Saturday, May 17, 2008

Worm update!

Remember back when I was still pregnant last summer and completing some projects I'd always wanted to do. My worm bin was one of them and I wanted to share my results. My hubby is giving me the hardest time because I'm happy that these worms made dirt but I am! I wish I had three times as much compost as I do but now I think I've got twice as many worms than I started with so they should be able to eat way more of our food scraps faster now.

Seriously the bin started out feather light just with a pound of worms and dampened shredded newspaper. By winter it was quite heavy and when I took it outside to "harvest" the compost a couple weeks ago it was almost too heavy for me to carry by myself - partly because it was a bit too damp and I probably should have done it way sooner than I did. But all seems to be going well and the worms seem happy enough! I'm happy to have to buy one less bag of compost for my planters and garden so it seems to be a win win situation.

Since nothing around here is complete without pictures here are a couple to show you how we separated the worms from the compost. It's been a preschool boys dream science class around here lately! Wroms, digging, planting, watering, it's great to have a little helper.

First we separated the contents of my bin into piles out on an old shower curtain (since I had one that just ripped through one too many ring holes.) you can use anything - even just the driveway. The worms don't like the sun so the scurry down in the piles. Every so often (20 minutes or whenever we'd remember) we'd remove the top layer of compost until we exposed more worms. Then we'd wait for them to move further in again.

Pretty soon we were left with a bunch of compost and a ball of wriggling worms. We weren't too concerned with letting a few worms stay in the compost that we used for pots and to amend the soil. The mass majority though will be going back into the bin to do it all over again. You can see ground egg shell pieces as well as squash seeds, small pieced of newspaper and other scraps that didn't get fully composted and none of it bothered me as it will all continue to decompose and or give me some random volunteer plants neither of which I mind very much.


New Mama's Nest said...

I love it! Xavier would be HORRIFIED, but this is really amazing! I can't wait to have a home someday where we can compost and garden at will!

Chris said...

That is SO cool!

Stephanie said...

Wow that is a lot of worms! The soil looks great!