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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European Nightcrawlers in an Urban Worm Bag?

It has been nearly a year and a half since I wrote about one of my own Urban Worm bags (a failed cat waste vermicomposting system). The details are a bit hazy now, but a new project direction didn’t end up materializing and I’m pretty sure the UWB was taken down completely last spring or summer.

So, it’s safe to say that getting back in the saddle with a new UWB project is long overdue!

One thing I’ve been wanting to test is the use of European Nightcrawlers in an Urban Worm Bag. I’ve tried them previously in a Worm Inn, and they seemed to mostly stay down in the bottom – and my attempt at keeping them in a VermBin48 resulted in most of them migrating down onto my basement floor.

Based on the size of the UWB and how well it retains moisture I’m a bit more optimistic about my chances of success – but whatever happens, it should be interesting!

Last week I got the ball (slowly) rolling over at my dad’s place. This is where I keep (more…)

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Basic In-Ground Bucket Worm Bin

As much as I love my “trench worm bins“, I realize a lot of people are looking for outdoor vermicomposting projects that are easier and to get up and running.

Even something like a buried plastic garbage can be pretty cumbersome, as I learned with my Vermi-Fertilization & Watering System.

The good news is that a bucket with some holes drilled in it is really all you need. Back in early June I decided to set one up to see how well it worked. I wanted to get it up and running as quickly as humanly possible – so I did cut some corners. (SPOILER ALERT: Everything has (more…)

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Super Simple Homemade Manure

The topic of “homemade manure” is something I’ve written about quite a few times here on the blog (and elsewhere) over the years. I’ve grown to appreciate the concept even more in 2020, since it’s been even more important to be resourceful (especially early in the season).

I can’t even remember how long it’s been since I last had a source of farmyard manure, and our own supply of compostable kitchen scraps always become a precious commodity as the season progresses and my worm herds grow.

If you are new to “homemade manure” (HMM), the basic idea is that we are taking readily available (for the average homeowner) materials and creating a manure substitute that composting worms love.

Here is an equation that helps to explain: (more…)

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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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