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Vermiculture: I have worms! October 24, 2006

Posted by Sacha in Science.
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My latest science experiment is a worm bin: 

worms1s.jpg

It is totally home-made.  As you may be able to see, it consists of an old, green recycling bin (serves as a stand), a grey 3-layer cat box, a blue kitchen implement, and a spray bottle with water.  It also has cake pillars inside the second (lower) bin to hold up the first bin and allow air into the system:

 worms4s.jpg

On the bottom in each bin there is old food (no meat or citrus) and a small amount of dirt.  This is mainly where the worms (red wrigglers – eisenia fetida) hang out.  On top in each bin there is shredded newspaper, a torn paper bag, and some leaves for bedding.  I use the kitchen tool to dig around, bury food, and harass the worms.  I spray the bedding with the water bottle to keep it moist. 

worms10s.jpg (Click on this picture and you can see the actual worms.)

The bottom of the first bin has holes, so that the worms can climb up to it when they run out of food.  This is the idea anyway, but they’re all greedy-guts so there are worms in both bins.

worms13s.jpg

Besides being a fun science experiment, this project serves a couple of purposes.  The first purpose is to create castings (worm poop) to nourish my garden (pictures of garden to come).  The second purpose is to have less food waste go into the trash.  A nice added benefit is that I was able to get these discarded plastic objects out of my garage without throwing them in the trash.

I learned something new reading the wikipedia article on redworms.  It says the process is called vermiculture and the product is vermicompost.  I had previously used vermicomposting to denote the process.  Whatever, I’m a worm farmer and that’s all you need to know. 

Semi-related note:  These pictures were possible because my husband and I finally broke down and ordered a new charger for the camera.  I hate buying things I know I’ve lost in the house, but it was necessary and now I can post lots of fun pictures.   

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Comments

1. Martha/All the Dirt on Gardening - June 2, 2008

Hi –

I just started vermicomposting too and it’s a kick. My husband built a four-story worm hotel for the worms so they could move around to find the food they want.

Feeding them is easy. Keeping it moist and not stinky are the two conditions that keep me checking them two or three times a week.


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