The next time your children ask for a pet, why don’t you suggest a worm? I know it doesn’t sound that great at first but our slimy, wriggly little lowly friends have a lot to offer the eco-conscious. A worm is environmentally friendly, reduces waste, doesn’t take much to look after and better still, the lowly worm is a pet that you do not have to clean up after. In fact a worm‘s waste is exactly why you would want to keep them.
What is a wormery?
A wormery is a simply-designed bin that houses special compost worms to recycle all your kitchen waste. The only other piece of equipment inside the bin is a tray that prevents your household waste from mixing with the liquid the worms produce.
All you need to start your worm farm is a layer of wet, shredded newspaper to cover the tray, a little bit of soil and lots and lots of kitchen waste. Once this is all in place, you add the most important ingredient into the mix, your worms. Then sit back, and wait and after about two weeks, open the tap at the bottom of your bin and pure liquid plant food comes out. The worms have done their job!
A compost worm can eat twice its body weight in a day
And they eat nearly anything. Table scraps, vegetable peelings, eggshells, paper towels and even cooked meat. All of this can be placed in the bin to be converted into a powerful plant food that is biodegradable and eco-friendly.
One thing to remember about your wormery is that the liquid produced by the worms is very concentrated and needs to be watered down. I used some of the worm food on my plants without doing this and nearly killed the plant – proving that too much of a good thing is not always good for you. Another thing to be aware of is that the liquid produced by our little wiggly friends has quite a strong unpleasant smell, so you might want to have some sealable containers at hand ready to store it.
Keeping your recycling friends happy
The best thing about a wormery is that it doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. Once your worms are happily housed, all you need to do it keep topping the bin up with waste. Compost worms are surface feeders so they will automatically munch their way to the top of the bin.
Worms love the dark so there is no need to take them out in the sunlight for a walk either. Just seal the bin and let them do what they do best.
Worms reproduce quite rapidly and are quite hardy so you should be fine with the amount of worms that are provided when you buy your wormery. They also live for about 15 years but don’t worry, if your passion for worm farming doesn’t last that long, it is safe to release them into the wild.
The original wormery
The best wormery I have seen online is The Original Wormery. Ranging in price from $45 to $135, they can be purchased in various sizes depending on how much household waste you produce. There is even a Junior Wormery for flats or small apartments.
If you decide to buy your wormery online or at a garden center, be aware that you will be sent the worms in the post. This does not harm the worms in any way but can be a bit of a surprise for an unsuspecting postal worker.