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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!

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Written by Bentley on March 11th, 2010 with comments disabled.
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Vermicomposting Planter Update

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the new “Vermicomposting Planter” project I am working on with my good friend Brian Donaldson, and shared a teaser pic to give you an idea of what the system was going to look like.

Well, as you can probably guess, Brian finished construction on his planter! And it looks fantastic.

I have included several pics below.

vermi-planter02

Front view of the Vermicomposting Planter


(more…)

Written by Bentley on July 3rd, 2017 with 3 comments.
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Vermicomposting Planter

teaser-planter1
Teaser shot of the new vermicomposting planter design Brian and I came up with.


If you are on the RWC e-mail list, you will likely know that I have some fun vermi-gardening projects planned for this year. One such project involves the creation of a “vermicomposting planter” with the help of my good friend Brian Donaldson (one of the admins for the RWC Facebook Group).

I have certainly worked with various forms of integrated vermigardening systems (basically systems that combine vermicomposting with plant growing) – eg. vermicomposting trenches, various types of worm tower, vermi-mulch beds etc etc – but the planter idea is something I’ve really wanted to try for quite some time (and it’s likely been the building aspect that has held me back from actually moving ahead with it).

I really like the overall concept and simplicity of (more…)

Written by Bentley on June 14th, 2017 with 2 comments.
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Biggest Euro Competition Update

It’s been a little while since I first mentioned plans to have a Euro-growing competition with Larry Shier (after he challenged me), so some of you may be wondering what is going on with that.

What’s funny is that for all the excitement and smack talk, neither Larry nor myself were actually ready to kick off the challenge! lol

Yes we both have Euros, but they’ve been neglected a bit – and there are Reds mixed in with them – so we had to make absolutely sure we were starting with the correct worms (Euros tend to look at lot more like Reds when they are neglected). ;-)

[UPDATE: Larry doesn’t actually have Reds mixed in. He had them in a “Paley System“, so they were very small, and their maturity difficult to assess.]

I decided to add (more…)

Written by Bentley on June 5th, 2017 with no comments.
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The Biggest Euro Competition

biggest-euro

Some time ago my good friend (and RWC Facebook group admin) Larry Shier got it into his head that he wanted to challenge me to a Euro growing competition. We started chatting about it back and forth (including some friendly smack talk), and the idea gained more and more momentum.

On Mother’s Day Larry finally laid down the gauntlet, issuing an official challenge on his blog entitled “IT’S ON!!”

He included the image below, which totally cracked me up (more…)

Written by Bentley on May 18th, 2017 with 2 comments.
Read more articles on Fun Stuff.

Horse Manure For High-Yield Vermicomposting

Interesting email from Andreas:

Hi Bentley
Big fan. Love the info!
I have chickens and i want to try breeding a motherload of worms to feed Them. I have a Big pile of horse manure and Wood shavings that is fairly Brown and Well aged. Do you Think it would work to seed the pile With worms in spring, let Them breed and Chow all summer, and then feed the chickens With a shovel full a Day of compost and Worms in the Fall? My question is basically: Will the Worms breed a lot in just aged manure and shavings, or do They need other Stuff AS Well to be really harpy?

Thanks in advance Andreas

Hi Andreas,

Thanks for the kind words!
You are in luck! Aged horse manure can be a fantastic material for breeding a “motherload” of Red Worms. To this day, likely the most amazing Red Worm “systems” (if you can call them that) I have seen have simply been old horse manure piles sitting outdoors, exposed to the elements.

The habitat manure should be somewhat “earthy” in smell (NO strong manure/ammonia smell) – but still have some food value (should not just look like soil/compost). Fresher material can be layered on top, or continually added to one side of the initial heap – creating what is known as a “wedge system” or “walking windrow”.

When you first set up the bed, make sure to (more…)

Written by Bentley on March 2nd, 2017 with 6 comments.
Read more articles on Reader Questions.

Mosquito Dunks For Gnats and Fruit Flies – Revisited

Back in August of 2009 I decided to test out “Mosquito Dunks” as a potential way to get rid of fruit flies and fungus gnats.

My (somewhat vague) memory of the experiment(s) was that there wasn’t an obvious reduction in abundance of gnats and/or fruit flies as a result. BUT, I have recently come across at least a couple of mentions of success with this method from others, so I’m eager to test it out again (and compare to my parasitic nematode experimentation).

Here’s what I really like about Mosquito Dunks (in comparison to nematodes):

Dunks release the (more…)

Written by Bentley on February 24th, 2017 with 3 comments.
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4-Worm Reproduction Reboot – 2-22-17

I had actually planned to post this update a couple of weeks ago (around the same time as my “Culturing Parasitic Nematodes” post), but I ended up getting side-tracked.

While I might not have managed to get my update posted, what I DID do 2 weeks ago was carefully sort through the habitat material in my 4-worm zipper bag system. I had spotted a tiny Red Worm – one much smaller than any of the 4 that had been added – and realized that I must have accidentally introduced one or more cocoons when I added the “living material” during the initial set up process.

{…SIGH…}

By that point the decomposition process in the bag had come along very nicely. There wasn’t much in the way of recognizable food waste, and I even had a little crop of (more…)

Written by Bentley on February 22nd, 2017 with no comments.
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