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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!


Written by Bentley on March 11th, 2010 with comments disabled.
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How to “Split” a Worm Bin

This video shows how I split the contents of a relatively new worm bin to create two new vermicomposting systems.

Splitting offers a great option for those wishing to expand their “worm herd” rather than simply harvesting the vermicompost and starting fresh in the same bin.

Written by Bentley on April 22nd, 2015 with 1 comment.
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Will Onions Kill Worms?

Question from Peggy

I put a small container of red worms in my outdoor compost. I went searching for them and I see no worms. Could the onions I had in it killed them?

Hi Peggy,
In all honesty, it is VERY unlikely that you would have killed off your worms simply by having onions in the outdoor composting system. There are numerous other potential reasons for the disappearance that are far more likely in my mind.

I’m not sure what type of system you added them to – but assuming there is any possibility of escape (eg. it is an open heap, or a bin with an open bottom etc), the worms may have simply moved on if the habitat wasn’t to their liking. Outdoor composting bins/heaps need to be set up in much the same way as an indoor worm bin if you want the worms to thrive in them. In my experience, a lot of people tend to (more…)

Written by Bentley on April 21st, 2015 with 1 comment.
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Poultry Manure Vermicomposting

For quite some time now I`ve been wanting to try feeding poultry manure to composting worms. It`s a tricky material – not nearly as worm-friendly as something like aged horse manure, for example – but I still think there is a lot of potential for using it as a worm food.

While I don`t think pigeons are technically “poultry” (lol), I was able to secure some pigeon manure recently, and it looks very similar to the chicken manure I`ve seen in the past. So it`s what I`ll be using initially.

Some of the challenges with poultry manure:

The first thing I did with my bag of pigeon manure was (more…)

Written by Bentley on April 10th, 2015 with 9 comments.
Read more articles on Fun Stuff.

Tiny Tub Challenge – 4-8-15

I checked up on my TTTWC bins again today.

I’m happy to report that I finally have some hatchlings!

Here are the results (not bothering with worm-less tub #2 anymore since it is just for comparison purposes)

Bin #1 – 22 cocoons. 7 Hatchlings
Bin #3 – 32 cocoons. 1 Hatchling

Temperature down in the basement is still around 17 C (~63 F).

All hatchlings are still very small. I was surprised to see (more…)

Written by Bentley on April 8th, 2015 with 3 comments.
Read more articles on Fun Stuff.

Straw Bale Vermi-Gardening?

I have clearly been living under a rock for the past few years! I just got finished watching an awesome session at the Homegrown Food Summit (link may not work by the time some of you are reading this) presented by Joel Karsten all about “Straw Bale Gardening” – shockingly, a concept I’d never even read/heard about about previously (remember that rock? It’s a BIG one! lol).

NOTE: Video above is one I found on YouTube (featuring Joel Karsten). As I discovered, there are LOADS of straw bale gardening videos in general, so you may want to do a search there if this is something you want to learn more about. Joel’s “Straw Bale Gardens” website is also an excellent resource.

Interestingly, I have however toyed with the idea of trying something similar, especially after using (more…)

Written by Bentley on April 7th, 2015 with 11 comments.
Read more articles on Gardening.

Cat Urine in Castings?

Interesting question from Janet:

I have an open bin of worm castings under my flow through bin. I discovered my cat has been using it as a litter box. I am wondering is the urine harmful to the castings or can it still be used in the garden? Also, is it bad to let stored castings dry out? Does this affect the microbial life?

Hi Janet,

I hope you don’t mind that your email made me laugh a bit! I definitely feel your pain – our old cat Monty (who passed on last August) was peeing everywhere during his final months. I didn’t have any low-lying castings bins at the time, but I guarantee he would have “fertilized” them if I did! lol

Getting back to your question…

I would say that it probably depends on (more…)

Written by Bentley on April 4th, 2015 with no comments.
Read more articles on Reader Questions.

Vermicomposting a Ton of Coffee Grounds?

Question from Andreas:

I live in an eco-village and we´ve been contacted by a large music festival who would like to give their coffee grounds to us. They say they will have somewhere around a ton. I´m kinda tempted to take it on, but I only have a few small systems – do you think there is any feasible way to handle the grounds with worms?

Hi Andreas,

This takes me back to the times I 1) decided to take all the compost-friendly food waste from a very popular local restaurant, and later, 2) started taking all the coffee grounds produced by a local coffee shop!

Good times…goooood times!!

Joking aside, these were both very valuable learning experiences, and – all in all – they resulted in a lot more “good” than “bad”! But as you might already have guessed, I will definitely recommend that you proceed with caution.

If I am understanding you correctly, this sounds like (more…)

Written by Bentley on March 27th, 2015 with 1 comment.
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