Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Compost Corner Update by Mr Worm

A quick update from the compost corner.

You may have noticed the bins looking like something from a horror movie and smelling quite acidic. The resident population of larvae had created quite an acidic environment which had stopped the beneficial bacteria from going about their business and generating heat inside the pile. On Saturday I gave the bins a good forking over and mixed in a handful of Lime and Dolomite. The addition of an alkaline substance "sweetens" up the mix and lowers the overall acidity.

I checked in on the bins today and the bad smell has already been replaced with the rich earthy compost smell we all love. The larvae population has almost gone. The bins are already generating a lot more heat. I moved a few scoops of compost from the best/hottest bin to the other bins and worked it through the mix. In doing this we are giving the other bins a booster shot of beneficial organisms and bacteria which will see these bins come up to speed quicker.

The worms of plugging away doing what worms do best which is eating and laying eggs. The bottom trays have been fully worked over and are ready for harvesting. I will be using the sunlight method to separate the worms from their bedding. This involves turning the bedding out onto a few layers of wet hessian with a plastic sheet underneath. The worms will do whatever they can to move away from the sunlight and will crawl down into the darkness and coolness of the hessian bags. The bags and the worms will then be put back into the empty tray and given a mix of well rotted compost and vege scraps to munch on. I'll then take a look at the leftover material and do an egg count. If there are lots of eggs I'll wash the material and separate the eggs out. The eggs then go back in with the hessian. If there isn't many eggs I'll put this material into buckets and ration this black gold out amongst the beds next working bee.

The worm farms still need a brick base. This was supposed to happen last week however the bricks weren't available. I'm now going to push this one to the next working bee. 

Regards Adam Snow (aka Mr Worm) 

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