Vacationing with Worms - What Should I Do?

by Lakota
(Australia)

Could you please tell me what bulk food I could buy for my worms as I'm going to be away for 2 months and need to leave food for them. My friend has chooks and won't have any scraps for the worms so I need to leave food. Thanks.

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Apr 19, 2012
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Feeding Composting Worms While on Vacation
by: Dave

Hi Lakota,

When I first read your question, I jotted down a few thoughts:

  • Feed them a big meal before you leave and they'll be fine
  • They may slow down and not reproduce as often
  • Don't stress out about it
  • Worms are tougher than you may think

Then I was speaking with Gerrie from The Worm Factory and asked her your question. Her reply is below...

"They (your worms) will do fine while you are away. Give them a big feed of mushy food, fill with a deep layer of shredded paper and cloth cover and if it is a new habitat or in a dark place also leave an LED light on them to ensure they do not creep."

She then went on to tell the following story...

"I had one client in the armed forces and he was posted for three months to Afghanistan and then ended up doing a double tour and his worms were fine left for six months with no one in his apartment the whole time he was gone.

Other people have neglected their worm bins, letting them freeze or dry out, and when rehydrated the worm eggs have hatched and a new habitat starts. (This not a recommended practice but evidence of their adaptability)
"

If you're really set on feeding them while you're gone, you could try the following...blend up a bunch of veggies (create a mash) and put them into ice cube trays in the freezer. Then, when your friend comes over to feed your worms, they could just open the freezer, pluck out a few cubes and tuck them under your worm bin bedding. If you're worried about the ice being too cold, skip the ice cube tray part, and put the mash in a container in the fridge. Have your friend scoop out a specific amount during each visit. If the food starts to mold in the fridge, all the better for your worms.

Hope this helps. Let us know what you decide to do.

d

Ps - For all of the non-Aussies reading this..."Chooks" is an Australian/New Zealand term used to describe what we call "Chickens" in the West. Isn't that right Lakota?

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Apr 20, 2012
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Vacationing with worms
by: Anonymous

Hi Lakota,

Oh yes! Definitely have a light source near your farm/s and cheap LEDs are perfect when connected to a timer.

My wife, Chris, farms worms and provides them with a big feed of mulched paper and compost (post thermophylic) before we go away. This avoids the heating cycle you would experience if you added a lot of say, kitchen waste, or any other high nitrogen materials. The compost holds a reasonable amount of moisture but as you are somewhere in Oz then you may need to rig up a drip system and drainage.

Personally I would also consider feeding them a pile of wet cardboard because again, it has a high carbon content and does not heat up in the farm.

Good luck and happy holidays.
Haydn G (Perth – Western Australia)

Apr 21, 2012
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Worms easily maintained on vacation
by: Paul Dwaine

Wet shredded paper, a good couple of inches & a feeding before leaving does the trick. I've tried it and it works very well. I do, however, use plastic "RubberMaid" bins which tend to keep in moisture a lot more effectively than other types that may not be sealed as well. While many compostjunkies(hehheh!) loathe these bins, they are great when you have to leave for a couple of months or so because they keep everything nice & wet. Hope this helps, and good luck!


Apr 23, 2012
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Another thought
by: Lakota

Thanks guys for your comments and help, was wondering if unprocessed bran would be a good food to add with the shredded paper and cardboard.
It will be cold here when we are away so would the unprocessed bran keep them warm.Thanks again guys.

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