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Worm farm compost

Worm farm kits from Biome

I've been "worm farming" since a friend gave me a small handful of worms from his farm and I set up a worm farm purchased from Aldi.  The worm farm has two trays and a vessel underneath with a tap to catch all the worm juice.  I started with the bottom tray empty and the worms were in the top tray with vege scraps, covered with their blanket and the lid.  At first I didn't need to feed them much, just the occasional lettuce leaf, but they multiplied very quickly, and were soon ready to eat all our vege scraps.  Finally I filled the top tray and swapped the trays, so I had the empty tray at the top again.  When the top tray was full again, I needed to empty the compost from the bottom tray.  

worms!
The compost was beautiful, but full of worms.  There are lots of methods for separating the worms from the compost, most seem to involve shade cloth or a trampoline.  I just scooped out the compost and picked out the worms from each scoop, and put the worms into one container and the compost in another.  Towards the end there were just too many worms, so I left some compost for later.  I also picked out all the mango stones, corn cobs and chunks that hadn't composted yet.  And I crunched up all the eggshells.

the top tray (vege scraps and worms)

Compost in the bottom tray

The compost can be spread on your garden, but I wanted to use it for seed-raising instead.  It was a bit wet, so I let it dry out a little first.

The compost ready to use after I picked out the worms

When I first got the worm farm, I wasn't sure how it would fit into my compost system, but now I have plenty of worms, its working really well.  Here's how I use all our vege scraps and green waste:
  • vege scraps from the kitchen go to the worm farm
  • excess green leafy veges from the garden go to the chickens
  • weeds from the garden go into the compost
This way there is plenty to go around for everyone and I get lots of compost from the normal compost and from the worms.  Its better putting the vege scraps in the worm farm than the compost as I used to find they went a bit smelly and it was hard to get the carbon/nitrogen ratio right.  Fortunately the worms don't worry about these technical details!

There are lots of ways to make worm farms, both small and large, I hope we will make a large one eventually and I can feed the worms to the chickens and the aquaponic fish.

Do you have a worm farm?  How do you get the worms out of the compost?  

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


Worm farm kits from Biome

Comments

  1. I must be a few weeks behind you as i thought i had missed out on the Aldi worm farms only to find one lone unwrapped one under a table about a month later. I grabbed it and we had lots of fun assembling it. I only bought 1200 worms and they appear to be quite slow at breaking down food. Do i have enough worms or just give it time.

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  2. Yes, I have a worm farm, but I leave it be.....I tried once to rotate the levels but got in such a mess, I just never did it again...my top tray is just full to the brim with lovely wormies...and I get a large bucket of worm wee from them every few weeks which I use on my vegies...and fruit trees...so, I guess I am not using the castings effectively, but I really dont mind as I use the worm wee more..............I usually put a large amount of vegie peelings etc and that does them for a couple of weeks , in the mean time the chookies get the scraps, and then I will do it all over again.....seems to work well............

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    Replies
    1. Do you need to dilute the worm wee? It's great to get the inside info before trying things!

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    2. Yes dilute the work wee to the point it looks like weak tea.

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  3. Oh I love our worm farm. It's magic. All of it. I knew nothing about worm farming a couple of years ago but I can't imagine being without one now. I think I might be in a position to start a second worm farm - just haven't got around to it yet! I really like the way I harvest my castings: I pile it up on the lid in a sort of mound then scrape away the first layer. As you know the worms quickly disappear, so as you scrape all you get is compost (and I might just have to pick out the odd worm and put it back into the worm farm). And I just keep scraping away until I have enough and until I can't scrape anymore because all the worms are in the last little bit. Does that make sense? Hope so. x

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  4. Another great post Liz! I always thought I couldn't spare the scraps for worms because I use them for the chooks but sounds like they don't eat much. And you're right I could use garden waste. Atm I put garden waste into a pile that I like to call compost although it's often failing to do so!

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  5. You have inspired me to try worms again. We did the whole thing when the kids were small but evenutally all the worms died due to a pest invasion - we found out later if you allow the conditions to get too acidic , this can lead to other invaders and also with the children being small they were always lifting the lid to see the worms and that's how the pests got in there.
    I am keen to try the poly pipe in the garden method as it gets so hot here I have to constantly move the worm farm into the shade , whereas this method allows the worms to escape into the garden.

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  6. Our work farm is in the shade and therefore they do no eat all of our kitchen scraps. I find they need to be in a warm but shady area for them to really chew through the food. I have always dried my egg shells in the oven then crushed them up for my worms they seem to get through them quickly this way and there is no chance of smell. Every so often I add some Lime to stop it becoming too acidic. Mine love a good feed of cooked rice or lentils. I am bout to harvest a whole tray of castings and boy am I excited.

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  7. well no I have not got open as yet but the more I read others who have and how great their are I must get one did not realise aldis were selling them what this space as they say

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  8. My worm farm is at the bottom of my compost pile in the chicken coop. Poor worms get eaten every so often. :) Thanks for sharing this on The Creative HomeAcre Hop!
    Hope to see you again today. :)
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/04/the-creative-homeacre13.html

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  9. Is there anything you cant put in the work farm? Is it like regular compost that doesnt like meat scraps and cheese?

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    Replies
    1. I feed mine pretty much anything, even onions and citrus (not usually recommended) in small amounts, if there is a scrap of meat or cheese I will chuck that in too (although that usually goes to the dogs). You just have to be sensible, but small amounts of different things, mixed in with lots of vege scraps and green weeds, is usually ok once the worm are well established.

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