UPDATE: Feeding the Worms

I was asked how much the worms could actually eat in a week, so yesterday I took a few pictures when I fed the worms again. Before we start, worms eat food more quickly if it is chopped in small pieces. I used to blend up all of the food each week into “worm soup” and pour it into the bin. That worked very well, but cleaning the blender each time was not so fun, and making the soup used energy unnecessarily. I may start making worm soup again, but only on the weeks I have a lot of food with large pieces (like these last two weeks).

On to the update. You will remember the food we added last week:


This week, the bin looked like this: Continue reading “UPDATE: Feeding the Worms”

Black Gold

No, I’m not talking about oil. I’m referring to the worm castings I harvested yesterday! After picking up some plants from Freecycle I decided to give them a jumpstart in their new home by cleaning out a layer in my worm bin. The bottom layer had a abundance of the dark, rich organic matter.


The bottom worm bin

To separate the worms, I put the tray in the sun. The worms dislike light and they dug down into the layer. After about 20 minutes I removed the top inch which had few worms in it. Another twenty minutes later almost all had crawled through the bottom of the try and into the container I had waiting for them.


Close-up of the “Black Gold”

I took the worm castings and put a tablespoon in with the roots of the new plants. Some of my larger holes got more and the tiny single plants got less. After being planted, the plants got a good soaking and the lucky ones got mulch (the mulch ran out halfway though the project). The castings will fertalize the plants and help acclimate them to their new homes.

I Can Eat My Weight in Food Each Day

What am I?

  • My babies look like very small versions of me.
  • I love moisture (80-90%), but I also require oxygen.
  • For my home, area is most important. I don’t care so much about the height of my ceilings.
  • My eggs look like tiny straw-colored lemons
  • One pound of my friends and I usually contains 1000 individuals.
  • I can significantly reduce levels of pathogens in waste materials, such as biosolids (gross sludge from waste treatment plants).

Did you guess? I am a red wiggler worm, Eisenia fetida. I am used to vermicompost, which is the breakdown of organic wastes using yours truly, worms. Other microorganisms do most of the work, and I eat the microbes and protozoans. When you feed me organic waste, I make compost that can provide essential nutrients, stimulate growth, and help suppress disease in your plants. My home doesn’t smell and as a pet, I’m cheap to feed and don’t make any noise.

A home can be made or bought for me. There are a ton of designs if you surf the ‘net! I’m a surface dweller, so I prefer shallower bins or stacked bins for me to travel up to the food. In my home I like to have bedding such as leaf compost or manure. To feed me, just put your fruit and vegetable scraps in my bin and cover them with bedding. Although my 999 friends and I can eat a pound of food in a day, to keep my bin from getting yucky it might be better if you stick with a quarter to a half a pound per day. I also like coffee grounds, tea bags with the staple removed and adding eggshells can help stimulate my reproduction.

Check back at koofie.com for more vermicomposting information, pictures and products in the future.