Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Worm Works (Original Organics Composting Worm System) # 1

You may recall last Friday that I ordered and was eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Worm Works, composting system.
Yesterday by the time I got up at 7:30am this parcel had been left on my doorstep. You may wonder what prompted me to try this method of composting as opposed to going the traditional route. Well we tried that and as we don't have a very big garden it didn't really work, it was smelly and a rat found it very welcoming and set up home there. So after we got rid of the rat we also stopped using the compost bin. Worm composting seemed to be the answer so here I am giving it a try. It better work because the kit was quite expensive!
This is what was in the box to get me started. You can't see very well because of the reflection, but you get three bags of live Tiger worms, a coir brick (becomes bedding for the worms-sounds like they are to be pampered pets!), shredded newspaper, and a bag of lime mix (to reduce acidity and keep conditions sweet-egg shells apparently have the same affect).
All this would be no good without some instructions!
I chose to have the deluxe version which included a compost caddy and a book on composting with worms. It also gave me free posting and a guaranteed delivery date. Although I already had a compost caddy this one is slightly larger, and this offer actually worked out to be the best value for money.
The instructions were clear and I managed to put it together quite easily, and I was very keen to get the worms bedded down as quickly as possible.
It was fascinating to see the coir expanding before my eyes. I'm so glad I put it into a large mixing bowl, because it was completely full. After an hour I was able to wring out the excessive water (I put it onto newspaper) and add the other ingredients to make the worms bed. See below:

The lid has feeding instructions printed on it. I was quite worried reading that they get stressed and it my take them a while to settle. I decided to keep the wormery in the porch, but there is no heating and it was pretty cold last night, so my fear was it would drop below 5c. Now according to the instructions you leave them for three days and then check that there are worms around the food. Well curiosity got the better of me and I decided to peep under the lid this morning. Lo and behold there were worms crawling everywhere, as you can see below. What I don't understand is why they were not down where it was snug and warm and where the food was!

Original Organics the company in Devon who supplied this kit also included an extra little gift for me and a lovely little note saying they had seen my blog, so had sent me a bag for my collection-how cool is that! Or should I be worried that when I search the internet I can be so easily traced!Beccy loves these string bags for her vegetables so now I can try one out for myself. Thank you Original Organics.

So I now hope that the worms will thrive in their new environment.

Several of you have expressed an interest in my new obsession so I thought I might do the occasional update to let you know how I get on.

2008: Electronic Arts Redwood City
2007: Don't you just love Garfield

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At 20/1/09 16:36, Blogger Asha said...

Oh, that is what is for! Compost bin with worms. Never seen that before. We have loads of earthworms in the ground, pretty good to turn over the mud I guess! :)

Enjoy, I bet your get pretty large tomatoes this Summer.

It's snowing here, just for a day. It will be gone tomorrow.

At 20/1/09 16:51, Blogger Aoj and The Lurchers said...

I shall follow this with interest as I've been thinking about getting one of these.

At 20/1/09 16:55, Blogger Jettie said...

really can't beleive this..so funny...and worms getting stressed...though the pic of the crawlie worms made me go eeek!!!

At 20/1/09 17:01, Blogger ChrisB said...

Asha I just hope it lives up to expectation.

Angela I was going to get one last year but was persuaded by hubby to wait until this year-I didn't even tell him I was going to do it. I think it will take a bit of work (but not excessive) until I get used to it.

jettie I was surprised I didn't squirm because I'm not keen on crawlies.

At 20/1/09 17:40, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh no was having spegheti tonight but just gone off that one! How nice of them to send you a bag, oh I am back, the bad penny always returns!

At 20/1/09 18:13, Blogger john.g. said...

Fame at last!

At 20/1/09 18:15, Blogger Sam said...

that looks great mum. I want a compost bin but Fred won't let me. We already have a rat that sometimes steals the bread we put out for the birds. I now save my scraps in a compostible bag and take them round the corner to Brian's - he has one set up outside his house.

