Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Welcome to the worms

As reported a while ago, we booked into a course run by the City of Sydney Council on worm farming and composting. It involved two hours one Sunday, and the main attraction was the free worm farm plus instructions on how to use it. We went, and it was fascinating. We spent one hour on the worm farming, and another hour on composting.

The original idea was to give up composting in favour of worm farming. However, the course inspired my passion for composting anew, and I realised that I didn't need to give it up entirely, just make a few adjustments. So now we are both worm farmers AND composters.

First of all, we assembled the worm farm kit, bought a starter pack of worms and installed them in their new home, in our very small back garden. We have started to feed them - avocado, lightly microwaved asparagus, mango. They seem to like that (who wouldn't?) and appear to be thriving. We are very excited about this new venture, and I have to stop myself peeking too often. They don't like light, and when I lift their covering of damp newspaper they go squiggling out of sight. I can hardly wait to be knee deep in worm castings and worm juice.

Now for the compost. We gave our old bin to Julie, so we had to look for a replacement. We found one at Bunning's , a bit higher than the old one, and a smaller diameter in the base. A perfect fit for our garden. Into this bin I put some chicken wire as a base to stop rats and mice getting into it. Finally, we bought a Compost Mate which is like a huge corkscrew. It aerates the compost and turns it, and also extracts lumps of it for chucking on the garden. I shall report on it when I have used it.

I've been a composter for years and years, and the interregnum has been awful. I feel so guilty throwing perfectly compostable stuff into the garbage, it really goes against the grain. It is wonderful to have it back again, and the addition of the worm farm is terrific. It isn't too ugly, doesn't take up too much space, and we are all happy. Let's hope the new arrangement isn't so attractive to the unwanted wildlife.


  1. A compost Mate! I want one!
    That's a nice tidy little set up you have there. May your worms live long and prosper.

  2. Watching developments with interest. We have rats too, and that has put me off composting.

  3. Whilst I can't say that I have a love of worms, I do know the benefits of them. They give me the heebie jeebies, so I'm glad there are others out there who can tolerate the slimy things!!

  4. I am very interested in the Compost Mate - did you end up using it, what do you think of it now?