Today I decided to do a real close inspection of my worm bin. I went down into it pretty well and used a lot of light. I keep it on my carport on the North Side and it is pretty dark there even in midday. As I was digging around I could see that the worms must be living a good life in there. Baby worms and egg cocoons everywhere. I was really impressed with their growth and expansion over this winter, I keep them well fed with things like over ripe squash, cukes, lettuce and any greens I can manage to lay hold of. I also give them a regular diet of tea and coffee grinds spiked with corn meal. I am careful with the coffee in summer because it will turn a worm bin into a thermophilic compost pile if coffee is used too heavy. It holds lots of good eating for a worm if it is mixed with other things like greens, carrots and squash.
My bin is an 80 gallon tote with 20 1/2" holes drilled in the bottom. I layered the bottom with 6 sheets of newspaper and then added plenty greens, damp shredded newspaper, cardboard and tea, coffee and shredded carrots. I also added a gallon of peat mixed with everything. I then filled the bin to the top with shredded pasteboard, cardboard and lots of newspaper. I dampened it all well and mixed coffee grinds into the lower 2" of bedding. When I feed the worms I always add the food to the 1" of bedding above the castings. So far it has worked well and the castings are 12" deep in just 14 months. The early operation was kind of slow starting as the worms and I had to figure out how to operate this bin. It took me a while to get the food right and estimate the increase of worm population. This winter, although extremely cold for us, is working out great. In fact I am designing a new bin that will be in the 4'X8' range and 32" to 36" deep. I am going to probably do a flow-thru, but I will have to design and build a very reliable harvesting system as most of the ones out there are only partly reliable or fail after a while rendering the harvesting device useless.
Worms are a very important part of gardening and also I want to use the worms for supplemental chicken feed. Eventually I would like to have 120ft3
of bin space. I could use all the castings the worms can make, and also with chickens and almost 4.5 acres of ponds, worms can prove to be good for food and fishing. Not only that, but I like keeping worms. They are quiet, they stay put and they eat free stuff!
BTW, these are the worms I received from Pat James at the Bayou Gardener Get-Together year before last.