Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Making a Worm Farm

To compliment our little veggie patch, I've been wanting to build a Worm Farm for some time. Worm Farms are great for eating your garden scraps and they produce amazing liquid fertiliser for the garden. Also what toddler doesn't like looking at and picking up worms?
GiGi and I made a 'Do-it-yourself' type worm farm out of a few polystyrene boxes from our local fruit man. I know polystyrene is terrible for the environment, but at least we've given it a second life.

Step 1: Gather materials
- Two polystyrene boxes
- shredded newspaper
- mulch/ straw
- hessian sack/ flyscreen/ shade cloth
- enthusiastic toddler
- hungry cat (optional)

Step 2:
Using a stick, punch holes along the top of one polystyrene box for ventilation and along the bottom of the box so the juicy worm juice can drain out.

Step 3:
Line the bottom of the box is hessian or fly screen so the the worm juice can get out but the worms stay in.


Step 4: put about 5cm of shredded newspaper over the top of the hessian. shredding the newspaper was GiGis favourite part of the whole process. 


Step 5: Add about 10cm of mulch. I used Straw bale mulch left over from mulching the veggie patch.


Step 6: Find a flat, shady spot and make a base for your worm farm. Apparently its important for the worms to be in the shade. I made a base out of a few old bricks I got from my brother (he's a builder and often has left-over materials). You could also make a base out of some rocks and a few planks of wood.


Step 7: Lightly water the mulch so that it is a little damp.

Step 8: Fill the box with soil. Luckily my parents have goats and horses so this is a lovely mix of horse and goat poo and dirt. Yum, Yum for the worms.

 Step 9: Cover the dirt with a few pieces of newspaper to maintain a constant temperature, put on the lid and put it on top of the other box on your stand. I put rocks on the top to stop the lid from blowing off or being removed by curious toddlers.

The worm wee should fall through the holes in the bottom of the top box and collect in the bottom box. More advanced worm-farm builders buy a tap from the hardware to put in the bottom box to easily access the worm-wee. However i considered it to be an unnecessary cost for us at the moment. I plan to just lift the top box off and tip the worm-wee from the bottom box into a bucket to be diluted and used in the garden. Perhaps over time this method will irritate me and I'll end up buying a tap but for now, this will do fine.
I'm yet to purchase some worms, I'm hoping to source them through my local Community Exchange, rather than buy them.