Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Worm Farm

Finally! Another urban farming post! (Check out the pallet compost bin post and maybe the post that included our blackberry backyard craziness.)

South Carolina is kind of known for it's awful red clay that pretends to be dirt. And since we're wanting to start up a nice veggie garden in the spring, we wanted to get started on this mess now. Of course we started our compost bin. Which certainly has been nice, if anything just to keep down our trash output. (Between composting and recycling, we go through less than a bag of trash a week.) Jake is looking into ways to make our raised beds from the massive amounts of bamboo we have on our property. And we're going to be doing a sort of lasagna gardening to get those raised beds ready for spring. BUT we need nice soil to plant in!

Jake did a bunch of research on worm farming. And that's what this post is about—our first worm farm. Those little buggers are going to transform our red clay into beautiful soil. The whole process is pretty easy. We bought 120 worms from a girl we know (who was saving up for a gymnastics's so much better to help out a friend like that than buy them from a store—you'd be surprised how many kids would be willing to catch worms for money). We got a bunch of nice dirt to house them in from that family, and even THAT soil was made more beautifully crumbly by the worms while they lived in that. Jake picked up a cheap plastic storage bin, filled it with red clay from one of our earth mounds in our backyard, then we dumped the worms in, topped it with wet newspaper strips (as per Jake's research), drilled some holes in the top (we had to do something cool....chose the Orion constellation) and ta da! Finished. That simple. We'll feed them fruit or lettuce or whatever compost we have on hand about once a week. We're keeping them in our little garden shed so it's not too hot for them. Once we have those raised beds built, we'll dump the good soil in them with a few of the worms, and put more red clay in the storage bin with most of the worms, and keep going! Here are some pictures of the process.

Crazy the difference, right?

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