Even if you are not confident with compost you will find worm farming to be amazingly easy. I was scared at first that I would kill my worms, as there seemed to be so many rules about how to look after them, but after two years I’ve realised that as long as you keep your worms in the shade and feed them occasionally, they will be just fine. They will continue to produce compost and worm wee for your garden (and worms for your chickens), even if you forget them for a few weeks. I started with a tiny handful of worms, and they have gradually multiplied to the point where I think I have enough to start another worm farm.
All you need to start a worm farm is a container to keep them in (either a commercial worm farm or one of the many DYI options on the web), some worms and some scraps to get them started. If you buy a commercial worm farm it usually comes with some coconut coir that you soak in water, this is somewhere cool and moist for your worms to hide until they’ve built up some compost for you. You can use wood shavings or newspaper instead, just something that’s not going to go mouldy. My first worm farm was $50 from Aldi, and this latest one was offered by a friend who had tried worm farming and given up, so it is a commercial one, but didn’t come with all the accessories (or even a tap and legs!).
My worms eat everything that goes into our compost bucket, including onions and citrus (in small amounts, if I juice a whole bag of lemons I put the skins in the compost instead). They also eat weeds from the garden. When you only have a few worms to start with, just give them a handful of scraps and see how they go, you don’t want it to go mouldy and stinky before they finish eating it. As your worms multiply you will be able to gradually feed them more. Mine currently eat the entire contents of our 4 L compost bucket once a week.
|the top layer (that the worms are eating now)|
|the next layer (compost!)|
|worm "wee" (yeah, I know, its not wee, its leachate)|
|step 1: figure out which bit is which|
|step 2: wood shavings, food and worms|
|step 3: damp layer of newspapers|