Worm farm compost

by Liz Beavis

Worm farm kits from Biome

I've been "worm farming" since a friend gave me a small handful of worms from his farm and I set up a worm farm purchased from Aldi.  The worm farm has two trays and a vessel underneath with a tap to catch all the worm juice.  I started with the bottom tray empty and the worms were in the top tray with vege scraps, covered with their blanket and the lid.  At first I didn't need to feed them much, just the occasional lettuce leaf, but they multiplied very quickly, and were soon ready to eat all our vege scraps.  Finally I filled the top tray and swapped the trays, so I had the empty tray at the top again.  When the top tray was full again, I needed to empty the compost from the bottom tray.  

The compost was beautiful, but full of worms.  There are lots of methods for separating the worms from the compost, most seem to involve shade cloth or a trampoline.  I just scooped out the compost and picked out the worms from each scoop, and put the worms into one container and the compost in another.  Towards the end there were just too many worms, so I left some compost for later.  I also picked out all the mango stones, corn cobs and chunks that hadn't composted yet.  And I crunched up all the eggshells.

the top tray (vege scraps and worms)

Compost in the bottom tray

The compost can be spread on your garden, but I wanted to use it for seed-raising instead.  It was a bit wet, so I let it dry out a little first.

The compost ready to use after I picked out the worms

When I first got the worm farm, I wasn't sure how it would fit into my compost system, but now I have plenty of worms, its working really well.  Here's how I use all our vege scraps and green waste:
  • vege scraps from the kitchen go to the worm farm
  • excess green leafy veges from the garden go to the chickens
  • weeds from the garden go into the compost
This way there is plenty to go around for everyone and I get lots of compost from the normal compost and from the worms.  Its better putting the vege scraps in the worm farm than the compost as I used to find they went a bit smelly and it was hard to get the carbon/nitrogen ratio right.  Fortunately the worms don't worry about these technical details!
There are lots of ways to make worm farms, both small and large, I hope we will make a large one eventually and I can feed the worms to the chickens and the aquaponic fish.
Do you have a worm farm?  How do you get the worms out of the compost?  

Worm farm kits are available from Biome, click on the banner below:

Worm farm kits from Biome

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