For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Bentley (“Compost Guy”) Christie and I’ve been a crazed worm composting fanatic (or “vermiholic” if you prefer) for more than 13 yrs now. I created this website back in 2006 with the simple intention of sharing my passion with the world. So far so good! Things have certainly progressed since the early days, though, and the website has provided me with an amazing opportunity to get to know a LOT of other “worm heads” from across North America and around the world!
Yesterday I received an intriguing email from ‘Annette’. Her subject line
was “Seattle and the Mystery of the Red Composting Worm Disappearance” (as
you can see I’ve used an abridged version for the title of this post). Needless
to say, it sucked me right in! Here was her message:
I just called Seattle Tilth’s gardening hotline because I could not
figure out why on earth my red worms were gone. I’ve done this for
years and never had any issues. Conditions were not too wet or dry in
the wood worm bin. Apparently, most of Seattle is experiencing a red
Seattle Tilth has been selling compost worms for as long as I can remember and
they stopped because nobody – even other gardening stores – can figure
out what the hell is happening. (this happened before our recent cold
spell, I might add). Also, a friend of mine ordered online some worms
from a totally different source than where I got mine and his are gone
too. Any thoughts?
As you already know, this has me completely stumped! I decided to post it here on the blog for the sake of seeing if anyone else had heard anything about this.
If the worms were all (more…)
I recently received a cool (no pun intended – haha) e-mail from RWC reader, ‘Jess’. Here’s what she had to say (including some pics):
I thought I’d share how I’m keeping my (homemade) stacking worm bin warm in my garage (feel free to share). It was 40 degrees in the garage and when I first checked the temp in the bin – the top bin was 45 degrees (lots of new moist bedding) and the bin below it (mostly complete vermicompost) was 50 degrees.
I took an old heating pad and put it on the lid of the top bin, added some old rags and pillow cases, a large bag filled with water (one found in a large box-wine, LOL) to help insulate the heat from the heating pad, then I covered the whole thing with an old plastic table cloth. Within a couple of hours, the environment was up to a toasty 60 degrees!
It’s been a little while since my last Worm Inn Mega update, so I figured I had better bring everyone up to speed on that front.
It seems all that chunky food waste (namely the pumpkin), without all that much absorbent bedding material ended up leading to a couple of different – slightly unpleasant – situations. For one thing the system started to smell – yes that’s right, even the almighty Worm Inn can indeed smell if you don’t honor the principles of effective vermicomposting! lol
It also started to leak out of the bottom. Again, absolutely NOT surprising – even with that nice absorbent false bottom I added when setting up – given how much water-rich food waste I added, and how little (relatively speaking) absorbent bedding I added.
Both “situations” were remedied very quickly and easily. (more…)
Every year I collect pumpkins from my neighbors after Thanksgiving. I then use these pumpkins to feed my goats, chickens, ducks and worms. It gives me feedstock for 2-3 months! This is a frugal recyclers dream. Here is a video I made explaining how I do it:
About the Author: Liz is the worm farmer behind BigTex Worms, located in a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas. Liz, along with with her homeschooled daughters, run BigTex Worms. Her goats, chickens and ducks provide feed for the worms do the rest of the real work. Liz just wrangles them to ship orders all over the US.
My new Worm Inn Mega system has been up and running for less than a week, but I’ve already been having a blast with it. As touched on in my last ‘Mega’ post, I was initially worried about the stability of the stand – but what’s funny is that it almost seems like it’s getting more stable as more material gets added. Perhaps something to do with the low center of gravity, and the way it hangs off the corner pieces so evenly.
My basic goal for this system is to add ALL of our compostable kitchen scraps, essentially as they are being produced. My usual collection approach involves filling bags that sit under the sink. Once they are full they get frozen or tossed straight into one of my various systems. Now what I’m doing is weighing them (once full), chopping up the scraps with heavy duty scissors, and then adding them to the ‘Mega’.
I have now already added two full bags (1st on Friday, 2nd today) of mixed scraps – the total weight of added material being (more…)
Some nice comments, and an interesting question from Mary:
“…I would like to add my grateful thanks to you for your sensible blog which has kept me from panicking and happily maintaining a healthy environment for my now burgeoning population of red worms. Now what do I do with them? . I’m sure you will soon answer this question as you have answered all of my others so well. Thank you for your efforts. They are appreciated.”
You are among a surprising number of people wondering what to do with all their extra worms, so thanks for giving me the opportunity to publicly address this here on the blog (your kind words are of course appreciated as well).
First and foremost, I like to think of this potential (abundance of worms) situation as a “good problem” to have! It demonstrates that you can vermicompost successfully, and that you have (more than likely) made it past some of the early challenges that cause many newcomers to throw in the towel before witnessing the true “power” of the process. So congrats – feel free to pat yourself on the back!
There is also one thing I really want to (more…)
Back in early spring of 2011 I held a contest on behalf of Jerry Gach, owner of the Worm Inn Brand. He wanted to release a larger version of the Inn, and needed to come up with a good name for it.
Many entries came in. A lot of them were very good. But of course we could only select one winner, and that was…drum roll please…”Worm Inn Mega” (big surprise, haha!). Leigh B. was our grand prize winner.
Unfortunately, that’s where the fun ended…at least for the time being. Jerry ran into some challenges with the project and ended up having to put everything on the back-burner.
I actually assumed that the entire idea had been scrapped – so you can imagine my pleasant surprise when Jerry recently informed me that not only was the project NOT dead, but that he was in fact getting ready to officially launch the new Inn!
The next logical step, of course, was for me to (more…)
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