The worm farm is celebrating its first anniversary. A year ago the grandsons helped set up the worm bin, drilling air and drainage holes, and putting in rotting leaves, compost and a little soil. All of that was really unnecessary; red wigglers are not the earthworms that live in our gardens. Red wigglers are happy with damp shredded newspaper.
We started with one pound or about 1000 baby worms. The worm bin lived outside into the fall on the north side of the house. When evening temperatures started to fall in September we moved the bin into the basement. During the winter temperatures there were stable at 50 degrees, the coldest that red wigglers can tolerate. In fact, a couple of times temperatures dipped just below 50.
This spring, when I was planting the vegetable garden, I dumped out the worm bin to harvest those valuable castings and check on the worms. I doubt that there were 1000 worms any more, but some survived and I did have good worm compost to use when planting.
I cleaned the worm bin and this time I set up the bin with damp shredded newspaper and a little bit of finished compost. I put back the worms and hoped for warm weather, but this summer nighttime temperatures have dipped into the 50s almost every night. Great for sleeping, but the worms don’t appreciate it.
Before grandson Rory left last week we checked the worm farm. We learned that we need to keep a close eye on the bedding. Shredded newspaper can dry out. We also decided to add some new bedding. This is a very large bin. We do still have active worms and they are eating our kitchen waste. They love bananna peels and I give them the eggshells they need to reproduce every week. More worm compost in the making, but it is a slow business.