September 23, 2007

Wormy new digs

So this is what my first bin was down to when it finally came time to move them into their wormy new digs. The remaining paper was browning and they were eating little bits of it. I had a wild goose chase for a small postal scale- my husband who is just learning to save the earth came home first with a digital one that I had to return.

He redeemed himself by drilling the holes in the bottom of the new bins (for drainage) and cutting out large squares in the top so I could replace them with screen. But then he went upstairs- he is still not overjoyed with the worms (or saving the earth) just yet. Love is carrying him through these tough environmentally friendly times!

I cut the rest of the newspaper into small squares and mixed it with peat moss and some water. And then I did the big dump....I dumped the whole first bin onto a tarp and got down to business separating castings from funky stuff from wormy clumps.
First observation: no more eggshells, or maybe just one every other feeding. They don't eat them fast enough and I was picking little eggshell pieces out of everything.

Second: you don't really get dirty sorting the worms. The castings are just a little damp but real soft and fluffy with no smell. Interesting.

Third: there is no dang way I was going to weigh these things at this point. I am hoping by dividing them into three bins the next time I can actually weigh them.

Here was the issue: they are lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of worms. Some of them were in clumps (like a giant bunch stuck to a small banana peel piece- ew!) and the rest were just so willy-nill that I felt bad trying to corrall them into being weighed. It seemed stressful enough just with the dumping and sorting.

Truthfully, I was equally stressed by seeing this very alarming amount of worms for some reason. So I hurriedly got them into their new homes and breathed a sigh of relief.

I left the big bin to air out, and figure if I get ambitious and order more, I'll get them started in the big bin just like their ancestors.

On to the good part... I did get some bags of castings. I need to get a big screen to screen them through, because picking all the little paper and eggshells out of them is NO FUN.

I am going to try some out on my own houseplants and see what happens.