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 for more than 20 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!
In my “Vermi-Terrarium Wrap-Up” post I mentioned being excited about my plans for the next “hybrid system” experiment – some form of “bottomless” microgreens garden, using the same fridge drawer the last system was in.
Well, I’m happy to report that the ball is officially rolling with the new project, after getting things set up yesterday.
As regular readers may recall, this time I wanted to put more emphasis on the plant growing section of the system – so as to actually get some decent food value from it. I’m a huge fan of sunflower greens – and was reminded of just how easy they are to grow in the last system – so this felt like a “no-brainer” choice, at least initially.
Thinking about the new system a little while ago, I knew I wanted some sort of (more…)
Today I decided to wrap things up with the system I’ve referred to as my “vermi-terrarium”. It never did really become a terrarium (really only kept the name for consistency), but in some ways it actually turned into something much more interesting!
As I shared in my last update, I ended up with some big Russian kale plants. These are easily the biggest “food” plants I’ve managed to grow indoors using only artificial lighting, and I’ve actually harvested a lot of the leaves for consumption.
In my last post I also mentioned dumping in handfuls of sunflower seeds to see what would happen (yep, that’s how I roll). If you are on the RWC e-mail list you will likely know by now that things got pretty “interesting” on that front. The back section of the system ended up so overrum with (more…)
At various points over the years I’ve become interested in the “composting” potential of other worm bin organisms, namely springtails, isopods and millipedes. I’ve always viewed them as important worm allies, and naturally wondered what they might be capable of on their own.
What’s funny is that literally none of my experimental systems in the past have actually worked out for me! It has really only been various “accidental” – more natural – systems where things have started to come together.
My “Uber-Natural” system gave me the first glimpse of what isopods (and to a lesser extent, millipedes) were capable of in terms of processing resistant, carbon-rich materials. More recently, I’ve been utterly blown away by the (more…)
Last December (2021) I wrote about a weird and wacky experimental system I had started up using substrate and leftover young plants from some (vermi-)microgreens trials I had been running in the fall.
I wanted to see how the system would evolve over time with the worms and cocoons and all that nutritious plant matter + substrate material. I had mixed everything up, covered it with plastic and put it in a fairly low light spot, so I assumed the remaining plants would just die off and become a food source for the worms.
As it turned out, a lot of them started growing up toward the light, so I felt inspired to see if I could create a sort of “vermi-terrarium” type of system.
I ended up keeping the back section (where there weren’t many plants) covered with plastic for moisture retention, and continued to add (more…)
Earlier in the fall I wrote about some experimental microgreens/baby-greens trays I had set up to test if worms have any sort of obvious impact on the growth of young plants when living in the root zone (jury is still out on that one – but I am continuing to experiment).
As some of you may recall, apart from healthy looking worms (not a single one missing) I also found quite a few cocoons in the worm treatment. So, I thought it would be interesting to continue “playing” with the leftover plants + substrate. I mixed in some shredded cardboard and water, covered everything with a plastic bag, then waited for what I expected would be the decomposition of the plant matter.
Back near the end of September I learned about someone who has been using composting worms in the grow trays for his microgreens and baby greens (and singing their praise in his YouTube videos).
This seemed really interesting and unusual to me, and of course resulted in me wanting to test it out for myself!
I set up two small trays to grow a mix of salad greens, and added 15 Red Worms to one of them. For all the nitty gritty start-up details be sure to check out my original blog post about this: “Worms in Microgreens Trays?“.
Germination and seedling growth in both trays seemed to proceed quite well, with no earth-shattering differences between the treatments. I also didn’t see any obvious (more…)
Recently, Shaul G posted in our Worm Farming Alliance discussion group about a YouTuber who calls himself “Papa Blue Shirt”. This gentleman is big into growing microgreens and baby greens…with a twist.
He adds composting worms to all his grow trays!
Naturally, this caught my attention and I decided I had better check out some of his videos.
Here is one that shows his basic process for setting up new trays with worms:
For a full list of all his worms + greens related videos I recommend checking out the Papa Blue Shirt Worms in Microgreens Playlist.
I myself have dabbled with microgreens in the past, and I’ve certainly had (more…)