I Love My Worms

I have been vermicomposting for several years now.  That is a process where red wiggler worms eat ground up food waste and excrete castings that become an incredibly rich fertilizer for the garden.

I have a Worm Factory that is meant to be kept indoors.  I keep mine in my kitchen except during late spring and summer.  During those months, I put the Worm Factory outside, on my back deck.

Last week, I made a snack for myself-  raw food balls created from dates, almonds, peanut butter and dried cranberries.  Once the balls were formed, I rolled them in coconut flakes.  I wondered if my worms would eat the extra coconut, so I put some in the bin.  They loved it!  The next day, I gave them the rest of the coconut, and then put some leaves and unusable squash from the garden into my food processor.  Once those items were processed, I added them to the worm bin as well.  I had happy worms!

I have been trying to take a good video so you can see what the bin and the worms are like.  My efforts were hampered by the fact that when I uncover the bin the worms are moving quite fast, but when the bin floods with light they either freeze or burrow further down into the bin.  Finally, I figured out how to do it.  Enjoy!  (Hint: You will see the most worms towards the end of the video.)

 

As my post title says, I love my worms….. and my garden loves the vermicompost!

 

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15 thoughts on “I Love My Worms

  1. I imagine this to be a very rich process that supports you in being connected to the cycle of life and the earth. Like giving energy and food back to the earth. It sounds like this might be very empowering and tender at the same time.

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    1. Yes. At the moment there are three bins in various stages. It takes about three months for the compost to be ready for the garden.

      BTW I put up a better worm video a few minutes ago, but hope to get an even better one this afternoon. I’m learning about how to video as I do this post so I have some new ideas based on this one.

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  2. I am amazed at how many there are! And they look very long… like 8, 10 inches? So what happens to the worms when you take this rich fertilizer and add it to your plants. Do they relocate? How do you separate the worms from the end product or don’t you?

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    1. They aren’t nearly that long. If they look that long it is just because it was a close up video. They have grown a lot this summer though. The biggest is probably 3 inches. Most are considerably smaller.

      The system has 3 or 4 trays. In the first tray I put food and bedding of coconut husk, leaves, paper, etc. and then add the worms. I then keep adding layers of food and bedding. When the tray gets half full or so, I add another one. The worms continue to process the bottom tray some but the food is only added to the top one so most of the worms stay up there.

      I keep doing that until there is three or four bins. By the time there are that many trays, the bottom one is probably almost all compost. So I take that one out from the bottom and put it on top…… and leave it exposed to light. The worms don’t like the light so will burrow down. Once a lot of the worms are out of the top bin, I separate all the remaining worms from the compost, by hand. The compost goes into the garden and the worms go back into the bin. (I hope my explanation makes sense!)

      I work with vermicomposting when I am at the Amritapuri ashram. Since weu will be there at the same time do you want to work with me some? That would be fun!

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      1. I just looked at some of them. There are 4 inch ones in the bin and if they were stretched out fully they’d be even bigger than that! They are quite thin, so quite different than earthworms.

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