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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 15 yrs now. I started this website back in 2007 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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The Urban Worm Bag 2.0

Sadly, it has been nearly 5 months since I last wrote about Urban Worm Bags! It was bit of a weird/interesting summer (to say the least) – and I was pretty focused on getting an exciting new project off the ground in the fall.

In the meantime, Steve has gone and launched a brand new version of the UWB! As I’ve mentioned before, Steve is not happy with just making a “great” home vermicomposting system – he wants the UWB to be the best option available for home vermicomposters. And that means listening closely to customer feedback, and continuing to make design improvements.

I am definitely excited about the improvements he has rolled out with version 2.0!
(more…)

Written by Bentley on December 8th, 2018 with no comments.
Read more articles on Urban Worm Bag.

Indoor Food Waste Pre-Composting?

Now that the Walking Windrow bed is basically set up and “ready” for winter (apart from some ongoing bulking-up and feeding) I have a good opportunity to “play” around a bit – testing out different things etc.

One thing I had planned was to try installing some small “compost chimneys” to help get more oxygen down to the lower reaches of the worm habitat zone (which will help with microbial heating, and speed up the processing of materials in the bed).

This got me thinking about “worm towers” (what the chimney pipes were originally used for)…which got me thinking about worm “feeding buckets”. Concentrating lots of worms will be advantageous once my business opens again in the spring and, just generally, I think it will be really fun to test out different mixes and see which ones attract the most worms.

I remembered that I still had the big “holey bin” from my “Vermi-fertilization and Watering System“, and this got me thinking about creating some form of jumbo food waste bin I could keep inside.

Naturally, I didn’t want to just have a food storage bin full of holes sitting in the house, so I came up with the idea of a (more…)

Written by Bentley on December 4th, 2018 with 2 comments.
Read more articles on Home Vermicomposting.

The Insurance Bin – 10 Months Later

Back at the end of July, I posted an update for my “Insurance Bin” project (see “The Insurance Bin – 6 Months Later“).

Everything looked surprisingly (yet not surprisingly – haha) GOOD! There was still quite a lot of cardboard left in the bin, the worms actually looked quite healthy, and I even found some cocoons.

[Just to remind anyone not familiar with the experiment…this bin was set up back at the end of January, 2018 – in a pretty typical “new-bin” manner (with lots of bedding + food) – and then absolutely nothing was added to it. Ever. Again (lol…well, until more recently anyway – but we’ll get to that in a minute).]

Fast forward to the end of October, 2018…

After seeing some posts in the RWC Facebook group about worm bin neglect, I “remembered” that I should probably check on the bin! (I’m a horrible human, I know)

Wow – what a difference 3 months can make!!
(more…)

Written by Bentley on December 3rd, 2018 with 5 comments.
Read more articles on Home Vermicomposting.

The Walking Windrow (Follow-Along) Project


Back at the beginning of September I celebrated the 10th anniversary of using vermicomposting trenches, and mentioned an exciting new project I had recently started on a nearby country property.

Little did I realize that the project would basically become an all-consuming passion over the next few months. Probably helps to explain why there were so few blog posts during this time!
😯

The BIG goal was (and still is) to create a system that could produce an ongoing, large supply of vermicompost (ideally, starting in May 2019) for the property owner. This is why I wanted to get a jumpstart on things during the fall (rather than simply getting started next spring), and why I was a little “over-the-top” with my bed design. I’ll come back to that in a minute, but let’s start with a few stats about the project site:

Location: Waterloo Region, Ontario Canada – USDA plant-hardiness zone 5a
General Climate: Fairly moderate by Canadian standards – with winters that are less severe than a good chunk of the country. We have quite a bit of snow, and sub-freezing temps that last about 3-4 months. Summers can get hot, but extended periods over 30 C (86 F) are considered “heat waves”.

To provide some perspective here… (more…)

Written by Bentley on December 3rd, 2018 with no comments.
Read more articles on Large-Scale Vermicomposting.

Leaving Worms for 6 Weeks

Great question from Heidi:

Hello
I’ve been keeping worms for about fifteen years or so. When we have gone away our son has fed the worms and I have frozen ‘food’ in preparation for this. This year our son lives too far away to help out. Can you tell me the best way to leave them? I see from an earlier post that you said that you could leave the bins for a couple of months?? I have four healthy bins. They are in our cool basement in Ontario Canada.

Hi Heidi,
The “short answer” and “good news” is that you definitely don’t need to worry! I’ve been demonstrating just how easily you can neglect worm bins in cool Ontario basements for at least as long as you’ve been actively vermicomposting! Hahaha

When all other key factors are looked after (eg. air flow, moisture, temperature), and a system has been getting fed regularly, really all you would need to do is bulk up on bedding (eg shredded cardboard) to ensure their survival. You might add a small amount of “slow food” – materials that are more resistant to break down, but still provide nutrition over time – like bulky chunks of fresh carrot, but moderation is definitely the key.

Just to provide a bit of perspective…

I set up my “Insurance Bin” system back at the end of January, and did not add anything more to it after that. When I checked up on it 6 months later, the worms were perfectly fine (albeit a bit shrunken – lol). I haven’t checked on the bin recently, but I’m virtually positive they are still fine.

I think yours can handle 6 weeks.
😉

Hope this helps!

Written by Bentley on October 6th, 2018 with 2 comments.
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10 Years of Vermicomposting Trenches & Beyond!

If anyone asked me to come up with ONE method/development that has had the greatest positive impact on my vermicomposting journey, without even missing a beat I would say (perhaps even yell – haha) “vermicomposting trenches”!

The funny irony is that it all started with a scary “problem” – a very serious predicament I got myself into in the spring of 2008 due to unbounded optimism, over-confidence in my worm composting prowess…and well, just plain stupidity.

But before we get to that I think it’s important to (more…)

Written by Bentley on September 5th, 2018 with 10 comments.
Read more articles on Large-Scale Vermicomposting.

Looking for Used Worm Farming Equipment? Want to Buy Used Worm Farming Equipment?


This is a very spur-of-the-moment post – a little bit of an experiment! I have noticed that there is a HUGE demand of used worm farming equipment – and there seems to be a fair number of people looking to sell equipment. But often, there isn’t a good way for these two groups to get connected.

Any time we post about used worm/castings harvesters (and other used equipment) internally in the Worm Farming Alliance private Facebook it seems to get snatched up very quickly.

It would be great to create more of an official used worm farming equipment “Buy and Sell” type of resource if there is enough interest (and enough people on both sides of the equation to make it worthwhile).

Your used equipment doesn’t necessarily need to be large-scale worm farming machinery either. Maybe you have a used stacking worm bin, or Worm Inn (etc) you are no longer using and you’d like to sell it.

Whether you are looking for something specific, or looking to sell, just add a comment below and we’ll see where this goes!
😎

Written by Bentley on August 19th, 2018 with no comments.
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