Vermicomposting, or worm farming, is a great way to reduce the amount of organic kitchen waste that you dispose of. The castings, having passed through the worm’s body are an amazing source of nutrient rich fertiliser for the garden. Any nutrients and minerals going into your worm farm come out in a form that is more easily absorbed by plants. Worm castings also contain millions of beneficial bacteria and other organisms which are essential to soil and plant health.
Whilst handy to know, I can hear you asking, “What has this got to do with hobby?” In the last sixteen months since the birth of the Daughter, my wife has had a rapidly degenerating back and is now looking like going into surgery to fix it soon. The end result is that I have had a rapidly declining amount of time to do hobby!
Mister Ten is starting to show an interest in table top gaming in the form of the X-Wing Miniatures game but it is a bit fleeting. He’s ten, what more can I expect?!
With so little time for actual gaming and two kids to entertain, the only logical thing that I could think of was … WORM FARMING! I am a bit of a greenie at heart and worm farms are fascinating. Having accrued a fair few gift cards in the last couple of months, it was off to our local Bunnings for an impulse purchase or two.
We did a bit of research before leaving and came up with the shopping list:
- Worm Café worm farm – somewhere for the little darlings to call home.
- Worms – We ended up getting a box of 1000 worms and a box of 500 worms for the worm farm.
The total cost for the worm farm plus it’s denizens was $162.88. There are a heap of accessories also available. As we are just starting up the little cows and pigs and chickens seem a bit unnecessary. And how do worms drive tractors anyway?
The Worm Farm is a series of plastic boxes that fit inside one another. They are really easy to put together and the instructions provided were simple enough that we could all follow along. All we had to do was slide the plastic legs into the bottom tray and it was done. The bottom tray is where all the lovely worm juice gets captured. It has a plastic spigot on the bottom that releases any captured moisture from the worm farm. This can then be poured directly onto the garden as an excellent liquid fertilizer.
Another plastic try sits inside the base tray and this is the working box where the worms will live and play. Once the working box is full you just place another layer on top. From the working tray will come all of the lovely worm castings. The Daughter decided that she wanted to kick start the composting process.
What can I say? She over powered me.
The total time was less than thirty minutes to get the trays all assembled and placed in a shady spot around the side of the house. The worm farm should not be placed somewhere in full sunlight all day; morning sun is okay but the full strength of daylight should be avoided. Exposure to that much heat for a long period of time will dry out the worm farm and likely kill all the worms too.
Into the working tray we poured the bedding for the worms. This had to be soaked in water for about fifteen minutes to expand, it’s like saw dust and give the worms a comfortable place to live. After that, the worms go on top of the bedding. Before closing up the box it’s fun to dig around in the soil to see the worms and just check to make sure they’re in there. As a side note to doing this, babies will EAT worms if given the opportunity.Please-don’t-tell-her-mother!
There are only a couple of steps left, top up the worm farm with soil and add some food and a “blanket”. We broke down one of the worm’s boxes as a cover for them to be placed on top just before the lid. Before closing the worm farm up, we liberally doused the worm farm in water (and each other). Worms need a moist environment and soaking the cardboard help to keep it cool and wet in there.
The worm’s won’t seem to eat much food for the first weeks as they are settling into their new environment. We dumped the current stock of kitchen scraps on top of the soil and after just a couple of days of checking under the cardboard, could see that there were a few worms poking around and checking things out.
Now all we need for our new pet is a name. After much deliberation we chose “Jim”. For. All. The. Worms.
Remember, worms is for life, not just for Christmas.