Zero Waste With Worms at Work!

Rosina demonstrating worm farming to guests at the World Environment Day launch

Rosina demonstrating worm farming to guests at the World Environment Day launch

Continuing the theme of Think Eat Save, one of our members, Rosina, gave a demonstration of how to set up a worm farm in your own backyard.

Mrs Chop Chop feeding the worms.
Mrs Chop Chop feeding the worms.

Using her “Mrs Chop Chop” technique she cut vege scraps into smaller portions to make them easier for the worms to digest.  Using cocopeat (or coir) as the bedding material, Rosina added lots of moist shredded paper, crushed egg shells and various other materials like kitchen scraps and old cow manure to the middle worm tray.  The new batch of worms can then be introduced to settle in for a couple of weeks before being fed again.  Worms can eat their body weight in scraps each day.  Therefore, if a thousand worms weigh around 250gms you can add around 250gms of kitchen scraps per day for them to consume.  Don’t over feed them and don’t forget to replace the lid and put your worm farm in a shady spot.

Worm bedding made up of cocopeat/coir and wet shredded paper

Worm bedding made up of cocopeat/coir and wet shredded paper

Worms were harvested out of one of the existing worm farms by up-ending the full worm box onto an old table.  As sunlight is harmful to worms, they will scuttle to the bottom of the pile and you can scrape of the top layer of worm castings for use in your garden beds.  After several scrapings, you are left with a mass of writhing worms that can be relocated into the new worm box or even into a worm tower.

Perhaps you would like a Worm Tower in your garden!

If you want to set up mini worm farms in-situ, you can remove the base of an old lidded bucket and drill holes around the bottom third.

Burying the bottomless bucket to one third of it's depth so that the worm holes are in the topsoil.
Burying the bottomless bucket to one third of it’s depth so that the worm holes are in the topsoil.

You then ‘plant’ the bottom third of the bucket in the middle of a garden bed by digging a round hole in the soil around 20cms deep and putting the bucket in place.  Place some old manure, garden lime and wet shredded paper in the base before putting the worms in.  Follow that up with some kitchen scraps, water well then replace the fitted lid to keep out vermin (rats love eating worms).  We decorated ours as a pine mushroom, which grows in our local area.

Note the finished spotted pine mushroom worm tower - and an interested audience of gardeners.
Note the finished spotted pine mushroom worm tower – and an interested audience of gardeners.

You can have great fun with kids setting up these worm towers around your garden.  The kids can have the responsibility of “feeding the worms” each day.