One Week Wormy Update: The worms seem to have settled in nicely and I think I can see a bit of vermiprogress in their bin. I have fed them twice so far, a mixture of a variety of food scraps including pumpkin (how seasonally appropriate), coffee grounds and some vegetable peelings. Egg shells were also added to provide the worms with a bit of grit (they’re like chickens in a way, they need to eat grit such as eggshells or dirt to help them digest food). I’ve misted them three times when the substrate seemed a bit dry. As far as changes in the bin, there seems to be a bit more “coffee grounds” than I added and, as that’s what vermicastings allegedly look like, I’m going to call that progress. The worms also look a bit happier, more filled out and active then when they first arrived due to the stresses of shipping. No additional escapees beyond the one intrepid adventurer of the first night have been noticed. The bin, so far, is surprisingly tidy… no leaks, no noticeable odors, even more low maintenance than I had initially expected.
Stay tuned for more updates!
For those of you who missed my initial posts on my instagram page zerowaste.homestead:
Curious about expanding my composting adventures beyond the backyard (and also considering that backyard composting becomes less efficient as temperatures drop, i.e. winter) I’ve decided to explore indoor composting. Specifically vermicomposting or composting with worms.
I placed an order at #unclejimswormfarm and a shipment of 2000 red wigglers arrived at our door in record time (last Friday). I’d already built a worm bin following the instructions in the book “Working with Worms” by Wendy Vincent.
Essentially the instructions require:
- Two 18 gallon plastic totes (1 for the worm bin itself and an extra lid to catch any mess at the bottom)
- Plastic canvas (craft section of Walmart)
- Glue (to attach the plastic canvas to the tote)
Step 1: Drill holes in the tote with a cordless drill. I drilled a scattering of small holes on the top lid of the bin (not pictured), about 9 holes on the long sides of the tote, and four on the shorter sides. An additional 5 or so holes went into the bottom of the tote.
Step 2: I enlarged the holes on the sides and bottom of the tote with snips that my helpful husband happened to leave lying about. Ideally, you want the holes to be approximately 1″ diameter to allow circulation in the bin.
Step 3: Glue pieces of plastic canvas on the inside of the tote to cover the holes in the bottom and sides to prevent escapees.
Step 4: Add bedding. I used shredded packing paper. Shredded newspaper, fallen leaves and coconut coir are other commonly used substrates.
Step 5: Moisten the bedding to approximately the wetness of a moistened sponge. It is important to maintain a semi-moist substrate as it helps the worms to breathe properly.
And voila! You’ve got a worm bin!
Further wormy posts will cover topics such as worm food, harvesting worm compost, making worm tea (a natural fertilizer) and the like. Keep an eye out for updates here or on my instagram page at zerowaste.homestead