Creating a population explosion with worms
Story by Russ Grayson
COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE, SMALL WORM FARMS are fine for home use, but they do not produce the quantities of work compost (vermicompost) that community gardeners might require.
A large wormery can be built with recycled materials and can be scaled-up to produce greater quantities of vermicompost. Even so, wormeries remain only a supplementary source of compost for community gardening as their production capacity lags that of other composting methods.
Large wormeries can be purchased from manufacturers, however the one in the photograph below was made by community gardeners from timber and galvanised iron.
A lid keeps out rain and the device is located, like any wormery, in a cooler, shaded location out of direct sunlight. Organic scraps from the garden, as well as food scraps, are placed on top of the matrix of organic material in which the worms live. Worms are attracted away from the matrix to be removed for use as fertiliser through the use of food to draw them to another part of the wormery. Checks are made regularly to see if the wormery needs added moisture.
DIFFICULTY: Low. Requires knowledge of the use of saw, hammer, tin snips. Requires regularly monitoring to assess feed volume and moisture.
EFFECTIVENESS: Good. Due to a large number of worms.
SCALABILITY: Good, Both in size of units and replicability.
REPLICABILITY: Good potential.
Skills: Manual skills. Ability to use hand tools.