Can I use worms from my backyard?
Probably not unless you know for sure they are one of the few species of composting earthworms. Common backyard earthworms are not good at composting and don't like living in confined spaces.
We recommend using red wiggler earthworms. You could also use european nightcrawlers (they double up as bait worms).
Will it smell?
Apart from the lovely smell of cedar, properly balanced contents in a Worm Studio will have a faint aroma resembling the forest floor. But if your bin has some funky smells, then you know that something's wrong inside. It's most likely due to overfeeding so just mix in a bunch of fresh bedding, and skip the next feeding. The smell should go away.
What do I feed the wormies and how much?
Your worms should be fed a vegetarian diet and the amount you feed them depends on how many worms you have. A pound of red wigglers can realistically eat 1/4 a pound of scraps a day.
Once your Worm Studio is mature and operational for a few months, you can feed between 3-5 kg a week.
What do I do with the extra castings if I don't have a backyard?
You have a few options here -
1. Share with a gardener friend or with a neighbour on your local Buy Nothing group
2. Donate to the nearest community garden
3. Adopt the nearest tree and nourish it
Will my pets be attracted to the food in the worm bin?
Not really. The food you add is almost immediately broken down by microbes and the wormies so your pets aren't going to want to compete with them. Many of our customers have pets and have not had any issues.
We have a cat who is extremely motivated by food but isn't interested in our worm bin. Except this one time.
How often should I be checking the wormies?
You can check on them as much as you'd like to. It can be hard to resist and also emotionally calming to see them in action. But they do their work better when left undisturbed.
I'm going on vacation. Do the wormies need a pet sitter?
Your Worm Studio will be fine if you leave it alone for 2-3 weeks. If you're going away for longer, it's advisable to ask a friend to come in every 2 weeks to feed the worms and ensure that the bin doesn't get too dry.
We have left our worm bin at home for a month and noticed that the population decreased substantially because of the lack of food and moisture. We'll be finding a worm sitter next time.
Can I add red wigglers to my outdoor composter?
Yes, you can! To convert your backyard composter into a worm farm, you simply have to maintain the proper habitat for the wormies for them to thrive outdoors. That means ensuring that the composter is always wet (worms will die if it gets dry) and fed a good balance of greens and browns (1 part each).
If you live in a location where the soil freezes in the winter, do not add the worms to your tumbling composter. It helps to keep the compost connected to the ground so that there's enough thermal mass to keep the ecosystem from freezing completely else the worms will die.
ABOUT THE WORM STUDIO
I live in a small apartment. What are the dimensions of the Worm Studio?
The Worm Studio dimensions (length x width x height) are as follows
3 bins: 16 x 17 x 14 inches
4 bins: 16 x 17 x 17 inches
Each bin weighs about 10 kg when full of castings.
If you don't have a lot of free space in your apartment, we suggest using the Worm Studio's flat surface as a plant stand or a side table. It's sturdy enough to hold a weight of a little human.
How many worms do I need to start the Worm Studio and will I need to replenish them?
We recommend atleast 1/2 a pound of worms to get started or if you're buying them from us, the worm starter kit is ideal.
You're providing the worms with a comfortable habitat and food, so they will keep multiplying until they run out of space just like any natural ecosystem! If you start out with fewer worms, it will take a bit longer for the population to stabilize.
You'll never need to replenish them. After a year or so, you'll have enough to share a few with friends and neighbours!
What's right for me - the 3 bin or the 4 bin Worm Studio?
The 3 bin system is good for a family of 2 and you can feed the wormies 2-3 kg of scraps a week. If you have a bigger family or cook at home a lot, you are better suited for getting 4 bins that can take 3-5 kg scraps a week.
Is there a liquid collection chamber in the Worm Studio? I don't see a spigot/tap at the bottom.
No, there isn't and the reason is pretty simple - unlike plastic worm bins, the wooden Worm Studio breathes really well and that helps in maintaining perfect moisture levels - like a wrung out dish sponge. This moisture regulation eliminates the need for a liquid collection chamber which has been replaced by a metal tray that the bins rest on.
By the way, the liquids from the bottom of a worm bin is called 'leachate' and is an undesirable byproduct of an excessively wet worm bin.
It is often confused with worm tea, which is what you get when you brew finished worm castings in water to get a liquid fertilizer.
Where should I keep the Worm Studio?
A majority of our customers keep it inside their homes. Worms feel the most comfortable at room temperatures and if they are comfortable, they will have a better appetite.
Most of our customers keep the worm studio in the kitchen or living room, integrating it with their furniture. The planter mod allows you to add some greenery to your space. The flat lid is a hit with small pets and we have many customers who say that their cats like to lounge on their worm farms.
SHIPPING & DELIVERY
Is there a local pickup option?
Yes, there is. You can pick up your order from our shop in Little Italy, Ottawa located at 15 Larch St. Click here for directions.
Where do you currently ship?
We ship across Canada and the USA :)
How long will it take to receive my Worm Studio?
Your order will be typically be ready 2 days after it is received.
If it is being shipped, it should take between 2-6 days to reach you depending on where you live.
What's zero waste-packaging?
Packaging that is made of materials that are recyclable so that nothing goes to landfill. We've taken it one step further and made all our packaging compostable in your Worm Studio - including the box, paper tape and any other stuff you may have received. Simply tear it and use it as bedding.
We think manufacturers should be held to higher environmental standards with their packaging and we hope our small shop can inspire others. If you have suggestions on how we can improve our packaging, reach out to us using the contact form.
What's a social enterprise?
A social enterprise is an organization that is revenue generating but has a mission to do good. The Box Of Life is a for-profit social enterprise changing the way urban areas think about food waste. We also donate worm bins to classrooms as a way of investing in a more sustainable future through the next generation.