On a recent trip to my parents house for Easter, I was informed on arrival that one of my tasks before I left was to empty their Can-O-Worms wormery. They are avid recyclers and composters but harvesting the goodies from the wormery always seems to fall to me when I visit. Between you and I, this pleases me greatly! Their wormery is kept out of harms way in the corner of the barn but as the sun was shining, I opted to move it out into the garden to take advantage of the rays.
Removing the layers one by one is always a fascinating process. On previous visits we’ve uncovered perfect and beautiful compost but on this occasion it wasn’t the best.
It started off well when I removed the lid and moisture mat to reveal the newest waste which was made up of lots of potato pealings, egg shells and toilet roll tubes amongst other things. Some worms had migrated up to this tier to start feasting but you could still make out what most of the contents were.
Putting this to one side, I went to the next level which looked good on the surface but digging a little deeper showed that all was not as well as usual.
The tray was full of compost but as I started to dig into it, it was clear that it was made up of good compost but a lot of partially broken down toilet roll holders too.
When they separate their household and kitchen waste for recycling, they put some in the compost bin and some in the wormery but lately it seems that too many toilet roll holders have been put in the wormery. I put this down to the fact that their compost bin is 3 times as far to walk to than the wormery and in the winter, trudging down to the bottom of the garden is not an attractive prospect!
The compost was also quite wet which meant that the partially composted cardboard was a little slimy. I put some of the contents back into the previous tray to give the worms another go at breaking it down and harvested the rest. It was wetter than usual but when we finished with this tray we found that the sump was blocked slightly which was stopping all the liquid from draining away completely.
We freed up the blockage, rescued some worms that had fallen in and reassembled the Can-O-Worms, putting the newly emptied tray at the top, ready to receive any new waste.
After sharing out the the newly harvested compost between 5 or 6 tubs of geraniums, I returned the unit back to its home in the corner of the barn and advised my folks to go easy on the toilet roll holders in future. Until next time my wiggly friends…