Metallic Pea

Frustrating People Since 1971.

I’ve Got Worms!

with 8 comments

In our ongoing efforts to participate in and add to the Circle of Life, Ashlee and I have begun our foray into vermicomposting.  To-day I received the 1,000 red wigglers I ordered on-line from South Carolina and we began the Worm Wrangling-o-Rama at Covenanter Ranch. 

Here is how it will work: We will feed our kitchen waste (our lack of garbage disposal means nothing now) to the worms who turn it into castings (OK, worm poop) which is a fantastic–and virtually free–fertiliser.  We will use the castings to fertilise our garden which, due to lack of soil nutrients, has always petered out rather quickly each year.  In addition, because the worms double in population every month, I will have free, protein-rich food to feed to my chickens.  IN TURN, the chickens (at least the Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks) will supply us with eggs that we will 1) eat and 2) sell to our friends.  (Mmmm….farm fresh eggs!)  Likewise, the worms will fatten up the Cornish X Rocks that will become giant, juicy roasters to set our table–and sell some to friends!  AND, to top it all off, the fertilised garden should produce a surplus that will not only feed us fresh vegetables but–again–we should (Lord willing) have enough to sell (cheaply!) to friends.

Voila!  The Circle of Life.  (Ain’t God’s design amazing?!)

Here is a bit of what has gone into this little operation of late:


Cheap (or is it ‘cheep’?) Chicken Coop Step #1: Frame up an old cattle panel using 2×4’s and staples.


Step #2: Put the support boards in place.


Step #3: Gingerly–oh, so gingerly–nail and wire-in the chicken wire.


Step #4-6.5: Frame and hang the door and tie down the tarp to keep the rain out.


Next Step: Frame the Hen Boxes (They gotta lay their eggs somewhere!)



(The bar on top will serve as the roost–where they’ll sleep–and the slat on the bottom should prevent the eggs from rolling out of the box.)


Here are the little chicks getting some sun (which they need to synthesise the all-important Vitamin D).




First, you put in some bedding, which the worms will live in and eventually eat.  In this case, we added some wood shavings and hay.


Then, you add the…worms!


Then, you let them go to work!  (While periodically adding tomato tops, salad leftovers, beans, coffee grounds–and filters–and many other wonderful things you usually throw away.)  I’ll let you know how things proceed in a few weeks or months.




Written by ninepoundhammer

April 17, 2008 at 9:17 pm

8 Responses

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  1. So cool. I really can’t tell you via blog how cool this is. I would love to come out and help you on a project someday, whether it be chickens, worms, gardening, or whatever. Let’s talk about it.


    April 17, 2008 at 9:37 pm

  2. Truly inspiring Matt! If only my apartment complex would let me use some of its lawn space. . .


    April 17, 2008 at 9:41 pm

  3. Just the other day Laura and I were talking of the day when we would be able to have a garden and get some chickens. Very cool that you are taking advantage of having some land. Now all you need is a couple of goats to provide milk and lawnmower duties.


    April 18, 2008 at 7:13 am

  4. This is quite a plan you’ve set in motion. I wish you nothing but success.

    By the way, I have an approximately 100′-long roll of 2′-wide chicken wire. I used the other 50′ to puppy proof my back yard. Would you be interested in it? Let me know and I’ll bring it to the softball game on Monday. It is just sitting on my back patio. We don’t have any outdoor storage, and it seems strange to keep a roll of chicken wire in the closet next to the vacuum cleaner and luggage.


    April 18, 2008 at 8:03 am

  5. And, to top it all off, we discovered yesterday that we have a bird living in our bbq grille. It is nesting in the ash catcher and has laid five tiny eggs.

    Needless to say, we won’t be grilling any time soon. We’re being held hostage by a finch. D’oh!


    April 18, 2008 at 8:52 am

  6. Yay for compost heaps!

    Patricia Calderon

    April 18, 2008 at 11:47 am

  7. worms don’t really excite me but the thought of buying farm-fresh eggs does!


    April 18, 2008 at 12:10 pm

  8. i use a dog lot for my hens i just got two new hen a dominacker and a barr rock


    June 23, 2009 at 3:05 pm

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