I want to start my worm farm to compost our food scraps, but Im not sure if we will be able to produce enough to feed them.
We are two in the house and we produce food scraps to fill a 2L ice cream container per week, maybe a bit more some weeks. Will that be enough for a worm farm? We could also add garden clippings and lawn/leafs.
That will be fine your 2L kitchen scraps in a small farm. Shouldn't add green waste it can heat up and kill your worms. Read up on composting. But brown leaves they love.
Great, can you recommend a worm farm of a good size for us? The ones I see online (hungrybin, etc) look quite big. Or will they work regardless?
I like the look of those hungry bins yeah, if I was to buy one definately that one. They are not cheap though. You could make one if your not loaded.
Hi, You should really work backwards on getting the right size bin. A small amount of lawn clippings can supplement any shortfall in other waste, leaves shouldn't be used as worms cannot digest them...generally they rot, then the worms consume them. Lets call 2 litres of waste 2 kgs. Worms eat roughly half their body weight per day....which indicates you would need about 600 grams of worms. The size bin relates to quantity of worms...@ the recommended 10kgs/m3, you would roughly need a bin about 200mm x 300mm and about 500mm deep. Keep the material damp to the touch, but not dripping wet. Fresh lawn clipping will heat things up, but if used sparingly, can be a useful addition! Try and maintain the temp between 18C - 28C....22C is perfect. Just remember worms have no teeth, so the smaller the particle size the easier the can convert the material...sometimes the addition of "shredders" such as Slaters, can help conversion. There are a heap of myths about worm farming...unfortunately it can be easy to be lead astray! Goodluck...and if you need worms, give me a yell!!
thanks, thats very useful information. I'm gonna try to build my own farm following you recommended measurements and give you a yell when ready to get some worms :).
So about lawn clipping, how do you compost it? piling or tumbling?
I don't know your situation, but I have always found grass clippings are great for forming gardens of the future...pile it up, and let it compost down naturally, then dig it into the soil over time. I guess it depends on the space you ave, and your inclination!
Grass clippings are very high in nitrogen and quite wet. They do have a tendency to clump up, excluding air, and then rot anaerobically. This can get slimy and smelly, whilst releasing methane into the atmosphere. You can fix this easily by mixing it in with twiggy stuff that's higher in carbon and opens up the texture. Regular turning also helps. Or you could spread it out as a surface mulch and then let the worms drag it down into the soil in their own time.
hear is a good link to get you started I recomend that you go to worms r us they can get you set up with a worm farm and worms located in papakura their link is at the bottom of the page http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/services/garden/worms.asp
I saw that link before, it is a good starting point indeed , thanks
If you're thinking of just a small household worm farm, you won't have to worry about having enough food scraps to feed them. The worms will breed up to whatever numbers are needed to scoff the food you give them. I would get the worm bin going before you buy any worms, though, because the worms rely on microbes to start digesting the food for them. They have no teeth, so they can't tear off chunks of carrot peel, for example. They need it squishy. Too much food can be more of a problem than not enough if it goes all smelly and anaerobic.
The worms also need a non-foody area to "nest" in - something like organic compost, or even scrunched up newspaper. I used to wrap my food scraps in newspaper* before burying it (shallowly so the air can still get to it!) This absorbs excess moisture, acts as a barrier to fruit flies, and improves the Carbon/Nitrogen balance.
If you want a good read, I can recommend Mary Applehof's "Worms Eat My Garbage".
*That reminds me - I must do a post to ask if newspaper ink here in NZ is non-toxic vegetable ink. They banned the old "engine oil" ink in the UK and I'm hoping it's the same here.
Thanks Peter, thats very helpful info