Patrick’s Sustainability Goal: Worm Farm

If any family has a lot of food waste they should definitely consider the method I learned about today in my Seeds of Sustainability Club – turning food waste into food for soil.  Anyone can produce bacteria-rich water and nutrient-filled soil by composting  with the help of mother nature’s earthworms.

The worm farm was displayed clearly in front of me as I filmed the person giving the demonstration. He explained that the easiest way to build your own worm farm is to get three plastic bins or three self-customized wooden crates with a coating to prevent wood rot.  Use one of these crates as the permanent base, collecting water from the other two bins that rotate on top of the base. Be sure there are holes at the bottom big enough for the worms to get through but small enough so the dirt does not fall. You can use more than two rotating bins if you have a lot of daily food waste.

In each crate/bin there should be dirt with  enough moisture for the worms to flourish in. Soaking leaves or scrap paper (preferably without ink) on or mixed into the top layer of soil is a great way to do this. The crate/bin on the top is where you will place your food scraps, specifically veggies and fruits (except citrus fruits) which are  best for the microbes and worms who will work together to make your compost. Meat would be a secondary addition (preferably organic) but avoid using any type of seriously processed and salty food, dairy, oils, candy or chocolate in the mix. When this bin has a large amount of food waste, rotate this bin from the top to the middle.The middle bin’s  fertilizer should be ready to use by the time all the worms have traveled up into the top bin. The freshly fertilized soil can then be used for gardening and the bin can be again filled with energy-deprived dirt. Water is collected at the base from the water in the food by the organisms, and this nutritious bacteria-filled water can also be used for planting purposes. Give it a try: it’s easy!

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