I can not begin to tell you how much I learned tonight. And I met some of the greatest people. Half of the class were teenagers who are part of a group of volunteers that help the city in their gardening ad landscaping project.
Here is the anatomy of a worm; they have 5 hearts, they have both male and female parts but still need a partner to fertilize, they are omnivores and they have a gizzard that requires grit just like a chicken.
They convert this:
This was a great group of people:
We learned about two basic kinds of vermicomposting: interior and outside biodigester.
I won't do the inside because I don't need to. It is the Biodigester that is so exciting to me.
This is a 5 gallon bucket with a snap on lid (you can get these free from the grocery baker that had icing in it or a fast food place that gets pickles in it...or a lot of other sources) and you take a 1/4" drill bit and drill a whole lot of holes in the bottom and on the sides up to 3" from the bottom. You then put a layer of dirt in the bottom, then above that layer food scraps, leaves, etc in a a lasagna layer.
You take this and bury it only 3-4 inches into the ground. You have just created a worm diner. The worms make their way into the bucket through the holes you drilled and they stay there because there is food. When they are done eating the food and converting it into worm castings, you just pick up the bucket, dump it into your garden and start over....or you can sift it.
Here is the sifter that Elbert made out of a 5 gallon bucket and some hardware:
It is put together with zip ties:
When you dump the worm castings into the open end without the handle and then turn the handle, it sifts the castings this way...the finished castings are at the top and the unfinished product comes out the back end to be added back to the bin.
Elbert made a dryer out of two old computer fans on a wooden cross. It makes sifting easier:
They had magnifiers so we could get a better look at the worms and also see the eggs: