Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Harvest Time!

After the post about the worms, I had a few people ask me how the heck you harvest the compost without harvesting the worms with it. This is a reasonable question, and I myself wondered the same thing when I first started researching the whole thing. As the compost is about ready now, I thought I would document how it's done.

First, you push all the compost to one side of the container, and then on the empty side, you place ripped up newspaper:

You then proceed to only feed them only on the side with the new newspaper, the idea being that they will migrate over to that side because there are no tasty morsels on the side with the compost.

This works to some extent, but is slow; not being the most patient person, I have developed my own procedure. After about a week (or when I'm tired of waiting) of the new feeding pattern, I leave the top off the container for about 1/2 an hour. The worms hate light, and will promptly scurry away from the top of the compost. I then scoop off the top layer and stick it in a bag. I repeat this process a few times, until there really isn't enough compost in the bottom for the worms to go anywhere. I mix what's left back in with the newspaper, and spread it around the whole container.

It's pretty efficient, and keeps the worms in the container where they belong; after all, I have more work for them to do.

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