinating the worms with acid–instead you’re doing that to yourself.

    So don’t worry about the Abu Ghirab comparison. The little worms were just happy…I think…

  4. Those little white worms were probably ‘pot worms’ – a different type of worm – not actually baby compost worms. Baby compost worms look like little brown/red worms. Pot worms also indicate acidic conditions.

  5. I learned 20 years ago that I was suffering from caffeine addiction, so I haven't had a drink of coffee since then.

    Tea leaves are also good in compost, but always withing moderation.

    Similarly the experts say not to use citrus skins, because the oil in orange and lemon skins is a powerful insecticide.

    I say don't worry. Worms don't have teeth. So they wait until food rots so that it is soft enough for them to swallow. My worms love the citrus skins once they are all green with mildew.

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