Stage 2 of our worm farm experiment.
AFRICAN NIGHT CRAWLERS (Eudrillus Eugeniae)
African Night Crawlers lay eggs at about the same rate as the Reds but take 2 weeks to hatch.
They take 2 months to mature and start to reproduce. They are also about 3 times longer and thicker than the Red Wrigglers and only take up to 6 to 8 weeks to reach 150mm to 200mm long.
Africans live for about 2 years.
They are the worm of choice for home composters who love fishing. They can eat up to 3 times more organic material than Red Wrigglers
We got ours from : www.briansworms.com
INDIAN BLUES/BLUEYS (Perionyx Excavatus)
Also known as Spenceralia, an Australian native, this worm species is the fastest breeding worm in general composting use (1 worm will produce 18 worms per week under ideal conditions). This worm also eats faster than any other worm we have come across. If you want to convert organic waste into worm compost in as short a time as possible, then you can't beat this worm. On the downside this worm prefers warmer climates and is likely to crawl from its bedding if conditions are not right for it. The Indians can grow up to 150mm long.
We got ours from : ww.kookaburrawormfarms.com.au
image : www.goodlifepermaculture.com.au
Worm farming is great way to reduce your waste and turn your food scraps into an awesome soil improver and plant fertilizer. Fun and fascinating!
For information on worm farming, read our previous blog entry :
If your going to start your own worm farm here is a handy list.
· Fruit Waste - Non Citrus (Apples, grapes, bananas, plums, peaches, pumpkin)
· Vegetable Waste (carrots, lettuce, beans, peas, limited amounts of potatoes, leaf vegetables)
· Egg shells - In moderation and best when crushed up a bit.
· Coffee Grounds (Filters too) - An excellent worm food, but again in moderation
· Tree leaves - Yes in moderation, stick to common species, avoid exotic tree leaves
· Cardboard - Yes, shredded cardboard doubles as food and bedding.
· Garden Waste - Bean stalks, pea vines, beet tops,
· Starchy- Yes in moderations (Pasta, potatoes, rice, grains)
· Aged animal manure - Yes, it's best to stick with horse manure in the beginning.
Do Not Feed:
· Citrus fruit
· Meat products
· Dairy waste
· Cooking oil or grease
· Human waste
· Pet waste
The humble worm farm!
In all shapes and sizes this miracle of organic technology is found in many a household. Hidden in the gardens back corner this beacon of sustainability receives few of the merits it deserves.
At Future Feeders however we are super excited to have our worm farm going and we want you to know about it! Today we installed our first or many - a modular bathtub design worm farm.
After our recent call for bathtubs was answered with a delivery of tubs we have all been eager to get this project on the go and the worms into action.
As with all new projects, development offers the opportunity for learning and skills sharing so our Sunday session in the market garden proved to be the perfect time to get together and get worm farming.
A rummage around the community gardens integrated resource centre provided the necessary materials for the simplest of systems and so with little more than some 44gallon drums and old steel girders we had a sufficient platform to bear the weight and to mount the bathtubs at a practical height. Its great when striping things back to their simplest form work so well - and costs us nothing!
Once the foundations were there the next steps where just as simple and relevant to any worm farm design!
`1 : Wire mesh and shade cloth was laid over the plug hole and in the bath base to assist drainage
`2 : A layer of damp cardboard was put down first
`3 : Followed by a thick layer of hydrated coconut coir peat.
`4 : In finally go the worms
`5 : Covered thereafter with a good feed of kitchen scraps
`6 : and finally with layer of old carpet to keep them worm, dark and moist.
`7 : we covered the whole tub with a sheet of corrugated iron to keep excess rainwater out
`8 : and little more is needed to collect the 'worm-juice' than to leave a bucket under the hole
So from small things big things grow. We plan now as the worm population establishes itself to expand into the other two tubs and then as we can, source more baths to continue to build our worm farm operations.
We are all excited about the prospects of having this amazing nutrient dense fertilizer available to feed our market garden with and having the fresh worm casts to add to our seed raising mix.
Simple pleasures from a simple system, turning waste into a valuable resource!
We will be looking for more baths so If you have one or more available please let us know.
Future Feeders Team