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Start your own worm farm

Despite their teeny-weeny size, worms have a huge influence over the health of our planet. Discover how to start your own worm farm at home!

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Did you know that worms are one of the most useful pets you could ever have? They’re highly skilled recyclers who have mastered the art of turning organic waste into nutrient rich fertiliser. So, having a worm farm at home is a fantastic way to reduce your family’s organic waste and give your garden a health boost.

In Australia, about 6.7 million tonnes of organic waste is sent to landfill every single year! What’s worse is that once it’s in landfill, organic waste starts to slowly break down, releasing lots of methane gas into the environment. Besides being extremely smelly and highly flammable, methane is a greenhouse gas that’s much worse than carbon dioxide.

Redirecting our household organic waste into a worm farm is a very simple way we can help reduce the rate of global warming.

And it’s pretty simple: you put organic waste (which includes things like food scraps, garden clippings and paper) into the worm farm, and your worms happily munch their way through your scraps – turning them into ‘compost’.

So, let’s get to it!

Activity 1: Build your worm farm

Start by exploring around your home with an adult to find a good spot for your worm farm. To keep your worms happy, you want somewhere that is temperate and shady.

Draw a plan of your worm farm or use our template to start to bring your plan to life and understand all the different parts you’ll need.

You can start with a pre-made worm farm set or try to build your own from scratch!

Activity 2: Maintain your worm farm

Make sure you wear gloves when handling your worm farm – especially when you’re harvesting the vermicast or the liquid runoff. The vermicast and liquid runoff are full of bacteria that’s good for your garden, but that doesn’t mean they’re good for your body!

Feeding your worms

Do not overfeed your worms. Before you add more food to your worm farm, make sure that the previous meal has been consumed.

Your worms will love most of your kitchen scraps including eggshells and coffee grounds. However, worms aren’t very big fans of citrus and onion, so try to avoid them if you can! It’s also best to avoid feeding your worms meat and dairy products because they can attract unwanted creatures like rats and flies. Besides leftover food, you can also feed your worms small amounts of:

  • leaves, weeds and grass cuttings
  • paper and cardboard (unwaxed and slightly wet)
  • vacuum cleaner debris.

Keeping it clean and healthy

As your worms feed on your food scraps, the container will start to fill up with vermicast (also known as worm poop!). And the worms will want to move into a new clean home.

  1. Prepare the container #2 with a layer of wet paper and compost, just like you did with the first container.
  2. Stack container #2 on top of container #1.
  3. Add some food into container #2 so that your worms know there’s a new clean room to move into! It will take a few days for all your worms to move into container #2.
  4. Once all the worms have moved into container #2, you can remove container #1 from the stack and use the vermicast in your garden.
  5. After you’ve removed the vermicast from container #1, make sure to give the container a good wash.
  6. Once container #2 is full of vermicast, you can repeat steps 1-5 with container #1.

Activity 3: Using vermicast and worm tea

We’d love to see what you create! Share your worm farm with us by tagging #ScitechAtHome on social media.  

Try another Earth Matters challenge!

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