Feeding the worms when tank not in use
My system is not up and running yet so I'm needing to feed the worms. Plus I guess some of us might have times when the system's not in use for some reason or other. So I was wondering what's the best thing to feed them with? At the moment they're getting kitchen scraps but as we learnt on the course, these worms are used because they favour excrement. Should I put some horse / goat poo in for them?
Also I assume that they need the tank to be kept moist - so I'm emptying my dishwater into the tank.
Pure Portugal - Helping you on your way to the Good Life
Yes, animal excrement is great. Be careful not to overload the system in the early stages though. The optimum feed rate for 1kg of worms is 0.4-0.45kg daily and we likely had around 0.5kg of worms in the initial starter bucket. We also started off your tank with a whole bucket of kitchen scraps, maybe 3-4kg? It's best to wait until they've pretty much disappeared before you start making more additions. The dishwater will certainly help get the ecosystem started, though I wouldn't worry too much about it as the organic material in the tank is unlikely to dry out at this time of year. They will be fine until the next workshop in a week's time.
Once the system is well established, leaving it for short periods of time doesn't present any problems. I haven't tested this, but I would suspect 2 weeks or so can be accommodated easily, particularly if there's a large reserve of organic material present. For anyone planning to be away for longer periods when nobody is looking after their property, I would add an amount of horse or goat manure to the top of the tank. Again, this has not been tested to my knowledge, but gut feeling says a good 5cm depth for every month you plan to be away. 6 months away and you're going to have problems as the organic material will likely need to be topped up and the system will start to dry out.