We built a worm farm

20 Apr

Yesterday I decided to build a worm farm.

So I called my brother, and we went up the Kapiti Coast to collect a few bits and pieces. Firstly we went to a tyre shop and asked if they had any free old tyres. They had a huge pile out the back that we were welcome to help ourselves to. (Could also be useful for little herb beds or something.) Next stop was the Porirua recycling centre and our shopping list included corrugated iron, bricks, a piece of carpet, and something to use as a lid. We didn’t find any corrugated iron or bricks, but we did find a doormat and a heavy formica table which was about the right size. I bought the table, carpet, and a doll (for a different project!) for $5, and asked the guys at Trash Palace if they had a screwdriver we could borrow to take the legs off the table so I could leave the frame behind. They kindly did it for me.

We then drove further up the coast to Pukerua Bay, and bought some worms off a guy named Dave for $30 + $5 for some straw/manure/compost for them. The car was quite full on the way home, with two adults, a baby, 4 tyres, a table top, and a large box full of poop and a smaller container full of wriggly worms.

We chose a site near the garden (so it wouldn’t be far to carry the vermicast / wee), and found a spot on the bank which basically had 3 levels. The bottom level we dug out a spot for the bucket, on the middle level we set the worm farm, and the top level is where you stand to chuck the scraps in. There are some uses to living on a hillside!

The purpose of the corrugated iron is to create a drainage system for the worm wee / tea / rum – whatever you want to call it. However, as we hadn’t been able to find any, we poked around in the garage for something to improvise. (The previous tenants left a bit of a mess.) We found a tray with only 3 sides which was perfect, except it wasn’t big enough. So we used a laminated map of the world (thanks previous tenants) in combination with the tray.

It was getting a bit dark and cold by this time, so we called it quits and put the worms in the garage overnight.

The next day we laid the carpet inside the tyre, to make a ‘nest’ for the worms, and arranged the bottom tyre with our improvised ‘drainage system’.

We decided to provide a bit of extra support for the slightly sloping tyres by banging in some bamboo stakes (also found in the garage).

I had pre-soaked the newspaper, so it was now time to put the worms into their new home!

Then we covered the compost in a layer of soaked newspaper.

Time for the next tyre…

And so on and so forth for the 2nd and 3rd tyres. We decided not to use the 4th tyre at this stage because a) we didn’t have enough newspaper, and b) we didn’t think it was necessary.

All finished!

Close up of the drainage:

Three tyres, a tabletop, and a few bamboo stakes:

All up, we recycled and reused:

10 old newspapers, soaked

A cobwebby bucket (we left the spider there to do as she will)

A rusty tray

A laminated map of the world

Three old tyres

A formica tabletop

A pile of tiger worms

A pile of compost

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