Worm farming – 6 months in

For Xmas last year I asked for a worm farm and some worms. I’ve had all the bits about 6 months now and surprisingly the worms are not only NOT dead, they are happily multiplying.

So between the dog (who eats all the meat left overs) and the worms there’s not a lot of food scraps going into the bin.

So what did I buy, what do they eat etc?

composting_0001

After thinking about making my own, I decided on the “Can-O-Worms” kit from Reln. It was about $70 but you can get a 50% rebate in QLD from NRW under the water saver scheme see here.

Next I bought some worms. You can buy them in a box at the hardware store e.g. Bunnings , Mitre 10 etc. or there are commercial worm farms that you can buy from online and they’ll post them to you.  To start your farm you need at least 1000 worms which is generally around the $50 mark.

I think the farm is pretty cool.  It has a few nifty features:

  • It’s got a tap to drain excess water when it rains and when you “water your worms” so they don’t drown.
  • Has 3 working trays so your farm can grow with your worms and allows you to grab the casting from the bottom tray and then add it to the top to keep a continuous cycle
  • Fly and vermin proof. Which is really important! Nothing worse than getting maggots in your worm farm.

Problems I had:

  1. It seems that the worms I bought contained soldier fly larvae which look a lot like maggots, except they are brown. They don’t hurt the worms but do compete for food. So for the first few months I had to pick them out and put them in the bin.  I think I’ve gotten most of them now…Whew!
  2. Hills and crows. I originally had the farm at the top of my hilly backyard. We had a mob of crows that knocked over the farm and sent it down the hill.  The crows were after the food.  I thought they might have also been after the juicy worms but they seem to have survived…YAY! Now the farm is at the bottom of the hill where it’ll be much harder to knock over.

What I feed them:

  1. All food scraps EXCLUDING onion, garlic and citrus. Apparently they don’t like these..so this is the only scraps that go into the bin now.
  2. Other ex-living things such as dust from vacuum cleaner and and hair from my hair brush
  3. Paper – have started shredding all the mail I don’t want to keep with our address/name on it and putting in the worm farm.  They like hiding in it and will also eat it.
  4. Hessian bags/cardboard – Have a nice think layer of hessian bags or cardboard on the top to keep out light so they come to the top to eat.
  5. Water – every week I put 2 litres of water through the farm to keep their environment nice and moist.

So after 6 months I’ve moved up to the final working tray, which I’m pretty happy about!

 

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