Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So the worms...

You may remember that last week we got our next shipment of worms. The ones that are supposed to eat a pound of food a day - give or take. So we put some food in. Not tons, but some and hoped they'd go to town. We did our best to leave them alone for an entire week, but we didn't do too well.

We checked and they seemed really sluggish and the bin seemed really cold. We do keep our apartment close to 60 degrees (hey, gas is expensive - putting on another sweater is not) so we moved them a bit closer to the electric heater we have so they'd warm up just a bit. It definitely seemed to improve them. They were much more active and again, I really tried to leave them alone.

I have a habit of making my expectations unachieveably high and I guess you could say at least I'm consistent? I wasn't really expecting to open the tub and see perfect compost, but I was expecting to see some significant changes. Not so much.

Original food put in on the left and after a week with the worms on the right.

You can tell the worms have done their work, but not quickly. I wonder if it's because we put in full size food and worm mouths are really tiny. We've been saving food scraps all week and happened to have the food processor out from a recipe earlier in the evening so Jared suggested just putting it all in the food processor and making a smoothie for the worms.

I think it was a good idea and I think they'll like it, but trust me you're glad I didn't take a photo of it. I babysit enough that not a lot grosses me out anymore, but J's gag reflect was working overtime. What's tasty for worms is definitely not good-looking for humans.

I'll let you know how the worms do from here on out...


  1. I've read that it can take several months for new worm bins to get up to speed.

    Also, you can starve the worms for the first week or so in order to get them to reproduce. That way, your worms will start multiplying faster...and eventually they'll be able to handle more and more food.

  2. The chunks do look a bit big... I've read that worms do love it if you blend the stuff, but it's not necessary. Small bits should be OK. Try just chopping finely.

  3. For my second round of feeding I put everything through the food processor and I checked and they really seem to be liking that, so I'll go for it.

    I'd read that an abundance of food is what made them reproduce, not starving. I'm open to trying everything at this point. I hear it's pretty hard to kill worms.

  4. It definitely seems like the tiny worms would be able to better enjoy a 'food scrap smoothie!' I can't wait to see how it works! :)

  5. That is an overwhelming amount of food for a new culture. The smoothie idea is good, as worms need smallish food. A LOT of bedding is a good idea, and the shredded paper is fine, though five times more. Put down bedding, then a "rope" of smoothie maybe 1/2 x 1/2 x 8 inches, then cover with a couple inches of bedding. Add more smoothie as they consume it. The bedding should be a little damp, not soggy. Obviously the worms are slimy, and like to stay that way. I don't think you disturb them much by checking on them.

  6. Oh come on, now I GOTTA see a pic...

  7. If you freeze the food first then thaw and add it the food breaks down faster. The worms aren't actually eating the solid food they are eating it as it breaks down. Also freezing it helps to prevent getting fruit flies from hatching..which can seems slow at first but the more castings in their the quicker the food will break down from the beneficial bacteria.