Feeding Worms-The Pros And Cons Of Grinding.
Watching YouTube or participating in vermicomposting forums you'd think worms needed their food all prepped like something you'd feed an infant. Comment after comment and video after video has people blending or grinding worm food into a mushy pulp.
So is it necessary? The short answer is no. Most people doing it claim it makes the worms eat faster because of increased surface area, this may be true but let's look at the whole thing with an open mind by comparing the pros and cons. This will allow you to make your own decision.
- Grinding or blending increases surface area of the food so microbes and worms can digest it marginally faster.
- Blending food MAY make finished castings a bit finer and easier to sift.
- Blending takes time and energy.
- Usually uses electricity- goes against some of the environmental benefits we are striving for.
- Blended food LOOKS like less food and can make it easy to over feed.
- Grinding and blending releases water from food quickly and can lead to excess moisture-making sifting and harvesting more difficult.
- Excess moisture released by blending can cause anaerobic conditions.
- As your worm farm grows beyond a bin or 2 of your personal scraps the blending and fussing takes more and more time.
Whether you choose to make your worms a smoothie or not, it's a good practice to add some dry bedding material with each feeding to absorb some of the extra water from your food waste. Dry bedding material can also keep airflow through the food waste and maintain aerobic conditions.
General Feeding Methods
I prefer top feeding chopped but not blended food scraps. If there is little remaining bedding, or I'm feeding something high in moisture I first layer on some dry bedding. Then I spread the food over the entire surface and cover it with another layer of dry bedding to deter bugs.
Others prefer burying food scraps at one end of a bin by digging out one end filling it with food and burying it using the removed bedding/casting.
Some people swear by pocket feeding, In this method you dig a smaller hole. fill it with food and rotate the location of each feeding with a new hole.
In short there is no wrong way to feed worms as long as you are not over feeding, providing for their needs and it works for you.