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Red Worm Composting – Welcome!

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!

(more…)

Written by Bentley on March 11th, 2010 with comments disabled.
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Join the New Red Worm Composting Facebook Group!

Ok, I’ll admit it – I’ve been going a little bit Facebook-group-crazy as of late. It all started when I decided to test out a private FB group for the Worm Farming Alliance, after being impressed with some othe FB groups I belonged to.

I really liked the level of interactivity, and the ease of sharing things like photos, videos etc. I also REALLY liked the fact that Facebook takes care of all the technical heavy-lifting. No need to worry about updating software etc etc.

PLUS – Facebook just generally (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 24th, 2014 with 2 comments.
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Wandering WFA Worm Farmer on Wheels? What?!!

What do you get when you pack up a passionate (but heart-broken) vermicomposter/eco-landscaper and send him across the country on a bike?

A really unusual (but fascinating) road trip.

My good friend, and Worm Farming Alliance member, Christopher Brickey is no stranger to life-changing moves and, just generally, to flying by the seat of his pants. Some people run off to join the circus (or so I’m told). Chris – at the ripe age of 16 – left home and became a travelling vendor on tour with various music acts, such as The Grateful Dead (until Jerry died), Phish, Allman Brothers, and Jimmy Buffett, among others.

How on earth did this lead him to vermicomposting, you ask?

In 2008, business tanked for the festival world as a whole, so it quickly became a lot more challenging to continue on as a vendor. Chris started doing odd jobs to make ends meet – and eventually settled on landscaping as a way to consistently make some money.

In typical Chris fashion, he got his start by pulling a small trailer – containing a beat-up lawnmower and weed whacker – by hand, and knocking on doors to drum up business. He eventually (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 23rd, 2014 with no comments.
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The Cocoons in (Worm) Compost Conundrum

Great “food for thought” email from Lori:

I’m just getting through harvesting about 25lbs of worm castings!
(they’ve Been busy!) My question is – I did the “pile” method, scooped
off the top, threw the worms from the bottom, into new bins (actually,
I did NOT throw them! Lol!)….I know there were LOTS of babies & eggs
in the finished, could I not feed them? Maybe keeping a small food
source to the top side – as the babies grow bigger, I could search them
out, and as the eggs hatch, wait on them as well? I feel I should
still be feeding them?
Not sure if this would be worth it, or just leave them to be, with the
compost? Seems so wasteful? Like I don’t wanna throw away?
Wondering what your thoughts are?

Hi Lori,
You’re definitely NOT alone in wondering how to deal with all those cocoons (and baby worms). As you point out, it seems like such a shame to just leave them in the compost – especially when you consider that, on average, each cocoon produces 3 new Red Worms!

While European Nightcrawler cocoons do tend to be big enough for separation using a 1/8″ screen, unfortunately I don’t know of ANY effective way to separate Red Worm cocoons (at least not within a sane time frame – lol). In all honesty, your feeding/separation idea is the best approach for those who don’t want to lose the young worms and cocoons. With the right “bait” and a lot of patience, this method can work really well. Simply add some nicely aged horse manure and/or some other worm treats like watermelon or canteloup…and wait. Just make sure the (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 22nd, 2014 with 1 comment.
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Harvesting Productive Worm Bins

Question from Kristen:

I have 3 bins 4ft by 4ft by 18in. They are a closed bottom system.
They are full of compost. The worms eat 40# of food a week. How do I
split them up and harvest the compost? They just go on forever. I have
3 new bins to start.

Hi Kristen,

Sounds like you are doing well with your vermicomposting efforts! Processing 40 lb of waste per week is impressive.

Assuming you want to maintain at least some of your processing power, you will likely need to harvest these bins in a staggered manner. Start by getting the brand new bins (or at least one of them) set up with lots of bedding and some food materials – it will really help if these systems are totally ready to go by the time you are transferring worms over to them.

Stop feeding one of your active bins completely, and leave it to sit for a week or two. This will encourage the worms to process the left-over materials – leaving you with more vermicompost. Plus, it will leave them hungry and eager to move into new food.

If you can get your hands on some (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 18th, 2014 with 2 comments.
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Alex’s VB48(ish) Flow-Through Bin

I always enjoy learning about the different ways people adapt the VermBin Series Plans to suit their particular situation (available resources etc). A couple weeks ago VB plans customer, Alex Williams, sent me an email with some images of his version of the VermBin48.

Here is what he had to say (along with some additional photos):
(more…)

Written by Bentley on July 16th, 2014 with 1 comment.
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Do Worm Bins Need to be Mixed?

A couple of great questions from Michael:

Thanks for this great site. It has been a big help so far. I just
started a worm bin using the worm factory 360 and 1000 healthy, active
red wigglers. I have 2 questions:
1. should I stir the mix when I add to the bin or will that adversly
disturb the worms?
2. Do I need to add Carbons (Bedding) to the bin when I add food
scraps or just add a lot when I start a new bin?

Hi Michael!

1) Mixing up a vermicomposting system some can be beneficial – but I would say there is definitely such a thing as “too much” mixing. With a typical home bin system, periodically loosening up the worm habitat zone with a small garden hand rake (one of my favorite vermicomposting tools) can be a great way to combat the compaction that naturally takes place over time. It promotes increased air flow, which is not only good for the worms but it also improves (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 15th, 2014 with 5 comments.
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Worm Inn Mega Re-Boot – Part III

mega-stand-small

Things have basically been on “pause” on the Worm Inn Mega front for the past month and a half – but I’m happy to report that I am now back in action with my new favorite vermicomposting system.

In this post – the third and final installment in my “reboot” series (here are Part I and Part II if you missed them) – I’ll describe how I got the system going again, and let you know what approach I have planned this time around.

I also have an important announcement for all RWC Worm Inn customers!
:cool:


Getting the Mega set up again was very simple and took virtually no time at all. As per usual, I started by tightening up the drawstrings at the bottom, and then adding a thick layer of shredded cardboard. I completed this “false bottom” by adding (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 11th, 2014 with 1 comment.
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