So on April 11, 2017 I started My Little Worm Project. So far, it has been a rousing success.
This was on May 3.
Apparently this is called parasola plicatilis. There is some debate as to its edibility and possible psychoactivity.
I didn’t test for either.
After two months, I was completely surprised to open it up and see this.
That is a pile of worms. And a bit of fungi.
Some of the first babies are now adolescents that are over an inch long, but all of that spaghetti looking stuff is dozens of baby worms. In another couple of months, they should be close to full size.
I put a chunk of watermelon rind in there when I saw the first food start to disappear, and it didn’t take them long to get it down to just the skin. I think I grossly underestimated the breeding power of these red wigglers. I’m pretty sure that this Cool Whip container won’t last the year without having to split it.
I guess we will see.
Seeing as they have almost finished the watermelon, I threw in some cilantro that was starting to get mushy. I have some broccoli ends in the freezer, so I will probably try that as well.
Okey dokey, let’s tap the brakes a bit
The four month mark has just passed, and I had to move the worms into a bigger tub. While I was sorting, I did a count and found 153 worms, that were big enough to count. I’m sure there were a bunch of babies, and I know there were at least 50 cocoons that went into the big bin with whatever scraps of cardboard and watermelon rind was left.
Here is a clump that obviously made a great nursery.
All of the yellowish ovals are cocoons, and you can see a few deflated ones as well. One was releasing a new baby as we were taking this photo, but we didn’t even think of filming it. It was just cool to watch, and give a squeeze to help out.
I’m really glad that I chose to do this now, because I think that the bottom was getting a bit too wet, and possibly turning anaerobic. For that reason, I threw a bunch of dry material in the new, larger bin, and in the CoolWhip container where the castings, cocoons, and any babies that slipped by will go.
That is the new bin, and this next one is the old one.
I’m starting to add in some of the siftings from other batches. I figure they will break down eventually. It’s mostly old spruce needles and twigs, but there is some dried clumps of castings that could be rejuvenated. I guess I will have to lay off the watermelon, and any other really wet food, plus an occasional turn wouldn’t hurt either. I put some more holes in the bottom as well, so we’ll check back in in a couple of months and see how it is going.
My thoughts on this type of project
I was really floored by the activity in the small container, but have learned through forums and YouTube, that the breeding will slow down when the space becomes cramped. I think that this would be an excellent school project for young kids, that might get them into a life with one less strain on the system. If they were allowed to get a bigger bin for home, it wouldn’t take long to have a good setup with the capacity to detour a couple pounds of waste from the landfill, while producing some high quality amendments for their gardens, house plants, or even just to throw on the lawn.
Kind of a win/win situation, there.