Worms! Happy times soon…

When I started all of these projects, I really didn’t know which project to take on first.  It’s kind of a chicken or egg type of thought process.  I want to start an indoor garden with growlights this winter, and happily have started on that path.  I am pretty sure that I will continue doing that as it is giving me a lot of satisfaction, if not pure results as yet.  On another path, I am also really excited to try using worms for indoor composting.  Both of these things seem a little daft to try to do in my small space, but it certainly keeps with the theme of my homestead at the moment.

I read about using worms for composting back in the beginning of my exploration of rabbit raising as a way to utilize rabbit droppings/manure for gardening, but kind of let the idea drop because it was pointed out in other websites that rabbit droppings were just fine to use on a garden without composting.  So – that idea got backburnered until recently due to 1) my not having a garden up and running as of that point, and 2) not getting as many rabbits as I planned on getting.  However, it has recently come back into my awareness because I have decided to get off my butt on my composting issue and get something set up.  I am interested in having an outdoor compost solution for next summer, but always the impatient soul that I am, I started checking into what to do in the winter months.

You see, I live in Minnesota.  And, while this doesn’t quite mean that I live in the Arctic Circle, some days it definitely feels like it.  All of the composting websites kept emphasising that outdoor composting isn’t really affected by cold weather, unless you live in really cold locations.  Well, every time I dug into what that actually meant for small compost piles, I am well within what people who live in sane temperature zones consider really cold.  So, outdoor composting during the winter months around here means it essentially freezes the pile and starts actually composting when the weather gets warmer again.  This, combined with my desire to take on this challenges/new learning expereince, means that starting a worm compost system gets a green light again.

I have a few criteria for whatever system that I am going to set up.  1) I really don’t want worms anywhere in the rest of my house, roaming free.  2) I would love it if the smell factor didn’t overwhelm the house.  3) I want to make the environment for the little creatures as self-sustaining as possible… i.e., I don’t want to have to work that hard at it.  4) I don’t to spend tons of money on the system, as I would like to learn this system in a way that can be grown for a larger scale version if I ever do get more rabbits, more land, or both.

Most of the issues/criteria listed above are really met by making sure that you have a well-put together worm habitat.  I chose to make a starting worm farm/compost system by using directions I found on the web for using rubbermade bins and scale up the system from there.  I will post to the link that I chose to use in a future post, as well as pictures of how my habitat turned out.  I am thinking that I will use a clear plastic bin for the “outer” or catch basin, because I think this will help eliminate escapees (worms are hurt by and really don’t like light), and the smell and happy home aspect of the criteria list should be taken care of by following good management techniques.

More later as I gather sources for the project and actually set up space for my first worms to be purchased.  I am most likely going to be dealing with a contact in Duluth to purchase my starting worms, but if anyone out there has a great source that they could recommend, I would love to gather more information.

Joel

Categories: Animals, Gardening

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