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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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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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The VermiBag Single-Compartment Flow-Through System

Back in April of this year I received an email from someone named Thomas Perkins, asking if I was interested in trying out his “VermiBag” worm composting system. Truth be told (no holds barred), I had already stumbled across his website a few months before that and had written the product off as a lame “Worm Inn knock-off” – partially because I was in the process of welcoming a “cool Worm Inn knock-off”, the Urban Worm Bag (sorry Steve – I couldn’t resist).

After all, there are only so many knock-offs you can welcome at one time!
😆

Hilarity aside, by the time April rolled around – and I had become an official UWB promoter – I was feeling even more conflicted about having any involvement with Mr. Perkins and his creation.

But, after giving it some more thought – and remembering my “unbiased education first” mission here – I decided it was only fair to at least look at the thing. lol
(I should point out that Tom also won me over with his friendly, mellow attitude in our email exchanges)

I did however make it clear that I wasn’t (more…)

Written by Bentley on August 15th, 2018 with 2 comments.
Read more articles on VermiBags.

The Insurance Bin – 6 Months Later

Back in April I first wrote about a very basic worm composting system I had set up at the end of January (2018) – something I called “The Insurance Bin“. The “in a nutshell” idea is that you can create these tiny, very basic set-ups quickly and easily, leave them in a climate-controlled location and basically forget about them for months on end.

No maintenance. No mess. No bugs. No chance of offending your housemates (as long as they don’t mistake the bin for a regular storage container – haha). Pretty well every possible reason people don’t want to keep a worm bin in their houses (other than “I just don’t like the IDEA of worms being inside my house” – lol) effectively rendered a non-issue.

And you end up with one or more “perfect” batches of (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 31st, 2018 with 2 comments.
Read more articles on Home Vermicomposting.

Urban Worm Bag – Day 131

It has been nearly two and a half months since my last Urban Worm Bag update.

This tends to be a time of year when projects fall of the rails a bit, and – although I had hoped this season to be different (but am now glad that’s not the case since it’s been a lot of fun) – that’s exactly what happened with my UWB follow-along.

Once my little “real world” worm business opens up for the season I often start taking over or harvesting active systems, exploiting them for my own business gains! Hahaha

Joking aside, in the past I have loved having Worm Inns for “back-up” and this year the UWB has taken on that role.

So what exactly does that mean?

It means I basically stopped adding food waste to it, and I started adding (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 17th, 2018 with 2 comments.
Read more articles on Urban Worm Bag.

Worms Beneficial for Gardening – True or False?

Question from Norm:

I have an organic garden, worms seem a little creepy. Someone told me great for gardening. ( true or false )

Hi Norm,
The super quick answer is “100% absolutely TRUE!”. Worms are great for gardening…but as you can likely guess, this is the type of question that requires a bit more of an in-depth answer.

There are different kinds of “worms” and different ways they can be beneficial. Right off the bat, let’s address the commonly-held misconception that you can just dump a bunch of earthworms (doesn’t matter what kind) into your garden soil and miraculously you are going to end up with incredible soil fertility.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way – it’s like putting the cart in front of the horse. I’m sure I am singing to the choir here (since you mentioned having an organic garden), but – for the benefit of others – you absolutely need to enrich your soil with lots of (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 15th, 2018 with no comments.
Read more articles on Reader Questions.

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