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 nearly 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!
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll likely have seen plenty of references to what I call “living material” – but perhaps you haven’t been quite sure what I’m referring to.
I put together the Living Material Guide back in 2015 (hoping to update fairly soon, as I type this in fall of 2019), and I’m happy to report that I now have a (reasonably brief) video lesson on the topic as well!
The basic idea is that living materials are stable, beneficial-microbe-loaded materials – often quite readily available – that can greatly help with the vermicomposting process.
People often forget just how important a role (more…)
I recently wrote about the rather unique “Vernmenting” concept. As touched on, something that really stood out for me was this idea of “composting rolls” – for use in more of a batch type of system (where everything is added at the start and then basically left alone).
Yesterday, I happened to have a large amount of frozen-then-thawed kitchen waste – that had been sitting for a bit (aka getting a wee bit funky) – in need of a “home” so I figured this would be perfect for testing out my first composting rolls.
I outline everything in the video, but in a nutshell… (more…)
If I told you I was going to wrap a dead squirrel in some sheets of newsprint, toss it into a bucket with some dirt and worms, and then seal the thing up…would you expect me to be on my way to successful vermicomposting?
I found myself pondering basically the same question shortly after a friend suggested I look up a concept known as “vernmenting”, and I’d started watching the first video I found.
Right off the bat, I got stuck on the name – why “VERN” not “VERM”? And of course the “menting” ending made me think of fermenting – absolutely NOT something we want to encourage in a vermicomposting system.
I didn’t have the sound turned on, and things just went from bad to ridiculous from there. Not only was the guy (more…)
Back in early August I wrote about an outdoor compost bin I’d been adding some iffy materials to (see “Bentley’s ‘Bad Boy’ Bin”) – things like chicken bones (with some meat on them), compostable cat litter, oily/salty salad with cheese etc.
This was a “let’s see what happens” type of experiment, with the goal of demonstrating that you can basically compost any type of organic waste – even with worms involved. It’s all just a matter of HOW.
Hopefully it’s obvious that I would NEVER recommend an approach like this for a smaller, enclosed worm bin – especially something kept indoors. The bin I am using is good sized backyard composter (“Soil Saver”), with excellent ventilation, and there was already a well-established, safe habitat zone for the worms down in the lower half of the bin when I started the experiment.
Since getting the project rolling, I’ve added: (more…)
It has been a pretty quiet year on the vermicomposting planter front (and a quiet few months in general). I didn’t end up doing anything with it until quite late in the season (end of June) when we were having people over and I happened to be putting in some plants elsewhere.
On a whim I tossed in some marigolds and cabbage plants – mostly just for the sake of dressing it up a bit. Based on the results from previous seasons, I wasn’t really expecting much…but at least it looked presentable. lol
Well, as you can probably guess (more…)
It’s been nearly 4 months since my last walking windrow update – which is NO indication of how important this system has been for me in 2019.
It has completely exceeded my expectations. The windrow has provided a steady supply of Red Worms for my business this season, and there is now a LOT of rich vermicompost at the starting end that is ready for harvesting/screening.
I wasn’t able to get out to the project site much in July. Before this week, the last time I was there I noticed (more…)
The question of what you are and are not “allowed” to add to a worm composting system always makes for an interesting (often heated) discussion in the RWC Facebook group.
On the one hand, I agree these “rules” can be helpful for keeping newbies out of trouble, but on the other I feel it can send the wrong message…and lead to the proliferation of needless fear-mongering.
Nearly ALL forms of organic waste can be processed in a vermicomposting system – it’s usually just a matter of how! Different materials can require different handling/optimization practices for best results (or even to simply avoid killing your worms), but it really just comes down to learning the proper approach and easing yourself into it.
For a little while now I’ve been pondering the idea of (more…)