Green Living Image Gallery
Green Living Image Gallery

Worms consume up to 50 percent of their own body weight in food each day -- that translates into a lot of fertilizer. See more pictures of green living.

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Deep beneath the earth, they thrive -- pink, slimy and insatiably hungry. They're with us all the time, rooting through our gardens, digging through our lawns and consuming everything in their path. Aristotle called them the intestines of the ­world. The ancient Chinese called them angels of the soil. Angels or intestines, worms are a tiny but formidable force, eating their way through organic matter and leaving a trail of rich humus in their wake. Vermicomposting is the practice of using worms to turn your organic waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer.

Why use worms? Well, for one, because they're cool. Not only are they slimy and neat-looking, these amazing little organisms can eat up to half their body weight in food every day. Using worms instead of a compost pile ensures faster composting and a rich, dark fertilizer. Besides -- what's more fun than getting to say, "Worms eat my garbage?"

Do you want to find out what types of worms are typically used for vermicomposting? Do you know how many male worms you'll need? How many female? The real answer to this may surprise you. Find out where you can buy worms by the pound on the next page.