From This ………….
Dedicating this mini series to Patti Moore Wilson of Wednesday’s Child
Part 4 – 1 is going to look at specific compost types … notably Vermicomposting [Vermiculture], whilst Part 4 – 2 will look Bokashi, Organic Waste Management and alternative teas.
Yesterday we looked into a larger scale composting style, whilst today we are looking at smaller scaled down composting which might suit some people more as they are also a bit more specialised.
“I have worms and l am proud to say that!”
How to Vermicompost!
Or as l like to call it, vermiculture – however many call it simply composting with worms! Breaking down waste matter using various worm species such as red wrigglers, earthworms and so on to achieve the end product or products l should say. There is a worm tea and worm castings a form of very nutrient rich compost as well as a fantastic soil conditioner.
If garden compost is known as ‘black gold’, worm compost is known as the ‘super gold or platinum’ for it is a remarkably nutrient rich material that can be used for the garden. In addition to that there is also ‘worm tea’. The compost is also known as humus, manure, castings or simply worm feces.
In 2016, Mr Excited here asked Suze for a wormery for Christmas yes folks you heard right, l wanted Suze to give me worms as a loving present. However within three short months, l wished l had never even heard of wormeries! But that is only because mine escaped because the temperature was too cool for them, and l had mine in an outdoor greenhouse. In the end l put all my wormery worms into my compost heap as it was way warmer for them, and the worms l have today in that heap are the descendants and offsprings and the hybrids from my Christmas present!
Personally, l think wormeries are for;
1] very laid back and patient gardeners
2] non-stressful gardeners
3] gardener’s with a garage.
Now l do understand quite well, that worm farming has become very, very popular, no longer is a worm farmer someone who only supplies worms to anglers, no! Now a worm farmer is someone who breeds worms for their ability to turn waste into really good shit! As a practice it can be performed and managed on both a domestic as well as an industrial level. You don’t need to have loads of space.
For a small scale system your worms will be really adept at polishing off quite a bit of waste, you might be surprised what a few worms can polish off daily when you begin, and by the time they are established and breeding the figures of consumption are astonishing!
All fruits and vegetables [But keep peppers clear and citrus fruits]
Vegetable and fruit peels and ends [Banana’s and some orange peel]
Coffee grounds, Tea leaves and degradable tea bags.
Stale and even moldy crackers, bread, and some cereals.
Crushed cleaned eggshells
Shredded newspaper and torn up kitchen towels [No chemical laden paper though]
Some green waste can be added like leaves and small amounts of lawn mowings.
Worm farming is quite a nifty way of producing a rich compost in a small space with which can be increased to accomodate expansions and more worms. Your worms will breed, they will eat more waste, produce more compost and tea as well as ‘hatchlings’ so you could also turn a profit from worm farming as well as do your bit for the planet with eco farming.
If you are quite practical you could probably make your own worm farm.
I made myself one before l got the official kit ….
This was the finished product. Made by using several tuubs l had and aapart from bottom tub, they all had holes drilled in so the worms could pass through the floors to the next tub along.
I bought myself a wormery kit which included red worms.
Using the expanding bedding.
The bedding made up, shredded paper, food and the worms, you can also see the holes needed at the side of the tubs.
A top sheet to supposedly keep them in the tub below …. erm , mm
The arrival of stress part 1 for both the farmer and the residents! I started off in the greenhouse which was too cold, then moved them to the outdoor shed which was still too cold for them, and so they started to escape to warm up.
This is a relationship that was NOT going to work, so a new format was required and so just prior to Christmas l received my official wormery!
The Bees Knees — what could go wrong with a professional set up??
Setting up, bedding, worms and food, ready for part 2 of worm farming …
Back into the greenhouse in their official home! Placed onto a board to help insulate.
With a nice box sleeve to keep them warmer.
With a hat and scarf!
Dang it!! These worms are never happy!!!
So into the shed they went so another plan could be drawn up! However, they weren’t happy, l could not get them warmer in either the shed or the green house, they kept on escaping and my stress kept on getting higher and higher. Suze said they could ONLY come into the house [conservatory] if they were secure!
So l had a special box made for them to live inside in the wormery! That had a lid, had ventilation – a deluxe model!
Bought more worms!! Due to the escapees!!
Despite everything, new box, more worms, ‘warmer environment’ and security – the worms were still not happy and kept on trying to escape. We could NOT hit the right temperature. So as l was stressed and unhappy at them being stressed and unhappy – the safest place for them could only be the compost heap! With a solid vow to NEVER start worm farming again!
Now l did learn lots from my errors – worms like to be warm, and had l started the process not in December but in June, they would have acclimatised to the autumn winter months. Failing a summer start, l should have heated them up!
So worm farming is actually seriously easy! But like everything there is more to it! But is an ideal small space composting method that could be quite useful. The other thing is by running two seperate wormeries so one apart from your kitchen waste one is running one for dog poop! However l will discuss the waste management of those other organic issues tomorrow in 4.2.
The links below are terrifically informative with regards worm farming. So do make sure to check them out.
In Part 4 – 2 we will look at Bokashi, Organic Waste Management and alternative teas.
……………… To This!
Tomorrow Part 4 – 2