Friday, March 8, 2013

Got Worms?

OK~~~here's the dirt on me~~~I have got WORMS~~~hundreds~~~since 1998!!!

If worms make you squeamish you may not want to look.  But if you want in on a great secret...continue.  Keeping composting worms is easy and fun.  The worms I have today are the descendants of the Red Wigglers I bought through the mail from a Mother Earth News ad back in 1998!  (I didn't have the internet - if you can call it that - in '98)  The internet may have changed but my worm composting techniques are pretty much the same.

I started with a homemade plastic box and used that for a bit over a year.  When I knew worm composting was for me I invested in this nice worm hotel called the "Can o Worms" (see the amazon link to your right)  It has made keeping worms a breeze.

I know it looks a little dirty...but really...that is the point!  Worm Castings is what the "dirt" is called.  It is the most fabulous stuff!  This will be a little meet and greet worm blog.  Next time I do my worm maintenance I will go into more details about their care. 

This is the top level of the Can O Worms.  Where you add your kitchen waste.  Not everything is worm worthy.  You need to avoid heavy compost like citrus rinds, onion peels, and egg shells.  The rules of outside compost apply as meat or dairy.  NEVER give them raw potato peels.  I did once and I had a sprouty mess I had to pick out of the compost.  Once I tried human hair after a bunch of family hair cuts...not good!  Mostly I give them all the soft compostables and our coffee ground in unbleached paper filters.  Somethings like bread is best to break up a bit.  Banana peels are fine if you chop them a bit.  Kiwi peels are a real treat for worms...don't ask me how I know...I just do...we have been together a long time!  I call them my wormies.  They are kept year round in our cellar way.  If all is in balance there is no smell.  If the worm culture gets stinky or little flies appear just add a layer of peat or coir and all will be well again.  WARNING: worm photo close ups!

This is level 2.  This is what you want nice worm castings! I will show you the harvesting technique in another blog.  I learned by following the directions that came with the Can O Worms.

To make my potting soil I mix 4 +++ parts peat moss to one part worm castings and some perlite to loosen things up a bit more.  With a small spade I stir it all up in plastic fish box that I get at Hamilton Marine.  These boxes are great for storing potatoes and other root crops.  The are sturdy, easy to clean, and stack 2 ways.

So that is it folks...all the dirt you will ever get on me!  If you have any questions feel free to ask.  Local folks I am happy to supply you with a cup of worms to get you started.  I have supplied many folks over the year with worms.  This is a good thing!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Deborah, Love our wormies! I love the liquid that comes out the bottom. I have been using a tiny bit added to weekly watering of house plants this past winter and what a difference! So much greener and some flowers even. There has been one problem for me. I killed my worms! I accidentally left the bin outside overnight and they froze
    :( so very sad. I'd love to trade you something (maple syrup?) for some worms. Also, how do you avoid fruit flies? Thanks for another great post.