Making a Worm Farm

15 Sep

Hello lovelies, hello wellington boots!

So as you probably know by now I am on a major quest to save the world from imploding on itself. The best way I know how to contribute to this goal is by reducing my and my family’s carbon footprint. I am confident that as we become more aware about our continuing impact on the earth we will begin and continue to change our ways. One person at a time is a good way to go because the earth is inhabited by individuals. By each sharing our knowledge and by educating ourselves and our family we can all make a difference.

I’m not preaching green gospel to you, I’m just asking that you think about the things you do and the products you use and how they impact your environment and then if you find little (or huge gigantic, I’m good with huge change) ways to make changes then I promise you will feel good about that, and about yourself, and your environment will be a lovelier place to be.

I am lucky enough to have a worm farm. My own little recycling centre for food scraps and paper and cardboard. It is an amazing unit that allows me to reduce waste by turning it into by-products for my garden. The worm tea (don’t be drinking that now!) and the soil that comes from the hard work my worm family does by breaking down the waste I put in its farm, is heaven on my plants. My vegetables, fruits, and flowers and trees are super grateful for what they receive and show their appreciation with growing and providing foods and flowers for our family and for my garden family – like our bees and butterflies (who in turn also give back to my garden through pollinating and also teaching my children about life cycles – super interesting and educational).

This, I see, as a win-win situation. So many benefits; so many benefiting!

Last year I coveted a worm farm. Because I do accumulate food scraps and although I do use a compost bin I wanted to go that little bit further with my recycling!

My Christmas fairy and goblin – aka Mum and Dad – delivered a lovely surprise worm farm kit! I was well excited and couldn’t wait to set it up. They had arranged for me to get a handful of worms from someone and I’d be up and recycling!

 

I have enjoyed my worm farm, and watching how they have multiplied, regulated, and are recycling our scraps and paper I give them! It is such an easy, fuss-free way to recycle materials which then become reusable in the garden! Mine is a good size, and certainly perfect for our size family, and yet takes little room so it could fit easily on a balcony or patio. It offers minimal insect invitations so flies are an not issue to be concerned with if positioning in close proximity to the house.

So, since my happy introduction to the process, I have been trying to convince my Mum to create one because a) she has the space, b) she lives on a farm, and c) she gardens incessantly, thus it is almost a must! She kept saying yes but never found the time. I kept reminding her she had a beautiful big EMPTY BATH THAT WOULD BE PERFECT!!!

It never happened! 

Well, I love my parents and always appreciate everything they do for us! Thus, a while back my parents were away and I took the kiddies for a night at the farm. I devised a plan to create one, which I knew my Mother would feel very grateful for! 

I had a fair idea of how to put it together but I wasn’t quite sure of how I was going to put it on a frame. 

The good thing about worm farms is that you can make it using recycled materials. The one I created was made entirely from recycled materials, even the worms!! It isn’t the prettiest feature in the garden but it will do an amazing job and fits into my Mother’s farm garden perfectly! 

You can custom make a frame or buy a kitset one, but I found the concept of building a recycling system from wholly recycled materials extra satisfying! Not to mention the benefits I received of fresh air and exercise. Freshens the soul does that!

I know a lot of people keen on the idea so I thought I’dl show you how it came together below.

After finding the perfect location I estimated the height and width and started to find the materials I thought I might need. Firstly I built up the frame using blocks at each long end. I then crossed wood beams of two lengths across the ends and then along the length. 

Next I placed makeshift wood slats along the base inside the bath. This would keep the worm farm materials up and allow drainage for the worm tea.

On top of this layer I placed some chicken wire and other netting to prevent everything from falling between and under the slats. 

The next layer was weed matting – not too fine as it needs to allow worm tea to drain through. On to this I placed a layer of hay. This formed the base of the farming ‘area’ to which I added the main compost layer.

 

 

After there was sufficient compost I added a layer of shredded newspaper which I then dampened with a few litres of water. Then I added a thick layer of more compost. 

I then added food and paper scraps and a 4 litre container of compost and worms from my own worm farm. I carefully covered them with food scraps and some compost and a thin layer of hay.

 

 Finally, I covered them with a thick old bbq cover (until I can source some old carpet to fit over them), and the Pièce de résistance the corrugated iron top to keep it dark and protect the worm farm from rain.

 The bath plug hole can be tapped, but for now I have simply placed a container underneath to collect the worm tea.

 

Located right beside my Mother’s plant nursery, greenhouse, and vegetable garden, this is the perfect addition to creating a natural recycling system for your garden. What better way to use your food and paper scraps and to encourage your homegrown produce and flowers to be more bountiful!

 

Worm farms can be fed newspapers, usually about 1/3 to 2/3 food scraps. My small one can accept about 7+ litres of scraps per week. And about 1 litre of water to keep everything moist. My Mother’s will hold infinitely a lot more!

Scraps to avoid feeding the worm farm are shiny newspaper, onion skins, citrus fruits, meat and dairy. The farm loves egg shells, vegetable and non-citrus fruit scraps, newspapers, tissues, kitchen papertowels, cardboard, corrugated cardboard, egg cartons, well the list does go on really.

Then comes the extra awesome of being able to collect the worm tea. You can dilute this 1 part worm tea to 5-10 parts water. Your garden will absolutely love you for it, I promise. My garden thoroughly flourishes something extra amazing with this ‘tea’.

When sufficient compost has been created, you can entice the worms to the top with pumpkin slices sitting on the top of the compost. Although I find sifting it by hand is quick and simple enough. The compost is so fine and soft and full of amazing goodness. About 10 litres of compost to 2 square metres of garden is a good ratio.

Happy worm farming my lovelies, I highly recommend it as a wonderful, simple, yet very effective recycling system to add to your own recycling system!

What are some of your favourite recycling methods? There is nothing nicer than feeling like you are benefiting your life and environment through simple and highly effective methods.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

www.positivityblog.com/

Just another WordPress.com site

cozy sanctuary

comfy and homely nest

movita beaucoup

full of crap

Mrs Lil's Homemade

irreplaceably me

%d bloggers like this: