A way to get to work with worms that’s a bit easier on your back.
With all the crazy weather of late, I decided to drop by the Gawler Community House, where I look after the garden that supplies the kitchen with fresh, seasonal vegetables for their community meals. Part of my job is to keep the worm farm running smoothly, so you can imagine how happy I was to see lots and lots of babies crawling all over the place exploring, eating and exploring while they were eating (it’s all the same to a baby worm – imagine the joy of living in your food!). The worm farm is an old fridge, laid on its back, with a drain hole added. The insulation in the fridge walls keeps conditions pretty constant, even in the extreme weather we’ve been having lately. In the last week, we’ve had several days approaching 40°C, then strong rain and wind and 14°C. The worms, however have been nonplussed and have carried on eating, exploring… What a life!
Our friend, Annie, who breeds composting worms gave me a great tip a while back. It’s one I’ve been following and it works a treat. The tip is to freeze the vegetable scraps that are going to be fed to your worms. Then thaw them before feeding them. Freezing causes the water in the cells of the scraps to expand, making them burst. This means, that they break down much faster in the worm farm and are accessible to the worms earlier. I took Annie’s suggestion a step further. I put the scraps in a (reused of course) plastic bag and bash the frozen chunks with a mallett before thawing them and adding them to the worm farm. That breaks them up good. Some folks put their scraps for their worms in a blender, but that takes energy. Out freezer is always on anyway and its not hard to find a little space to chill the scraps. I suppose that,
Worm towers are an excellent way to keep up the nutrient levels in our wicking beds. They require little maintenance beyond a regular top up. I was wondering if they needed a periodic clean out, so pulled up one and had a look. I was interested in what was happening at the bottom of the tower, below the surface of the wicking bed – the part I don’t see regularly. What I found was that the soil had been broken down into pretty much just sand and a little silt. There seemed to be little of the organic material that was present in the mix when I filled the beds. It was quite compacted too, not the worm tunnel ridden rich organic material that I expected. Maybe it was because it was Winter. The contents were a little different to what I’d found in he warmer weather (in this post). This material accounted for, roughly, the bottom 10cms of
AN easy way to get the help from worms in a very small space.