Worms have to eat too. As we discovered in Open Garden Thursday at Dirt to Dinner, it’s not hard to make a new lunch level for the worms to call home. First we removed the amazing compost the worms had finished with in the bottom layer of their home. (We saved that for our next project in the garden.) And we carefully placed all the worms that we could into the working bins of the worm house. It’s OK if some of the worms end up in the garden–they’ll survive–but we want to keep as many worms working in the bin as we can.
Then we took a collection of kitchen scraps that included several melons we had tried earlier in the day and other bits we knew the worms would enjoy.
And we chopped the large pieces into more manageable bits to make them easier for the worms to use.
Next we added some “browns” to the compost we had chopped. Worms need a good mix of food scraps and other “greens” and paper towels, napkins, egg cartons and other “browns” just like you would mix in a regular compost heap. Moisten the browns so they don’t drawn moisture out of the foods and cause the layer to be too dry for the worms to move around comfortably.
Next we lay the newly empty layer on the top of the vermiculture stack and empty the compost bucket into it. The worms will work their way up through the stack. As they finish the compost in the bottom layer they will move up into the next bin searching for new food and bedding and leaving behind beautiful fertile “castings.”
The worms need to have a mix in the layer of about three parts dampened brown material to one part food scraps or green material. We filled in the layer with torn strips of newspaper to give the worms plenty of new material to work with.
The whole layer needs to stay moist, so we finished it off with several sections of newspaper on top that we then sprayed with the hose to keep damp.
Voila! Our worms are ready to move into their new home and start making more fertilizer for the garden.
Thanks, worms! Enjoy your lunch!