Friday, August 10, 2012

Worm Farm arrives

My balcony farming adventures just got a little bit more exciting. I'm trialling a worm farm from Tumbleweed. Tumbleweed's worm farms come in different sizes depending on your space restrictions. This unit is called the 'Worm Cafe' and fits snuggly next to the BBQ in a shaded section of my balcony.

The tray system on legs is made from recycled plastic from car batteries and all the packaging is designed to be composted by your worms so no waste!

The first step is hydrating the worm bedding material made from coconut fibre. The worms will feed on this during their first week of settling in.

 The tight block of worm bedding takes about 15-20 mins to break down in a bucket of water.

 ...until you get a thick fibrous porridge.

 All of this is poured into your worm farm.

 Then it's time to add your worms. There are about 1000 in this cardboard tube.

 They come in a moist calico bag.

These are a special type of compost worm which are more effective than garden worms at breaking down waste. They can eat half their body weight in one day.

 Once they're all inside their new home, cover them with the bag....

.. and a special worm blanket

...soaked in water which will ensure the worms are kept moist and that no sunlight gets through. Your worm farm should be stored out of direct sunlight and should be watered once a week to help the worms cool down and the water run-off will also give you a nutritious worm juice which you can feed your plants.

 And then it's just a matter of putting on the lid and leaving your worms for a week to get used to their new home. Worms love to eat fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells, and even hair and toe nail clippings.They don't eat meat, cheese and fats and don't like acidic vegies like garlic and onions in large quantities. I'm looking forward to tempting their taste buds with my delectable kitchen scraps.


  1. So many questions! What does one do with the worms when the decide they no longer want to have a worm farm??? Our balcony is in direct sunlight 24/7 so sadly I don't think this is going to work for us. Boo.

  2. I had this problem Miss Piggy, when I wanted to get rid of a worm farm. I read up on whether you can just release them into a garden and the answer seems to be no. Composting worms are either Tiger Worms or Red Wrigglers and are surface feeders and good at chomping down vegetable scraps. Earthworms are normally the type we find in the garden. Apparently there are reports of composting worms surviving if there is a lot of food available for them...but I didn't want to inadvertently kill them. I posted them on (I am also in the inner west of Sydney) and they were snapped up within a day. Anyone with a worm farm will love some extras! Hope that helps.

  3. Great Post!!!!! Be aware that any compost bin that is less than 200 litres is too small for the average family. Worms depend on the amount of surface area and a depth of at least 45cm. Less space and less surface area means less worms and smaller portions of kitchen scraps that can be added to the bin.
    chigger pictures

  4. My balcony is in direct sunlight if not 24/7 then at least all day long ;). I have a worm farm that has been going since April and I've had no problems with heat yet.

    As precautions I have put up a board as a screen on the north side of the farm and a hessian sack over the top that I frequently water. I'm planning to appropriate a polystyrene box from the local greengrocers to protect it when it gets really hot.