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 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!


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Grass Clippings Homemade Manure – 06-27-24

Earlier in the month, I shared a very simple approach for creating “Homemade Manure” (HMM), using grass clippings and damp cardboard/paper (and a little “living material” for good measure). I ended up leaving that bin to sit for almost exactly 3 weeks, down in my basement, before putting the material to use.

As you can see in the first image below, the volume reduction was pretty incredible by that point!

It’s important to point out, however, that the cardboard and paper was (more…)

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Simple Homemade Manure Using Grass Clippings & Cardboard

I’ve recently been writing (to RWC email list subscribers) about the value, and challenges of using grass clippings as a food material in vermicomposting systems.

In the past, I’ve always been fairly cautious about recommending its use in typical, small-scale, enclosed systems because it can be tricky to work with – even potentially hazardous for the worms, if you’re not careful. In open outdoor systems, things become a whole lot easier, but that’s another topic for another time.

In smaller-to-medium-sized, enclosed systems it is important to only add fresh clippings in moderation, since they can release ammonia gas (very dangerous for worms), cause overheating, and just generally create an environment that’s not particularly worm-friendly.

Aside from simply adding the clippings in very small amounts, another (arguably much better) option is to (more…)

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Bottomless Microgreens Garden (with Worms)?

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…)

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Vermi-Terrarium – Wrap-Up

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…)

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Red Worms + Isopods for Turbo Carbon-Processing?

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…)

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Vermi-Terrarium – 06-13-22

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.

Vermi Terrarium

I ended up keeping the back section (where there weren’t many plants) covered with plastic for moisture retention, and continued to add (more…)

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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.

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