Down to Earth – Episode 6: Earthworms (1990)

(Music plays) (Kevin Handreck) OK, so you’ve decided
to recycle your kitchen scraps. Good! And you’ve probably been
thinking of compost bins, or a big heap over in
the garden somewhere. Well I want to show you another
way that you can do it, and that’s using earthworms. And down here we’ve got
an earthworm farm, and it’s very simple to make. A Styrofoam box like this is an
ideal home for your earthworms. No problem with drainage, they
can’t get drowned in that, and the sides insulate them from
the worst of the heat and cold. Now the other important
things that you need are some sort of
composting material. Partly decomposed
compost is quite good, otherwise composted cow manure,
sheep manure, horse manure, something like those sort of things, just
as a start for the bedding materials. So we put that in there like
that; smooth it over a bit. You don’t need too much of it, perhaps just a wee bit more
than that to start off with. But seeing as you’re going to
be putting scraps in there you don’t want to fill it
right up to start off with. OK, so we’ve got a bit there. Now that’s a little bit dry, so
what I’m going to do is just moisten it up a bit because the worms that we’re going
to be using are tiger worms. Now these can be bought
at any fishing store. I just bought them at the
local fishing store. Tiger worms, about a hundred in there,
for $2.60, something like that. And they like quite moist
conditions, rich moist conditions, and under those conditions
they really thrive and they chew through
your scraps very quickly. So that’s nice and moist
for them there now, it’s quite a good home for them. Let’s tip them in. Let’s see if
we can get them out of there. Just put them in, in
clumps in a few places, and we’ll bury them in
over there like that. OK, now perhaps we’ll just
pop a little bit more on the top of them there, like so. Right, now the way to feed them is any
of your kitchen scraps, perhaps just break it
up just a little bit. If you’ve got really,
really big bits you can just break
them up a little bit, but bury the material in heaps. They can congregate in that,
it’ll rot down there, and then they can come
and use it as food. And because food scraps,
particularly citrus peels, are fairly acid it’s
necessary from time to time, say every two, three weeks, to
just give a sprinkling of lime or dolomite over the
surface of the bed here. That keeps it from going really sour.
Nice and sweet there now. It keeps the pH around about seven,
and that’s what the earthworms like. OK, now finally we’ve
got to protect them from the birds of
the neighbourhood. This is just a bit of weed mat
folded over several times. It’s good as a covering
because it allows oxygen in, and the worms need oxygen, but it also allows the water in,
and that’s also necessary, too, the bed has to be kept moist. And
of course we have to keep that on and so we put something heavy on it to
stop it from blowing away in the wind. Well there you are you’re a
farmer, an earthworm farmer. (Music plays) This is where I keep
my earthworm farm. It’s right on the ground
under shade cloth, and that keeps the worms nice and
cool, and that’s very important, particularly in the
summertime of course. I set this one up about
three months ago, but now I want to use some of the castings
and bedding material that’s in here. It’s called vermicompost. I want
to use some of that on the garden, so what I did a couple
of weeks ago is I put some food down
here in this corner and what should have happened is that the worms should have come
across here to get that food, and therefore separated
themselves from the vermicompost. Well let’s dig down here and see where…
ah, look, there they are. Look, there’s plenty
of them there, so that should be pretty
free over here of worms. Now this vermicompost
is just as rich as any other compost
that you can make, if not richer, so you can use
it anywhere in the garden, or on your pot plants that you
might use ordinary compost. It’s ready to use right now.

1 thought on “Down to Earth – Episode 6: Earthworms (1990)

  1. My god how weird this look compared to things now the monotone voice and such. I like these old video a blast from the past even more my child hood from videos i would watch in class in primary school

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