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!
Back in the middle of January I wrote about the “Tiny Tub” system I had set up (earlier in Jan) for two “rescued” European Nightcrawlers.
Finding these Euros was very exciting since I was starting to think I didn’t have any of these worms left, and…well…two is all you need to start building a new population!
Today I decided to assess the situation, and then moved the Euros/cocoons/habitat material to a 1 gal bucket system I set up a couple of days ago (wanted to let it “brew” a little bit before adding the worms). I’m sure they would have continued to do fine in the yogurt tub, but I want to make absolutely sure I am providing them with enough space and food/habitat to really thrive. This also means I won’t need (more…)
I’ve known for a long time – largely thanks to all the bins I’ve neglected over the years (lol) – that a population of worms can be sustained on bedding alone for months on end. This by itself is pretty cool, since it means you really don’t need to try so hard to “take care of” the worms all the time (and in fact – too much of that “caring” can actually get you in trouble). But I saw even more potential in the form of what I’ve referred to as “Insurance Bins”.
The basic idea – set up a pretty typical (but usually smaller-sized) plastic tub worm bin with lots of bedding, a modest amount of food, and of course some worms (you don’t need a lot). Maybe feed it once or twice more before leaving it completely alone (other than maybe adding a bit more bedding here and there, maintaining moisture etc).
This type of completely-low-maintenance system – that should be kept indoors – ensures you will (more…)
NOTE: This series was previously referred to as “(Red Worm) Cocoon Production in Different Materials”. As touched on in my last update, I decided to let the bins continue on, so now it’s more like my original “Four Worm Reproduction Experiment“.
I had planned to check on the bins a bit sooner than yesterday (Day 44), but in all honesty I do think it’s not a bad idea to limit the amount of disturbance as much as possible – especially now that there are tiny hatchlings involved.
Early last fall (2018), my good friend Larry Shier told me he had put together a course focused on serious worm breeding.
My initial thought – “Cool!”
And then he told me his planned price…$199* USD
My next thought, “Whoah!”
I’m not gonna lie – I thought he was a bit crazy to charge so much for a web-based worm farming training course.
But what’s funny is that if you asked me now, I’d say he’s not charging enough – and I’ll explain why a little further along.
Back near the beginning of December I wrote about my plans to (finally) get my Urban Worm Bag 2.0 up and running – and to do so with a bit of (controversial?) flair!
Rather than simply starting yet another kitchen-scrap-processing system, I thought it would be fun to test out cat litter wastes (from a box that uses compostable, clumping litter) as a worm food.
I had originally planned to try processing everything, but another experience vermicomposter – who has been processing cat wastes for quite some time – talked me down from the ledge (haha), suggesting it might make more sense to (more…)
If you’re on the email list, or you’ve even just been following the blog as of late, You’ll likely know that I’m on a bit of a “deep dive” in terms of wanting to learn more about cocoon production (and the important factors of influence).
My primary focus has been on cocoon production in Red Worms, simply because I had (almost) accepted the sad fact that I didn’t have any European Nightcrawlers left.
The last of my Euros had been left in a small system down in my basement – and not only was it very badly neglected, but a Red Worm population also ended up getting established (these two factors do NOT help Euros do well)! By the time I got around to rescuing the system last fall, all the worms were incredibly tiny (basically hatchling size) – and it was very difficult to even tell if there were any Euros left at all.
I thought I might have found one or two, based on their striping, but I really wasn’t sure.
As it turns out, my “rescue system” was (more…)
In the last update I mentioned my plan to finally harvest my VermiBag system (that had been up and running for about 4 months at the time). It had been neglected quite a bit, so I decided I should probably feed it fairly heavily first, in an effort to draw most of the worms up closer to the surface.
Well, I must say they went completely crazy for all that pumpkin I added – and it really seemed like my wood chip mix helped to balance it out nicely as well. The upper zone was crawling with “happy” Red Worms in no time.
As it turned out, I put off my harvesting plans during the holidays and then – much more recently – added yet another BIG load of pumpkin.
NOTE: I definitely don’t recommend adding this much of any type of food waste at one time. It is also a good idea to add in pockets or trenches so you are not completely covering the surface the way I did. (My “excuse” is that I’ve been doing this nearly 20 years now – and have a reasonable idea of what I can and can’t get away with – lol)
So yeah, it was a big dump of pumpkin waste that had been (more…)