It’s been a few years since I raised worms, in particular, red wigglers (Eisenia fetida). They’re the cutest things, really, and they are so handy for recycling much of your waste! These worms are top soil dwellers, meaning they don’t like to burrow down into the ground. They are likely to be found above the ground, eating composting materials, manure, and other decaying materials. Interesting, eh? Check under dead leaves and see if you find any there. Chances are, you just might.
So this week I started my worm farm — I bought a four tray worm factory to get started but once my worms start multiplying, my engineer husband will build us a new and larger system. The worms live in my kitchen right now, which is very handy for feeding them. As you can see above, I have a tray of shredded newspaper on top of the worm bin for easy access to paper when I need it. I actually keep that tray covered, too, so it doesn’t accumulate dust before I add the paper to the feeding bin. There is a gooseneck lamp shining down on the worm bin, which I recommend while the worms are adjusting to their new home. I keep it on when the sun goes down. They will explore their new home and possibly escape if there isn’t bright light to dissuade them from roaming. They don’t like light.
One little worm did escape as we were setting up the farm and tried so hard to race under the piano! I never saw a worm move so fast. Luckily we scooped it up with a piece of paper and dropped it back into the bin. I’m sure it’s happier there than drying up under the piano.
The worm factory came with some great starter materials so when we added our worms, the bin had moist coir (fibers from coconut husks), mineral rock, pumice and moist shredded paper for the initial bedding. After two days of adjusting to their new home, we fed the worms some carrots (small pieces and peelings, about two cups) and a few lettuce leaves (also torn to small pieces). They have shredded paper on top of them and whole, moist newspaper pages on top of that. Here’s a shot of the food: