Worms’ place in the ecosystem is involved with breaking down organic matter. In doing so they both increase the amount of air and water that can enter the soil. In your worm farm you are looking to create a supply of vermicompost both for your use around the garden and as a place where the worms are comfortable living and breeding. Vermicompost is the mix of decomposed organic matter and vermicasts. The vermicasts are what the worms pass out once they have eaten the decomposing organic matter.
The kinds of food scraps that you may add to the farm can be broken down into a few different groups as follows:
Worms love these kinds of food
- Veggies *
- Fruits *
* with some exceptions
Worms DO NOT like these kinds of food
- Citrus fruit
Some people will maintain that their worms are fine with some citrus and/or onions but if you’re just starting out it is a good idea to avoid them until your worms are established and breeding, and then only them in moderation.
Be careful you are not adding too much food for your worms to eat initially. It is better to add a smaller amount at first and build up once you can see that there are few leftovers when you next feed.
As a rough guide, around 1000 mature worms should each a couple of cups of food each week initially but once more established, after 6 months or so, they should be able to each a cup of food daily which should equate to around the average family’s compostable food waste.
One final note. Worms have tiny mouths so make it easier for them by chopping up their food if you can.