What are Some Common Worm Farming Difficulties?

Students of Geoff’s Online Permaculture Design Course have question-and-answer sessions where Geoff fields a number of questions every week and answers them via videos. This question was pulled from the 2021 collection. For more permaculture insights, check out Geoff’s free Masterclass http://www.discoverpermaculture.com


Geoff, what are the common difficulties (and the solutions to them) of using a worm farm system like your bathtub system? Anything you can provide to help a newbie avoid mistakes would be very useful. Currently, while my worms are eating the scraps I give them and thriving they have almost entirely ignored the horse manure provided from the beginning. Any idea what this might mean, or what I should do about it?

Key Takeaways

– Worms moderate their population based on their food supply. They’ll eat food scrapes first and dive down into manure as backup food.
– Drain blockage is a big problem because it can drown the worms and turn the farm putrid, so it’s important to use a good filter. A roof over the worm farm will prevent too much moisture for getting into the farm.
– Rodents will try to get in after the scraps, or black soldier fly larvae can get in and consume the scraps faster than the worms. A wood frame top with wire (rodents) and screen (flies) can prevent these issues.
– Don’t bury food scraps. They’ll go anaerobic, and the whole thing will get putrid.

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Geoff is a world-renowned permaculture consultant, designer, and teacher that has established demonstration sites that function as education centers in all the world’s major climates. Geoff has dedicated his life to spreading permaculture design across the globe and inspiring people to take care of the earth, each other, and to return the surplus.

About Permaculture:

Permaculture integrates land, resources, people, and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies – imitating the no waste, closed-loop systems seen in diverse natural systems. Permaculture applies holistic solutions that are applicable in rural and urban contexts and at any scale. It is a multidisciplinary toolbox including agriculture, water harvesting and hydrology, energy, natural building, forestry, waste management, animal systems, aquaculture, appropriate technology, economics, and community development.

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