At 20/1/09 19:45, Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Composting can be problematic; I hope this works well for you.

At 20/1/09 20:42, Blogger Alison said...

How fun, a new adventure. I am anxious to know how it works. I used to have compost pile in my garden but I don't have the room now, but I do have room for one of these...hmmm...

At 20/1/09 23:13, Blogger Beccy said...

What pampered worms, mine have to live with whatever I bung them!

At 20/1/09 23:41, Blogger ChrisB said...

LW I see why you might be put off your spag.

john LOL

Sam you could easily have one of these!

AC I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Alison I'll be letting everyone know how it goes.

Beccy but it will be worth it if I get good compost and plant feed.

At 20/1/09 23:43, Blogger cookiecrumb said...

There's a tap at the bottom station. So do you get worm poop juice? I think that's what I've heard.
Enjoy your pet worms. But don't give them names. :D

At 20/1/09 23:48, Blogger ChrisB said...

CC yes this can be diluted to feed indoor plants as well as the garden. You also get a rich compost as the worms eat and fill tray. They then move to next tray but not sure how long that will take.

At 21/1/09 01:04, Blogger {i}Post said...

So weird! I just was talking to my hubby tonight that we need to compost! We already recycle our horse manure...freinds, family, neighbors, and such...for gardening, but I think we should go a step farther! Great post!

At 21/1/09 02:28, Blogger Pamela said...

I broke my kitchen compost crock (the one where I throw the scraps until it is full and take it out to the big compost)

So, now I'm in a compost funk.

I'd like to try that wormy thing.. I think. Well, I did until I saw them crawling all over kingdom come. eewwwwww

ha ha ha ha

At 21/1/09 02:29, Blogger Pamela said...

stressed worms was just toooo funny

At 21/1/09 02:33, Blogger Keli said...

Brilliant, can't wait to hear how things work out. We have curbside pick up of compost materials so don't even use our backyard bin much anymore. Thank fully it has never brought rats!

At 21/1/09 03:46, Anonymous Karmyn R said...

You've got me inspired to get my compost system set up and going. I can't wait for a future post to see how it all comes out.

At 21/1/09 08:18, Blogger Steffi said...

Great idea,Chris and good organic for your garden!Good luck with your composter.I hope it works.

At 21/1/09 10:16, Anonymous Liam said...

Hey there,

Glad to see it arrived safely and you got my note! Don't be worried about being found easily on the internet - that's a good thing! I had to guess at which one was yours but I saw in your profile you were from Bristol and had ordered the Deluxe version so I managed to find it in the warehouse on its way out - just in the nick of time!

We get Google Alerts whenever it finds something related to Wormeries or Composting or Original Organics etc.. etc.. just so we can keep an eye on what people are saying (to help us improve!) and if anyone has a problem we can try to help.

Regarding the worms not being in the right place, give them a couple of weeks to 'settle'. They are very adventurous when you first introduce them to the Wormery and will explore their new home. They thrive on dead organic matter, though, so as soon as they're done exploring they'll be in their heaven.

The first few weeks you just have to be a little bit patient. The worms will soon settle down and establish themselves once they're acclimatised.

If you need any advice at any time, do feel free to get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

Kind Regards,

Liam Martin

At 21/1/09 15:39, Blogger ChrisB said...

Liam thank you so much for your helpful comments. My husband will tell you I'm not known for my patience! However, I'm really going to try. I've brought them into the house because I felt maybe the porch was a bit too cool in this weather.

At 22/1/09 07:51, Blogger A Spot of T said...

I can't wait until you post more on this. I've always wondered how these work and how much work they are.

At 22/1/09 08:49, Blogger WT said...

My mum used to have string bags just like that one when I was a kid, and I had worms, but a pill fixed that.

At 22/1/09 23:15, Blogger ChrisB said...

joy I think there might be a bit more to it than I originally thought.



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