Food preparation

inthebasementFebruary 19, 2009

I am getting very anxious because my worms have not yet arrived. I am prepared for them though, and I have a container in the fridge for worm food. That brings me to my question.

I had some shrively strawberries, and some leftover macaroni. A little ketchup too. I put it all in a container and zipped it with a stick blender. So it is all now the consistencey of baby food. Is it better to make it a pasty consistency or better to leave it as larger pieces? My guess would be that the paste method would be best, but hey, I am new to this and am somewhat clueless at this point.

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Pasty food is subject to becoming anaerobic, a condition that should rectify itself in a day or two, as long as you don't overfeed. Also pasty food will release it water too quickly, and cause the bin to become too wet. If your bin is well-drained, that should not be a problem.

If you can grind it down to very small chunks, you should be fine. I grind mine up with an old meat grinder. If I feed a lot at once, it will smell for a day or two, but after that things seem to be fine.

Go easy on the macaroni. It will get moldy before it breaks down. The worms don't like the mold. Once the mold does its thing, and the bacteria takes over, the worms will have a feast. Add it in small amounts, well mixed into the rest of the food.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 2:25PM
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Also, be careful with the ketchup. Salt and vinegar are on the list of no-nos. A small amount probably wont hurt them but I would lay off of it in the future.

Personally I think that processing food for the worms is inventing work. I put food in chunks; it takes longer to break down but they are on top of it when it does. Is there a reason why you want to puree everything, do you want them to work faster and get compost quicker?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 10:29PM
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Eric is right. Doing all this work is a common "newbie" problem. I did it myself for the first couple of weeks.

If you freeze the food, the thawing process will already break down a lot of the chunks. If you microwave the same will happen. I don't even do that any more but because I now have a reasonably large bin I can afford to. I just collect all the kitchen scraps of the (previous) day (usually about 2 quarts/2 litres in volume - not weight) and bury them in my bin in the morning before I go to work.

If you have a small bin you need to be careful with overfeeding otherwise the bin will become anaerobic (because the worms can't keep up) and start to smell.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 1:35AM
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LOL! You are all right. I seem to be treating these worms like they are delicate babies that need my attention to survive, when in fact these creatures are far less dependent upon me than I am on my television.

I may just toss the food that I have now, because I completely forgot about the salt and vinegar in the ketchup. Perhaps I will just start anew with some normal left over lettuce and other fruits and veggies.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 8:50AM
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Jo-Ann M(9b-New Orleans)

I generate more waste than my worms can eat in one day. What I do is chop the pieces up & freeze them in worm-size portions. For me, this is about 2 cups. I then freeze it. To defrost, I run it through the microwave, and then let it cool down. The food is really mushy after all this & the worms go right to it.

This sounds like a lot of work, but I usually do it while I'm doing other stuff in the kitchen so it's no trouble. I keep a small, 2 cup size plastic container in the fridge. As I generate waste, it goes in this. When full, the container goes into the freezer. When frozen solid, it gets popped out & into a zip lock bag in the freezer.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 2:12PM
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When liquifying the food it can heat up alot faster. I find that you can put more food in the bin if you leave in bigger pieces and it will decompose with time. The fact that you are a newbie though who will most likely go digging in there everyday seeing what is happening then put that in and don't feed any more until it is gone then you wont run the risk of overfeeding the bin. I would put the food in the bin already though and let the bacteria begin to grow in the bin so when the worms arrive it will be a worms paradise.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 9:03PM
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