Where there is a will there is a way

Sunday, February 19, 2012

How to clear out the vermicompost (worm castings) from your worm farm (otherwise known as "the regular way")

Hey! I just wanted to say that I finally discovered how to remove vermicompost (pure worm castings) from your worm farm"the slow way" (and also the regular way) .

I found worm farming a great "get back to nature" learning curve, as I used to live in a small place where I couldn't compost the regular way (pile or bin of alternating food scraps, lawn clippings, paper out in a shared yard). It seemed to take me ages to get the hang of it - but now I understand soil and therefore gardening so much better. But I didn't understand why everyone said, "open a layer of your worm farm to the sunlight and they will crawl away", as when I did there were still millions of worms crawling in the layer of the worm farm.

So I would dump an the entire layer of the worm farm into a very large container, fill it with water, and bail out the worms (see my post here). It was very quick, true - but also very messy.

The other day I was speaking to my very precise friend Carol, who also has a worm farm. She mentioned to me that they just crawl about a centimeter down in the layer and you have to skim that depth that the worms have left over and over again. It can take all day.

Eureka! Recently I needed some actual worm castings (not fertilizer water) for making seed raising mix. It was a very sunny day, I skimmed and skimmed, depositing the rich worm casting (looks like wet dark mud) into another bucket. Really, it didn't take that long - about an hour (I would suggest doing it on a very sunny day) - and I actually didn't even need to get my gloved hands dirty.

Now I will have to tell the Kohanga Reo that I had encouraged to worm farm, and had educated with only my "lazy method" (dump layer in water and bail out worms) to clear out the castings that they are suffering in vain...

In summary:
I find the very bottom layer (the draining compartment below the bottom layer) to be the richest depository of worm castings - as there is no food, seeds, uncomposted fibers or rubbish remnants. Mine is always full of worms, and pure castings.

1 comment:

ORaNga said...

Awesome! Thanks so much for this!