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I'm a worm farmer!

Worm farm kits from Biome

When we first talked about getting an aquaponics kit one of my main concerns was how we would feed the fish.  I didn't want to be constantly buying fish food.  One of the options is to feed worms to the fish, so I've been planning to get a worm farm established.  We had planned to make one from an old wheelie bin, but that project has ended up low on the list since we got the new property.  Recently a friend at work told me that worm farms were on sale at Aldi, only $50, and I thought that might be a good way to get started.  Farmer Pete's dad has 3 worm farms, so I'm sure you can never have too many!  We will make the wheelie bin worm farm later, for now we have a small one to get us started.  

I only started with a handfull of worms
Before we decided to try aquaponics, I thought I didn't need a worm farm because with the compost and the chickens I didn't think I'd have anything to feed them, but my compost is full, so there should be plenty for the worms to eat.  Before getting the farm, I did quickly read a post on The Greening of Gavin on how to set up a worm farm and other wormy things, so I was prepared to what I found inside my kit.  Emma from Craving Fresh has also written about worm farms, so I'm not going to go on about how great they are.  I can't wait to have the worm tea for the garden, compost for the garden and eventually worms to feed the fish!  I will report back in a few weeks and let you know how the worms are going.

I've had the kit for a few weeks and I've been waiting for worms, but fortunately the same friend cleaned out his worm farm and was able to give me a handful of worms, so the other day we Farmer Pete and Cheryl built the worm farm, and we put the worms in their new home, with a little lettuce from the garden to get them started, and put the farm next to the compost bin.

the dogs check out the box

inside the box

soaking the coconut fibre worm bedding
The coconut fibre ready for the worms

Cheryl and Farmer Pete building the worm farm

The worms in their new home

And tucked up under their blanket

The worm farm in place - yes the grass needs a mow!

My compost is FULL so there will be plenty for the worms to eat!

Do you keep worms?  Any tips?

Worm farm updates

Worm farm kits are available from Biome, click on the banner below:


Worm farm kits from Biome

Comments

  1. I wonder if your fish would also eat grain meal of some kind along with what else you could put in. We used to feed oatmeal to the fish when I was little and they liked it though it seems strange to think about throwing it to fish now.

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  2. what a great idea - I have often wondered what you would feed the fish in an aquaponic arrangement.

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  3. Hi Liz, one tip if I may. The worms cannot handle the hot summer sun, and should not be left in the open in direct sunlight. I have mine against the southern wall of the house which keeps them from drying out or cooking in the hot sun.

    Gav x

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  4. Very cool! I've been looking into doing Black Soldier Fly larvae for my aquaponic fish-feeding, but hadn't even thought of just doing worms. I have some already in the growbeds, and want to get some in the dirt garden when we get going out there. But fish food... I can't believe it so totally slipped my mind to do that.

    Right now I'm using an organic fish pellet. And it's not cheap. And we suppliment with the overgrown greens. (Like that head of lettuce you ignore until it's a 2 foot tower? Toss the whole thing in there, and you can pull out the bare stalk the next day to put into the compost bin.)

    Okay, time to increase my worm population. Thanks for the push!

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  5. Hi all, good point Gavin, I actually moved the worm farm into the garden under the shade cloth, as it did get a bit hot where I put it next to the compost.

    Great to see Monday's Child's blog all about aquaponics, looking forward to learning more as we get it started for ourselves. I definitely need to get them breeding quicker if I was to use them for fish food, but I do have a larger worm farm planned....

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  6. I'd also assumed that my compost bin (and now the chickens) would take care of everything, but it really doesn't cope and also tends to go a bit mushy in winter here, so I've started to think about getting a worm farm too. I will be interested to follow how yours goes and try to work out if I can fit one into our tiny garden.

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  7. You'll love your new wormery Liz :) I've had mine a couple of years now and it comes in so handy for composting bits of things like cooked food, which most people would never put in the ordinary compost bin.

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  8. Exciting Liz. It's so cool when they start breeding and you get hundreds of them. They love apple, so one tip is to peel or grate a whole apple for them. They'll be in wormy heaven. Xx

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  9. I am so going to try worms this year! Come link up at our new DIY Linky at www.littlehouseinthesuburbs.com!

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  10. Hello,
    My dad (and the whole family) raised fishing worms for years when I was a teenager. He used cotton hulls mixed with processed manure. (Raw manure will burn them). My dad made 12X12ft beds after he had processed the cotton hulls. He also built a tin shed over the beds. He found that the worms would "crawl" (leave the bed) when it rained at night so he put a plastic bucket upside down, by his window so the rain noise could wake him. He installed electric lights hanging over the beds so he could turn them on when it rained. He didn't have to feed the worms. The decayed cotton hulls and a little manure was enough.
    To get started, Dad purchased a wash tub full of worms just like your handful, but 4 to 5 gallons of pure worms which he distributed over the beds. The only reason he stopped raising them....they developed a disease...Hope you do well. Dad also made "sorting" tables near the beds so we could just rake the dirt off back into the bed.
    Friends, Polly, Memphis, TN, USA

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