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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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Bentley’s Breathable Bucket Bin

Yesterday on the RWC Facebook Group wall Ria T. posted a question, basically wondering about her chances of success with some sort of sealed bucket system. Her hope was to completely avoid all possibility of dealing with fruit fly hassles.

As fellow group members explained, using a sealed system definitely isn’t the best way to go. The worms and other composting critters/microbes need oxygen in order to do their job properly.

My suggestion was to create some sort of breathable lid – using an old t-shirt (etc) or some sort of screen material secured with a large elastic band. This would allow enough air flow while still reducing the likelihood of fruit fly infestation.

As you can see, the discussion inspired me to test out the concept by setting up my very own “breathable bucket bin”!

Thinking about putting a shirt etc over top of a bucket got me thinking about (more…)

Written by Bentley on September 30th, 2014 with no comments.
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Will Worms EAT It?!

A worm-friend recently referred me to a website called “Nature’s Little Recyclers” (NLR), the online platform for a Chicago-based business of the same name.

NLR was started by Ed Hubbard in 2012. In a “Chicago Now” article (written by Hubbard), he described his initial motivation in the following way:

“I was burned out and a wreck, after serving as a tech entrepreneur, priest and religious educator as my core profession for the last 22 years. While rewarding, allowing me to meet great and unique people, to share information on a global basis, it did not meet my inner need to create a something organically meaningful.” … “For me, working in growing things and creating soil was the best thing I could do to renew myself.”

Here is a link to the original article (from last fall): “How Nature’s Little Recyclers came to The Plant and gave Birth to Green Tech Chicago

There are quite a few intriguing (more…)

Written by Bentley on September 26th, 2014 with 3 comments.
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Mega Manure Mayhem

Question from Adrian:

Hi Bentley,
Quick question – I am about a month after moving my worms from a
plastic system to the Worm Inn Mega, and during the move I mixed some
month old horse manure into the bedding. As you can guess, things are
now heating up to 90° in the centre, so my worms are heading to the
outside of the bag. Is there anything I can do, aside regular airing
and water spraying, to get past this stage more quickly?

Hi Adrian,

I felt it was important to address this one here on the blog since I very regularly mention using “aged horse manure” as a living material. With a system the size of a Worm Inn Mega, this can have the potential to create some heating issues – especially if a lot of food is being added as well.

** NOTE TO SELF ** – it might not have been a bad idea to remember this before recently adding more than 19 lb of food waste + LOTS of living material to your own Mega! Be sure to start monitoring temps regularly! lol

In the case of a system already overheating, I would suggest (more…)

Written by Bentley on September 24th, 2014 with 2 comments.
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Worm Inn Mega – 09-16-14

Sorry it’s been SO LONG since my last Worm Inn Mega update!


Goofball antics aside, I just wanted to provide a brief follow-up to my last Mega post. As you may recall, I didn’t add my usual layer of bedding when I fed last Thursday.

What’s interesting is that the level has been (more…)

Written by Bentley on September 16th, 2014 with 3 comments.
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Worm Inn Mega – 09-13-14

I’m overdue for a Worm Inn Mega update!

As is usually the case (when things get a bit quiet on the update front), I haven’t been feeding quite as often as I could or “should”. The fact that the overall level of material in the system is still up pretty close to the top tells me I’ll likely need to harvest soon.

Digging around yesterday, it looked as though the food materials have been getting processed quite well – even all the buns and bread that were added not too long ago. But conditions were getting a bit dry for my liking.

I added just over 9 lb of mixed food waste yesterday (important to note that most batches of “food” do have at least some bedding materials in them – but they wouldn’t contribute much in terms of weight). That brings my total (for this trial) up to (more…)

Written by Bentley on September 13th, 2014 with 1 comment.
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Vermiculture & Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Interesting question from Joshua:

My name is Joshua and I have been playing with worm composting now for
a year, have build a flow through system and am very much in love with
what these little guys can do. Your site has been pivotal in my
success thus far, so I turn to you with a perplexing question. While
the belief that traditional composting is considered a “green”
practice, and is without a doubt far superior to sending organic
matter to the landfill, it does create a surprising amount of methane
and GHG. It made me wonder if processing that same organic material
with worms instead would retain the currently trapped carbon in the
same way micro and macro nutrients pass through the worms undigested.
Have you encountered any research or discussion of this being tested
that you could share? Thank you for sharing your passion and have a
wonderful night!

Hi Joshua,

You are right about traditional composting being known to release potent greenhouse gases, such as methane (CH3) and nitrous oxide (N2O). What’s interesting, though, is that vermicomposting actually came under scrutiny a number of years ago for having the potential to release a fair amount of N2O as well! Unfortunately the media kind of ran with it, publishing articles with headlines like “Worms are Killing the Planet” in various prominent newspapers, journals etc – and not too surprisingly, things got a bit out of hand.

Thankfully, Dr Clive Edwards (prominent vermicomposting researcher for many years) stepped in and (more…)

Written by Bentley on September 9th, 2014 with 6 comments.
Read more articles on Reader Questions.

If a Worm Inn Mega and a VB24 Had Offspring…

They might look something like this:

Joking aside, this is actually a very cool Worm Inn Mega stand, shared in the “RWC Worm Inns” Facebook group by my friend AJ Prange. This nifty stand (LOVE the wheels), was designed and built by AJ’s husband from a single piece of plywood!

Thanks to AJ (and her husband) for letting me share it here!

Written by Bentley on September 1st, 2014 with 1 comment.
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