Building a worm bin
When we moved to the farm, there was a tub in the barn. We set it up and put rocks and water in it. At the time, Mark had a fascination with throwing rocks into water. He spent many hours on the back patio throwing rocks into the tub of water. Then, the second year that we were here, he didn't seem interested in throwing rocks into water anymore. So, we cleaned it out and I kept thinking that some day I was going to make a worm bin out of the tub. Finally, that day has come! First, Logan built a frame out of wood to set the tub into. (I know it looks a little crooked but it actually setting on uneven ground.) I placed the tub in a shady area, if the bin gets too hot, the worms may die.
After we had the frame and the drain all completed, it was time to fill it up. I added large rocks to the bottom of the tub to help with drainage.
Uncle Jim's Worm Farm and they are red wigglers.
There was a lot of good vermicompost in the tub! Vermicompost is like black gold for your garden. It is the compost that the worms make. I put it out in a layer on top of all the bedding. I am going to go back in and harvest some of this vermicompost out later to make worm tea...that blog post will be coming out in a couple weeks...
I have a few reasons for keeping worms:
1. helps recycle food waste into an organic fertilizer that is rich in microbial activity
2. makes a rich organic fertilizer that is easily taken up by plants
3. great high protein chicken food
4. reduces the need for pesticides (more about that in the worm tea blog)
5. vermicompost helps with water retention in the soil and releases nutrients slowly to plants
As I mentioned earlier, I will keep the worms outside most of the year but when it starts to get cold, I will be able to harvest some worms out and feed them to the chickens. I will then take a handful and put them back into the worm bin and bring them inside for the winter. Of course, I will be able to take the vermicompost out of the tub and apply it to the garden. I can use the worms from the bin to "inoculate" the worm tub the next spring.
We are going to get a heat wave this week so I put some shade cloth over the tub and I put my compost thermometer in so I can keep an eye on the temperatures. The worms will die if they get too hot or too cold. If I notice that it is getting too hot, I will take some worms out and bring them back inside the house until this heat wave breaks.
One of the most amazing things about vermicomposting is making worm tea. I will have an entire blog post about how to make worm tea and all the great benefits of worm tea in a couple weeks...
Have an eggcellent day!