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!
Question from Lauren:
I have a worm bin 360, have had my worms active in it for almost 6 weeks. I added a bunch of old produce to it 2 days ago and today I went to look and a bunch of them have clumped up between the two top brown paper layers I have beneath the lid. Also, the food I put in is moldy. Do I need to remove the food? Are they overwhelmed and trying to get more air? Thank you!
Based on the info you shared, I would definitely assume here that the worms are distressed. You need to be really careful about how much food you add at once in any sort of enclosed plastic bin system.
Too much waste – especially if no steps have been taken to optimize it for the worms (not sure if this is the case here) – can lead to (more…)
It’s been a long time since I’ve shared an update (or really, written anything on the blog! lol). My last Hay Bale Vermigardening post was on June 8th!
Even this post itself was started almost a week ago.
Needless to say, it’s been a busy couple of months, but the good news is that the majority of my serious outdoor work is now complete, and the “real world” worm biz has also slowed down a fair bit. So, I should have more time for updates in coming weeks!
Since it has been so long, I figured I should break this update into two parts. Part 1 (today’s installment) will discuss how I finished digging and setting up the long bed. Part 2 will provide an update on the (smaller) “railway tie bed” and talk about planting in the bales.
OK, so let’s dive in shall we?
Here is a picture to remind you of (more…)
Things have been coming along nicely in my outdoor Worm Inn Mega system.
I wrote about adding a big batch of thatch mixed with food waste in my last update. The worms ended up taking longer to move into it than I predicted – but that’s the beauty of Worm Inns! As long as the worms have some safe habitat to hang out in, you can easily get away with “overfeeding”.
Of course they eventually did move in, and had processed quite a bit of the food material by the time I checked on the system yesterday.
With everything looking good, I figured I should add a new batch of food yesterday as well. This time I didn’t bother mixing in any thatch. I simply dumped a bag of frozen-then-thawed food waste on top of the upper hay layer…
…then added (more…)
Last week I dedicated a lot of time to the Hay Bale Vermigardening project (which helps to explain was the blog was so quiet). As is usually the case, I really underestimated the amount of work these beds were going to require! My recommendation for most of you reading – especially if you are just getting started with vermigardening and/or if you have any sort of physical/health limitations – would be to start with something MUCH smaller.
That being said, I’m happy I decided to go all out since things are only going to get more interesting from here!
Rather than jumping back and forth between work on each of the two beds (as I did initially), I decided to (more…)
It’s been about a week since I set up my new outdoor Worm Inn Mega, and so far things seem to be coming along very nicely!
I didn’t give the worms much time to “chill out” before starting to add food though.
Last weekend, I noticed we had an old spaghetti squash that was starting to go bad (these things last forever – it has literally been sitting in my kitchen since it was harvested from my garden last fall), so I decided to split it in half and add it to the system.
I simply placed the squash halves on top of the upper layer of thatch and grass clippings, then covered up with more loose hay.
Not one to go easy on my Worm Inn systems, yesterday I decided to (more…)
Early last month, I wrote (excitedly) about my recent discovery of “Straw Bale Gardening” (thanks to a presentation I watched during the Homegrown Food Summit). I made firm plans to try it out this season.
Not long after writing that post, I started “shopping” for local straw/hay bale sources, and even picked up 5 bales to get the ball rolling.
[ASIDE: You know you are a “city guy” when you imagine fitting 5-10 bales in a station wagon. The farm girl who helped me me load up laughed when I had to basically drop-kick the 5th bale, just to get it onto the front passenger seat, and the door closed! lol]
Then I smartened up a bit…
Last Thursday I had 30 bales of hay dropped off in my driveway ($5 a bale, delivered from nearly an hour away. I definitely feel lucky to live in an agricultural zone).
I was officially (more…)
Time sure flies when you’re having fun! Looking back, I just realized that my last Worm Inn Mega blog post wasn’t that long after Halloween (and actually discusses the results of a pumpkin vermicomposting experiment)!
As I (think I) touched on in a later blog post about getting a regular Worm Inn set up on a wooden stand, unfortunately I had to dismantle the Mega I had down in my basement bathroom due to some renovations and an overall attempt to free up some space late last fall.
I’ve definitely been missing that system, though! So much so that I finally decided to do something I never thought I would do – I set up a Worm Inn Mega outside in my backyard!
If you’ve been through the RWC Worm Inn Guide, or any of my other blog posts etc on the topic (of Worm Inns as a whole), you’ll probably know that I tend to refer to them as “the ultimate indoor vermicomposting systems” – and basically go so far as to recommend that people NOT keep them outdoors.
Even though I’ve received some positive feedback from customers who have done exactly that, I’ve continued to have misgivings about it. Here are a handful of the reasons for my stance on the matter: (more…)
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