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 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!

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Backyard Vermi-Filtration – 7-07-20

Last month I wrote about a new project I had started, involving the conversion of an old, leaky plastic rain barrel into a DIY greywater “vermi-filtration” system.

Since then I’ve written about some interesting materials I’ve been tossing in (will come back to this topic in a minute), and all the nutrient-rich wastewater I’ve been collecting (and putting to good use in other systems as well).

I’ve been having a lot of fun with this one. Similar to a “vermiponics” bed I tend to think is might almost be a sort of “ultimate” system for Red worms. Always wet, yet likely even more oxygenated than many worm bins, plus plenty of microbial nutrition available.

Part of the fun is being able to push the envelope a bit in terms of (more…)

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Wastewater Worm Composting

Collecting different types of greywater for my Backyard Vermi-Filtration System in recent weeks has been an eye-opening experience. It has made me realize not only just HOW MUCH water we use for rinsing dishes etc, but also how much potential worm nutrition has been ending up down the drain over the years!

During the colder months of the year, without any sort of legitimate greywater system installed, there’s not a whole lot we can do other than making an effort to be more mindful about various forms of water-use. But from spring through fall there’s really no excuse for not taking advantage of this resource (and I am kicking myself for not really thinking of it before).

Initially, the idea was simply to (more…)

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Vermicomposting Trench Worm Bins?

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of vermicomposting trenches. Ever since “accidentally” hitting on the idea back in 2008 they’ve remained one of my favorite outdoor approaches (also spawning a variety of other hybrid approaches).

With backyard gardening and composting projects being included as a pretty important component of my son’s “homeschooling” time this spring (during COVID-19 lockdown), I decided it might be fun to try some form of in-ground bin when I stumbled on some old bins full of drill holes.

It just so happened that my main vermicomposting trench was in need of a serious overhaul, so I figured that would be a great spot to get the ball rolling!

Don’t be fooled by the dull, boring look of that trench…

Down just below the cover material was (more…)

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Vermicomposting Pine Cones?

Ever since starting up my vermi-filtration barrel system I’ve find myself looking at resistant, carbon-rich materials in a whole new light.

On some recent local nature walks with my son I noticed that there were a LOT of dried teasel plants along the creek we were exploring. The heads in particular caught my eye since they have countless cavities and I imagined them being great for microbial colonization in my new vermi-filtration system. Yet they would also gradually break down over time and get processed by the worms.

Similarly, yesterday afternoon I saw that there were countless old cones on the ground underneath red pines at a local park. It almost seemed funny that I had never even noticed them, let alone thought about testing them out in a vermicomposting system before.

They are very resistant to breakdown (similar to woody wastes) but have a really interesting lightweight bulky structure that I think would be great for (more…)

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Backyard Vermi-Filtration, Fertilization System?

Some years ago now my fancy green plastic rain barrel developed a crack, rendering it useless for its intended purpose. Me being me, I just couldn’t handle the idea of tossing it in the trash. Bare minimum it felt like some sort of composter waiting to happen.

Well…that never happened. It just sat in the corner of my backyard and collecting and releasing small amounts of rainwater every so often.

This year I decided enough was enough! My first idea was to convert it into some form of DIY “Garden Tower” – but I wasn’t quite sure how to make that happen.

More recently, on a whim I decided to add some bulky vermicompost screenings so it could at least release some nice liquid extract to the surrounding vegetation any time it ended up with water in it.

This got me onto the idea of (more…)

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Composting Rolls – 5 Months Later

Back in early October (2019) I decided to test out Mark Payne’s “Composting Rolls” concept – a major part of his overall “Vernmenting” approach. I set up 2 medium sized bins with these rolls (containing a food mix I made ahead of time), put them in a climate-controlled indoor location, then basically just left them completely alone.

I’ve opened up the bins 2 or 3 times since then, but late last week I finally decided to conduct a more thorough examination – and to catch all the action and excitement on film!
😉

It is quite fitting that I referred to this as a (more…)

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Worms Castings & Teas – Drought Tolerance in Plants (Revisited)

Last week I posted an update for my castings/tea alfalfa growth experiment (including a video showing the results). A short time after that I really started feeling like it was time to wrap things up. It’s been interesting for sure – but I’m keen to use my warming mat and grow lamp to start some new plants (perhaps edible this time – lol).

But there was one thing I wanted to try first!

Some years ago now, I “accidentally” discovered that (more…)

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