Monday, April 27, 2015

Duckweed

One of my favorite parts of GIEI is vermicomposting.  I have three worm boxes inhabited by red wiggler worms.  I take one box to GIEI classes in which I show children and adults how simple it is to start and keep a worm composting box.


This Worm Box Goes To Class



Of course, with three worm boxes, it's a challenge to keep all worms fed.  My husband keeps fish and has 35 tanks in which he raises a variety of fish.  However, he has a problem – many of his tanks have duckweed floating on the top.  Many aquarists hate duckweed – it grows quickly, many aquarium fish don’t eat it, and it must be collected and thrown away to prevent fish tanks from becoming overgrown and damaging the tank ecosystem.  My husband’s problem led me to a novel means of adding nutrition to worm colony meals. 

I found myself collecting and feeding the duckweed to my worms. First, I made my own duckweed collector using a soda bottle with both ends cut off.  I attached a sock to one end of the bottle, and elastic of the sock helped it stay attached to the bottle.  When I passed the other (open) end of the bottle through the duckweed, the duckweed filled the bottom of the sock.  When I collected a large amount of duckweed, I wrung the water out of the sock, then placed the duckweed into a dish.  After ensuring that all bugs and snails and other undesirable objects were removed from the duckweed, I added the duckweed to my worm bins.


Duckweed (Light Green) and Other Aquarium
Plants Before Sorting




















Success – the worms liked the duckweed.  Now I regularly collect duckweed and help my husband keep his tank ecosystems clean.   Sometimes I mix the duckweed along with peas and other greens, then put this mixture through my food processor.  I call this dish, “whirled peas.”

Caution: Don't collect wild duckweed - you may introduce unwanted bugs into your worm bin.


Red Wiggler Worms With Whirled Peas

3 comments:

  1. Do you keep your worm bins outside?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, all worm bins are kept inside.

      Delete
  2. Hi ellen!, is your worms gain some significant weight on duckweed feeding? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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