30 January 2011

Worm houses

Last night I read about a farming family and one of the many things they do to promote soil health is vermicomposting. I've considered getting worms many times before but kept putting it off until my littlest rascal is older. Today though, something clicked and I ordered my worms and we constructed our worm houses. As is often the case, it turned out to be a family affair.

Savannah learned how to use an electric drill with the impressive 1/2" drill bit. We drilled holes on the bottoms of two 12 gallon containers for aeration and drainage of any excess water. Excess water will be caught in a second container below, that is intact.

Ever wonder what happens to all those manuscripts I write and work on? If they are lucky enough to get printed, they end up shredded and in the spring get added to my compost pile. Kind of neat that my work feeds my garden too.

The paper will act as bedding for the red wigglers, a tiny but voracious worm, that will occupy their new digs when they arrive on Tuesday. The paper is kept moist for them and a bit of organic soil and food scraps are added daily.

My help gets a little exuberant with the worm bedding! At least there's an indoor gardening project we can do in the dead of winter that's fun.

I think William is pretty proud of his indoor farming project!

Here's one of the double set of bins (we made two sets of worm houses); the whole bin sits on the bottom, the bin with the 1/2" holes drilled into the bottom sits on top of it. There are also holes at the top for air circulation right beneath the lid. Eventually, we will place a third bin with holes drilled in it over this one for two weeks when it's time to use the worm castings. The worms crawl up through the holes in the bottom of the floor to the new food available in the top bin. Our worm houses were constructed with information from this website and our 2,000 red wiggler worms were ordered on sale here, a Pennsylvania company.

We made two sets of wiggler homes, and plan to house about a thousand in each. The first vericomposter is affectionately named the "Vermestate" and the second is the "Wormcome Inn". We're not the only ones who named their worm houses, right? Bring on the castings! I can't wait to use them in the garden.

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