It's that time of year again when we should be neigh already have been potting up seeds, this ment we remembered our poor wormery!
The wormery had fallen out of use for several reasons and Al was concerned that the worms would no longer be alive but they can survive for months with nothing to eat so I wasnt overlly concerned. Why had it fallen out of use?
a) We produce kitchen waste at a rate the new wormery with just one bag of live worms couldnt cope with so we had to take over spill to the compost heap. Last we looked we had filled all three trays (not all with fresh kitchen waste as that would be feast city! You need to stagger the amount that goes in or things get icky as it is the last lot we put in was obviously too much but more on that later!). Thus we were waiting for there to be space again to put new waste - the bottom try was already compost in the autum but we have no were really to keep the compost so it had to stay in there and bide its time.
b) So much random stuff had been piled around it that I personally could not easily get to it and as it tended to be me who did it - it was now relying on me reminding Al - which, well, didnt happen cos I'm a scatty cow.
So we cleared things away from it - Al drianed the 'worm juice' which we store in fabric condition bottles as plant food.
Having refound the camera! Here is a picture of him pouring the worm juice from the old milk tin into the fabric softner box - over the stream incase of spillage!
We then lifted the insulating bubble wrap that we put on when the temperatures drop to keep the worms munching their little hearts out rather than slowing down to complete inactivity. This when we found that obviously their had been some fruit fly eggs in something we had put in there. Little maggots were wending their merry way out of the little grids for ventualition at the top - then either getting stuck and dying there or not making it out of the bubble wrap which had hundreds of little maggot carcasses in it.
Unfortunatly that was my last pic as the memory card was full!
b) I DON"T DO MAGGOTS!!!! Give me spiders, catipillars, frogs, ear wigs - you name it I'm fine with it (unless the catipillars look like maggots that is!) but MAGGOTS - No, skins itching just writing this!
Unfortunatly Al couldnt lift the wormery by himself so I had to focus very hard on not running away and help him carry it out side so we could extraxt compost and relocate.
Now I was a bit concerned that it was too damp inside from the worm juice we had extracted (there is a sump in the bottom where putrid liquid pools - its conical so worms can crawl up it and not drown). Al took the lid off to risne in the stream. I looked inside - yep lots of fruit flies and it was too damp - it was sludgy mess so we had definatly been putting stuff in it at too fast a rate for the wormies to cope. Funily though it did not smell - I expected it to wreak to high heaven from the look of it but no - no odor at all?!
Lid cleaned, Al lifted the two top layers whilst I removed, the initially stuck, third and bottom layer. This layer was full of worms and nice rich compost, a bit sogger than I would have liked though I did not see any condrities (I think thats their name) - the little white worms that appear when conditions in the soil are too damp. The bizar thing though was that though the leaflet that came with the wormery had said they like egg shells - all the eggs shells we had put in were still there embedded quite prettily in dark compost giving an oolitic type of pattern.
We extracted as many worms as was easy and dumped them into the top layer. Then we put the compost into buckets with garden trowls - rescuing a few more worms on route!
This done I was muttering heavily about the twisted and bent leg on the wormery - Al recons it was were he'd just dragged it over cobble stones - I recon its were a damn great box of rubbish had been shoved next to it in the stable with no care or attention. I found another missing leg when going to get the worm treats from the stable.
We put our current kitchen waste in what had been the top layer but would now be the middle layer - liberally added worm treats and a layer of cardboard - I want to get some more coconut husk matting for it but having to wait for the money situation to settle down a bit at the mo before I can do that. We then put the now empty layer on to added lid and moved it to stand next to the drain in front of the house.
After all its ment for outside but I was initially worried that the badgers would knock it over and eat all the worms or that foxes would smell the rubbish - we'll just have to wait and see as it was pretty useless were it was!
Still the compost looks great can't wait to start growing things in it!
We got the wormery from Wiggly Wrigglers