Monday, February 7, 2011

A worm farm that even your kids can make!

We've decided that with the main of our scraps now going to our animals, we will downsize and improve our compost bay and in the meantime use a worm farm. This meant we were in need of said worm farm.
So I decided to give you a photo tutorial on a worm farm that is cheap and so simple even a 3 year old could make it.

In fact I was so adamant to show how easy it is that MY 3 YEAR OLD DID MAKE IT!
The only part I helped with was showing her how to stab the first holes in the box, I shovelled and collected the compost from our bay for her to put in her worm farm and I collected the dirt full of worms from the raised garden bed she couldn't reach... oh, I also lifted the heavy box to it's final home after forgetting to move it BEFORE the compost was added.

Now I must inform you right here that we don't use worm farms to harvest worm casting juice like most people, but rather refresh and renew the worm farm during the year and use the contained compost FULL of worms and castings in our garden.
Hence why our worm farms have drainage holes instead of a draining tap. I like to move the farm around to different spots and plant a new plant in the last used spot that is now rich in wormy goodness.

First you'll need to collect the materials needed to make your worm farm....
  • The tub can be anything you like. A plastic storage container, perhaps a slatted wooden box lined to reduce spillage if you can afford one or find one to recycle or you can use a CFC free vege box (available from your local fruit n veg market or small supermarket for just $1 or $2)
  • A screwdriver, stick, pen or drill to put holes in the bottom of your farm.
  • Some straw or shredded newspaper
  • Soil or well rotted compost
  • A newspaper
  • A hessian bag and some rocks, or the containers lid if you wish to use it on your worm farm.
  • A watering can and water

Poke some holes in the bottom of your box, so that when you turn it up it looks something like this:
Add a layer of straw or shredded newspaper


Fill box with your soil or rotted compost


Hunt, dig up and add worms and some of their surrounding soil into your worm farm.

Give your worms and their new home a little shower

Cover with a thick layer of newspaper and moisten

Add your hessian and rocks (or lid)

You will find that if you feed the farm properly, worms will come out of the ground underneath and up into the farm vis the drainage holes. So starting with only a handful of worms is plenty fine.

Worms like cool moist conditions, so place your worm farm in a shady spot and ensure that the top layer of newspaper is always damp. Provide protection from excess rain so you don't drive your worms out with too much water.

Don't feed the worms too much. Place a small offering in at first and see how long it takes to be consumed, add a little more or less as you see fit.
Worms don't like to be given too much citrus, onions or coffee rinds. They do LOVE tea and coffee rinds, but too much of a good thing CAN be bad. You don't want to drive them out, so keep an eye on what goes in and have a little dig often to see how happy your worms are.

At first activity will be slow, but within a couple months your worm farm will be teaming with lots of juicy yummy worms.
You can even set up a second box exactly the same and just sit it on top of the first. Make sure the first box is full to the brim so the worms have a way to get to the new home through the drainage holes. Otherwise, just empty onto your veg patch and start again.

Get out there with the kids and give this fun activity a go... it only takes an hour of your time to spend enriching your kids awareness of life cycles, composting and the glorious work worms do for us.
Happy worming my friends.


3 comments:

  1. What fun! Thanks for the tutorial.

    xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. your so awesome EAM <3 Love your work!!!
    Haylz xxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi there! I run Whole Woman magazine, would you be interested in rewriting this blog post for our Winter edition?

    Email me at zine@whole-woman.com

    ReplyDelete