It might sound a little odd but I just love my bin of red manure worms. I always end up with a silly grin on my face after digging around in there. I was almost embarrassingly excited when I first noticed cocoons. Cocoons means that plenty of happy worm sex has been happening and that baby worms are on their way, to the tune of 1-5 per cocoon.
About two months into the process we got a few days of rain which kept me off the farm and kicking around home. Since I had been wondering whether my worm population was holding stable, or even increasing, I decided to pull the box apart, count all the worms, and repack the box.
I likely missed a worm here or there (although I may have had the odd cocoon already release its baby worms, which I would have missed) but I ended up with around 160 worms, which is a few more than I had started with. Of greater importance though, most of these worms were significantly larger and thicker than any I had bought from the Canadian Tire bait section. Here is the lot, all in a bunch:
After all the composting materials and the worms were put back into the box, a new top layer of cardboard bedding was added and moistened with a spray bottle. I then chopped up a nice macintosh apple and put it in as a nice treat for the happily breeding buggers. Subsequent searches had led to discovering a large number of cocoons. Not only that, but I am now discovering many broken open cocoons and a large number of baby worms.
Within a month or two, this should be one VERY active compost box. When I started, one of the things I wondered was how I could tell the difference between the dry cow manure that has been added and the worm castings. Well it turns out to not be such a difficult thing to do...the castings really do look just like little turds. The castings are already beginning to pile up and I have some plants already looking forward to them!
Until next time, brothers and sisters, be good to each other.
1 day ago