New Worm Bin Harvest Method
Developed by Hilary Pada
Copyright (C) City Farmer
January 21, 1996
- 1 onion bag or nylon 'delicates' laundry bag, closure for top
- 2 or 3 buckets for finished compost and worms (one should have a cover to set on loosely)
- Worms favorite sweet snacks (kiwis, apples, melons)
Plastic sheet or large garbage bag for harvesting area
Steps to Harvesting
- Feed your worms one last time before harvest and leave them for at least 10 days (you want to starve them a little).
- Get a small onion sack or laundry bag with holes large enough for worms to crawl through. Fill bag with some of worms favorite foods, sweet things like apples, melon peels, kiwis, etc.
- Bury bag with food in next corner as you would their regular feeding. Leave for a day and a half (check) to two days.
- After two days, the worms should have migrated into the onion bag. If so, remove the bag and set in a covered pail for the moment. Make sure you leave air venting.
- You may want to put down a plastic sheet or bag in the harvest area as there will be some mess. Now, beginning in the opposite corner to where you last fed, start to pull out handfuls of the finished compost and dump into an empty bucket. You should find very few worms. Place any you might find into the covered bucket with the bagged worms or another smaller bucket if you like.
- As you get nearer to the area where you had the bag buried, you may find a few more straggler worms. You may want to do a dump and sort with this last bit of compost - or build a small mound of finished compost, exposed to the light and sift off the top so that the worms dive down.
- Once you have all the compost and worms sorted, rebuild the bed with your moistened leaves, newspaper, and couple handfuls of dirt.
- Take the bag of worms and bury them in the first corner. This will be their first feeding. Make sure you put all the stragglers that were outside the bag in too.
- In a week or a little less depending on how much food was in the bag, feed your worms in the next corner. In a few days, you should be able to lift the bag out of the first corner and shake it free of castings. Most of the worms should have migrated to the next feeding area and voila you've just harvested your bin!
- By having all your worms in a bag, it is also easier to see how many you actually have so that if necessary you can divide the population at that time - and start another worm bin for yourself or a friend.
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