Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shaker-style worm harvesting

Moving on, a simple inexpensive tool for harvesting your worms and castings is a framed screen. I recommend using "hardware cloth" with 1/8" holes. This separates most of the baby worms as well as the bigger ones. It also gives you a more pure worm castings product.

Make your screen with slightly larger dimensions than those of your wheelbarrow. You can place the screen on the edges of your wheelbarrow to load worm material onto. Then simply move the frame back and forth so that the castings fall into the wheelbarrow and the worms and unfinished material stay on top of the screen.

One thing to keep in mind with this method is that your material must be dried to a point where the worms are still fine and the material is crumbly and damp. This will allow the castings and vermicompost to separate. The worms and material left on top of the screen is then added to the fresh bedding. When the process is completed, you should end up with a wheelbarrow full of high quality worm casts and compost that is ready to add to your garden!

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