Exploring nature with a worm observatory is a great way to learn about the power of worms. With a few materials, and a little helper, you can create an observatory that not only composts some of your kitchen scraps but makes a natural biofertiliser (worm castings) all while watching the nature of worms.
Worm observatories are fun and easy to make. Reutilise a pickle jar and a few items from the garden.
Watch worms go about their business creating tunnels of fertility, the way nature intended.
You will need:
A large pickle jar, a small piece of netting (cheesecloth or hessian), small pebbles and small rocks, handful of worm casting and 10 or so composting worms, 2 handfuls of coco peat or shredded cardboard, a handful of mulch and a piece of black material. An old black t-shirt is perfect!
- Line the bottom of the pickle jar with a 2cm layer of rocks.
- Add a handful of worm castings.
- Place a layer of coco peat (or shredded cardboard). This will absorb excess humidity.
- Add a layer of small pebbles. The pebbles are for children to view the movement of worms.
- Add another layer of coco peat (or shredded cardboard).
- Add a handful of worm castings with approximately 10 worms.
- Top it off with sugar cane mulch.
- Put in some kitchen scraps and secure the top with the nylon, netting or cheesecloth and the rubber band. Air must pass through the cloth.
Keep the worms where it is dark and cool except for observation periods. Feed every week or so. After two months you may need to remove the worm castings and worms from the pickle jar.
Before you move the worms to a worm farm, have a good look at the jar. Record your observations in your journal. What did you find?
If you would like more activities check out Chapter VI of Planet Schooling book. Chapter VI is dedicated to recycling in the garden by partnering with worms, by making worm farms and composting (hot and cool composting). If you would like to see inside the book, click here.