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Worms, Worms, Worm Composting Everywhere!

It's time to harvest, store the worm compost, and start a few more worm compost bins. But how do we catch the thousands of red wigglers that have been very busy breaking down the materials in the compost bins?

There are a variety of methods.

1. One method is to bait the worms. Use a netted fruit or onion bag filled with pumpkin or pieces of butternut squash, nd bury the bag a few inches under the compost. Wait a few days; the bags should be filled with feeding worms.

2. Place a tarp on the ground and make a mound with the vermicompost. Place a light over the mound (s) for about 15 to 20 minutes. Worms hate the light and will try their hardest to get to the bottom of the pile to escape the bright light. Slowly start removing the top and side layers of compost. You will eventfully find a pile of rooms remaining. I place them and some of the compost in a container. After harvesting the bin, I weigh the red wigglers and put them in newly prepared worm bins.

3. The screening method. A wood frame is made with 1/4 inch hardcloth, and the worm compost is placed on the screen. The wooden framed screen is placed over a large plastic container and gently moved back and forth, allowing the vermicompost to fall through the net. The worms and other materials that have not entirely broken down remain. It is best to let the compost dry out for a few days before using this method. Again, the worms and materials left to be composted are placed in newly prepared bins.

It is important to note that commercial worm farmers use expensive wire trommel harvesters. It is a quick method of harvesting; however, the worms can sustain injury or death with this method.

4. The last method many worm farmers favor is migration. This method requires feedings to rotate from side to side. Once the bin is composted, the previous feeding takes place on one side of the bin. The bin contents are moved to one side. Some pieces of cardboard are placed in the middle of the container. The vacant side of the bin is then prepared with new bedding and food set under the fresh bedding. After a few days, the cardboard wall is removed & the worm migration begins. The worms leave the finished vermicompost to migrate to the new bedding and food, leaving the composted area virtually worm-free. The compost is then removed, and the process begins again.

These are just a few methods for harvesting the worm compost. In the following article, we will dive into the enormous value of worm composting, various practical and actionable ways of other worm farmers, and moisture, pests, and PH issues.

I am very interested in learning other ways, both DIY and commercial, to be used for easy harvesting. I would love for those who worm compost to tell their methods!



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