Vermicomposting is the best way to get super high quality compost for your indoor plants and garden. It's completely organic, the results are phenomenal and it saves you from having to buy compost from the store.
But you have to feed the worms right? Doesn't that cost money? You may be surprised to know that you can find a lot of food for your worms for free if you know where to look!
Uncle Jim's Worm Farm is here to help you make cost-effective decisions when it comes to organic gardening and we have some helpful tips on where you can go and what you can do to keep your worms healthy and happy.
Where To Find Free Worm Food
Depending on where you live, you shouldn't have to wander far to stumble across loads of great fodder for your worm bin. If you play your cards just right, it's possible to maintain a worm farm without spending a single dollar on food for your worms!
Corrals & Grazing Areas
For those living in rural areas, manure of herbivore species such as horses, cows or rabbits is one of the very best things you can feed your worms. There's a big difference between manure of carnivore species and herbivore so stay away from dog, cat and human manure. Those types of manure will stink up your worm bins and likely cause you to gag every time you check in on your worms. You can find manure from plant-eating animals in corrals, in pastures or at dairies. Simply check with the animal owners to find out what you can work out together!
Friends & Neighbors
Another great thing to feed worms is crushed egg shells. Egg shells are full of calcium and increase the pH levels of the worm bin which promotes reproduction! Talk to friends and neighbors. Let them know that you have a worm farm and that they love crushed egg shells. Ask them to set aside their egg shells for you the next time they make hard-boiled eggs. They'll be happy to know that their organic food waste can be reused through you.
On a side note, if you are raising worms for fishing then maintaining a calcium-rich diet will strengthen the skin of the worms, making them easier to put on a hook.
Worms love brown corrugated cardboard. It's one of their favorite things to snack on. The next time you are at your local grocery store, ask someone in the produce department if they have any leftover cardboard boxes that were used to ship in the fresh produce that morning. Chances are, they'll have more than you can manage. The great thing about brown cardboard used to haul fruits and veggies is that some of the food particles ends up in the cardboard so it gives the worms an extra incentive to eat it. Just remember to shred the cardboard when you put it in your worm bin to facilitate the eating process and it also doubles as bedding.
Your Organic Garden
In a perfect world, no fruit or vegetable in your home garden would rot and go to waste, but we all know that it happens from time to time. Instead of throwing away that watermelon you forgot about (or any melon for that matter) cut it up and feed it to your worms. Worms LOVE watermelon.
Raising worms at home isn't as much maintenance as you might think, and it's quite possible to raise worms without spending a single dollar if you play your cards just right.
Some may argue that store-bought compost is preferable because of the convenience, but having a continual supply of compost at home has numerous benefits. Moreover, commercial compost is nowhere near the quality of the black gold produced by our wiggly friends.
CC image courtesy of Mubblegum on Flickr
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