Feeding the wormery

Mike Holden

A ‘Baltic’ February Sunday in the EcoVillage, Cloughjordan and I’m off on my bike with a trailer full of kitchen scraps to feed the worms.

Even with the best will in the world and the best storage systems (and I have neither of these), this is the time of year when some of our stored harvest inevitably has to return to meet its maker. In this case quite literally! Gone-off pumpkins and apples are heading into my bath-tub wormery, the contents of which would have fed the plants and trees from whence they came.

This is the wormery made out of an old bath tub (I’ll give more details of how I made it in a separate blog post someday)  The worms like to work ‘underground’ and so the cardboard keeps out the light and possibly keeps in some heat. I’ve no idea why some of them prefer to gather around the edges?

But pulling back the cardboard reveals that the majority of the team are busy chowing down my nitrogen rich food waste and the carbon rich leaves. Burying the food waste within the leaves reduces smells and problems with flies.

I like to pre-chop the food waste before adding to the wormery. This speeds up the rotting process and gives the worms more surface area to work on. I find a coal shovel is ideal for this. Using a file to keep the shovel edge nice and sharp makes this job easier.

I buried the last load of food waste at the far end. So this time I’ve scooped out a trench next to the last one. Handy hint; I always do the scooping with a pair of heavy duty rubber gloves. If I used my coal shovel I’d end up cutting some of the worms in half and that’s not nice. All that’s left to do is push the leaves back in place  and replace the cardboard. Job done!

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