R had a party up in Research to attend. On the way back, we stopped in at this old crazy guy in Eltham who sells piles of worms cheaply (read his rant online here). So now the worm farm is done! (It’s been sitting there so long grass has started growing out of the hay we put in there).
The worm farm design called for fancy screens between the layers, special spacers to keep the bottom layer off the bath bottom to let the liquid drain out, etc etc. But that’s a bit silly. Really, as long as the plug hole doesn’t get blocked up, it’s all good.
So we got some fine mesh and since we had the rest of the bits we needed, got cracking.
First some rocks to stop the plug hole blocking up.
Then fill the space with drainable dirt. This stuff might not work, and we’ll have to go to road base or something, but thought we’d give it a try.
Then the fine mesh just lies on top. Just a cheap roll of aluminium flywire. We can fix a couple of the windows with the left over.
Then the worms’ home layer: old hay and sawdust. Apparently shredded newspaper is also good, but we don’t have any of that. This hay was left over from the seedling patch, which is currently in fallow mode for winter.
The shelf-making in the shed is making lots of sawdust:
In it goes.
Then the coarse mesh layer goes on top. It will delineate between the worms’ home layer and the scrap layer. We keep it down with some rocks.
That sawdust is probably a bit rich, having just been cut, so we’ll water it in and let it ripen a bit before we introduce the worms.
Actually, the blackboard is really good for sketching out a plan. Here, the layers to go into the worm farm, and the formwork needed to make the planters.
Worms need a home base, and the layers make this happen. A fine screen under them allows the liquid to seep through and out through the drain, while keeping the worms in. They’re bedded down with a bit of shredded newspaper, sawdust and some good clean dirt. A bit of basalt rock dust added later apparently adds minerals to the worm poo, which is transferred to the garden when it’s fertilised, which is taken up by the plants that grow there, which makes its way into us when we eat the yummy vegies we’ve grown.
On top of the worms’ home base is a larger screen, and the scraps are put on top of that. The worms migrate up into the scraps and then back down to their home when they’re full. On top of the whole thing is something to keep it all moist and warm; we’ve got the fake grass for that ready to go.
And at the bottom R telling us what he wants for dessert in writing.
So worm farms are expensive. Big, ugly plastic things. This one by tumbleweed is $130 for a kit. The “kit” includes a coir brick and instructions. Generous. Does not include worms (we found someone selling them by the bucket for $10 in Wheeler’s Hill).
Josh Byrne recommended using an old bathtub to house your worms. It’s got a built-in drain after all. But we don’t have an old bathtub. We might have one later once we start on the reno inside, but that’s a while off and we need soil improver now.
Then this one popped up on gumtree for next to nothing. Brand new. Acrylic, granted, but fit for purpose (wouldn’t put it in the bathroom in a fit, mind you). We’re going to stick some fake grass on top and some funny planters like this one from push+pull on top of that and have a bit of an art piece. Home-made of course.
Looks a bit over the top. Definitely over the top for a worm farm. Perfect.