Our worms have been busy eating our kitchen scraps and leaving us wonderful black worm castings. It is time to add a new bin on top of the old one. If you remember my original post on Vermiculture, you will recall I drilled a bunch of 1/4 inch holes in the bottom of the worm bin. This allows any excess liquid to leave the system and helps ventilate the bin. The holes also serve another function. They allow the worms to migrate between bins.
When your first bin is ready to harvest all you need to do is make another bin, fill it with bedding, add some food and place it directly on top of the worm casting in the first bin. The worms will eventually migrate through the holes seeking the new food source. I am not sure how long this process will take but I assume in a couple months most of the worms will have moved to the new bin.
I sat watching Jericho on Netflix and shredded a lot of newspaper over the weekend. I might pick up a small paper shredder if I can find one cheap because this takes a long time. It sucks even more when you are happily shredding away watching episode 7, season 2 of Jericho and find out the show was cancelled and never picked back up. If my nerd rage had a physical manifestation it would take the form of a laxative Golem. This Golem would enter the CBS studios and lock it down, not letting anyone leave. Eventually the food would run out and the only thing left to eat would be the laxative Golem. Weakened from their long ordeal, maybe the executives of CBS would think twice about following the advice of their shit for brains colleagues in the future.
Okay, now that that is off my chest, I feel much better. This is what all that shredded newspaper shrinks down to once you wet it down. You want about a 1/3rd of the bin full of moist newspaper or whatever you use for your bedding.
You will want to add some food to the new bin. Check my previous post on Vermiculture for a list of what worms like to eat. I put in a mix of kale stems, sweet potato peels and frozen blueberries. Hopefully this will be an irresistible lunch for our worms.
Make sure you cover up any food you put in a worm bin. This keeps the bin from smelling and fruit flies from finding your bin.
This is the old bin. It is almost completely worms and worm castings. There are a few undigested paper scraps still in the bin, but they will easily be sifted out when I harvest the castings.
Look at how rich these castings look. The worms are healthy, abundant and I assume happy, though I am no worm whisperer...yet.
Now all you need to do is place the new bin directly on top of the casting of the old bin and wait. There are faster ways of separating your worms from the castings but I have plenty of time before I will need all of the casting this spring. Vermiculture is part of my greater Permaculture design plans for our property. I plan on splitting my worms soon and making a whole new system. I want to start a vermiculture system under our future rabbit hutches to compost some of the rabbit pellets. How many worms in your house is enough? All of them.