Feeding worms
Oct 15, 2020.

feed worms crushed eggshells for multiple benefitsfeed worms crushed eggshells for multiple benefits

Regenerative gardening activity
7

The output, magical worm teaThe output, magical worm tea
the factory, our worm binsthe factory, our worm bins

Worms are a boon in a regenerative garden. The worms have a wonderful gut microbiome, and drenching the soil with diluted worm tea inoculates it with the right bacteria for healthy soil, plant growth and disease resistance.

So, what do they eat, and how do you feed them ?

Worms will eat anything that was once alive. After doing vermiculture for two decades we've learned that the rules cater for overenthusiastic beginners. You just need to give them a broad mix and dilute the organic stuff that is listed as 'verboten'. Only one orange skin in a bin per feeding for example.

You can read more about ideal worm foods on my husband's award winning worm website. Below are some foods that I happened to have today to feed our worms.

Eggshells help with worm digestion, and ameliorate acidity in the bin.

The organic kitchen waste is mainly vegetable off-cuts, but includes herbs, vegetable cooking water, old coffee, citrus, onion, dough residue, table sweepings, cooking accidents, and some paper, but no heavily salted food.

Algae are very nutritious, protein and vitamin rich, and a by product of cleaning our ponds of excess algae.

Vacuum cleaner dust is full of animal dander and hair, flea larvae, and stardust. The earth is constantly coated with a fine layer of falling dust from meteorites, and being mainly vaporized rocks, dust is mineral rich. Like giving our squiggly brethren their supplements. 

pond algaepond algae
kitchen wastekitchen waste
vacuum dustvacuum dust

The setup below is not at all obligatory. I just happened to have two identical basins, one punctured, for draining excess liquid so that I can manage the bin's moisture. It also helps me assure they all get enough solids. On the right is the draining food mix. I use my hands, but the smell is persistent. After three soapings I reached out to pet my puppy. He sniffed my hands and withdrew with repulsion on his face, and what he normally likes to dig into can't be discussed in decent company.

for draining the mixfor draining the mix
lovely mixed foodslovely mixed foods

When to feed the worms and how much ?

Overfeeding leads to problems. Do a bin check. Signs of worm activity are a surface covered with little spherical nodules, and that the soft food has disappeared. If they are keeping up, give them a generous helping as in the picture. If not, give them a small handful. Always cover less than half of the surface so that they can breathe and move in a comfy space when they aren't eating.

plenty of nodulesplenty of nodules
cover half or lesscover half or less

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