Don't go and eat worms...feed them instead


mpicklesFri, 23/11/2018 - 5:24pm

North Arm Cove residents and locals from Tea Gardens and surrounds had their questions answered  about compost and worm farms at Scraps to Soil gathering facilitated by Kirsten Banks from Mid Coast Council on the 17 Nov. The aim of the workshops is to reduce the land fill of which kitchen scraps account for approximately 30% in the red bins of the Mid Coast area. Note that we are not supposed to put scraps into the green bin as there is not yet a composting facility, however there is one in the planning stages.

A few things about worms were learnt at the workshop held at the Community Garden on Saturday, like they have no teeth however do have mouths and like some grit in their beds to help digest greens and bacteria. The worms gather up food in a smile cocoon before it finds the way into their mouths. Worms have a very active sex life, the most active of many species, they are simultaneous hermaphrodites and both sets of sexual organs are used in mating. 

They can fertilise their own eggs if necessary however mating is more common, and sex can last for up to 200 hours and matings with 3 ore more worms occurs before they produce eggs.  Social and herd connections are therefore very important for worms, especially the tiger or red compost worms who much prefer a herd to a solitary life style. 

The largest earth worm is likely to be the giant Gippsland earthworm of Australia (Megascolides australis), a rare species found in just five locations. According to the Encyclopedia of Endangered Species, individuals reliably reach 6.6ft (2m) long, with a diameter of 4cm.

The 12 registered workshop members were provided with a sturdy good quality compost bin or worm farm to get started for only $20. There were also a good number of guests welcome at the workshop who already had systems in their homes and were looking for answers and tips and tricks. Karen from the Hawks Nest Preschool took home 2 worm farms donated by Kathleen and Barry Lane, the young worm farmers are inspired to reduce land fill and are fascinated by worms.

Endangered Species, individuals reliably reach 6.6ft (2m) long, with a diameter of 4cm.

Cold composting is easy, and the basic recipe is manure, grass clippings or mulch, water and kitchen scraps. The mix can take up to 3 months and should be aerated weekly or turned as the process depends on air. Worm farms are a popular way to turn kitchen scraps into fertilizer, using chopped greens, manure, shredded paper and cardboard.

More information on the Scraps to Soil Website.

It is not too late to sign up for a worm farm, aerator and or compost bin.

If you would like more info about composting come along to the Garden on Wednesdays or phone Philippa Coltart 49973117 to sign up for the next workshop.


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