Where there is a will there is a way

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Really quick way to clear out compost from your worm farm

A few weeks ago I had to carry out the dreaded activity of clearing out the worm farm.

Having a worm farm is pretty easy most of the time, you just throw in food scraps, and once in awhile I add torn up pizza boxes or newspaper and toss everything in that layer round and round wearing rubber gloves. But when it gets totally full and you need to remove compost-- or more accurately, remove worms from the compost --that's a different story.

But I have found a lazier, easier method that I use, and although I don't always feel like starting, I always feel really healthy and envigorated while I am doing it-- clearing out and getting all that nutrient rich compost actually feels really great. You sort of get into this earthy, green thumb vibe, and then you get into distributing all the nutrient rich compost to your garden plants. It gives you energy.

My lazy way is to pour the layers that are ready into a large container (like an empty rubbish bin, or a plastic tub) and pour in alot of water. I used to get worms out quickly by pouring the water through a colander (no, they don't drown during this process), but now I found it's really quick just to drag something through the water to dredge out most of the worms (and anything else that you don't want to pour on your plants. Your garden won't mind the compost diluted with water, it's just very nutrient-rich water that the plants can access instantly, and IT'S REALLY FAST. As disgusting as it is I have found a simple potato masher dragged through the brew will drag out a large number of worms, than you just sluice them back into your worm farm layer that is staying. Worms tend to hold onto an object dragged through the water. (Try dragging a stick, you'll see.) A potato masher has alot of places for them to hold onto.

That's my trick! Here are some photos of us doing it, with Troy volunteering as worm farming apprentice.

One cleared out happy worm farm (and garden).

1 comment:

melanie said...

Thoms mum here. I got your blog info from Heleen. This is really good and interesting I spent quite awhile reading over it all. I will definately keep reading.
If you have a good bread recipe would love to know!