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!
I feel like I’ve been living under a rock sometimes, I tell ya! I’ve written about all sorts of different “vermigardening” methods here on the blog.
Yet somehow the “Keyhole Garden” concept has remained off of my radar screen all these years…at least until RWC follower/customer Liane M recently clued me in, that is!
We had been having an interesting exchange about (more…)
I cannot believe how fast the month of January has flown by!
I did a super quick assessment on Day 7 of this new 10 worm reboot (didn’t post about that), and found zero cocoons in all tubs. Tub #1 had 7 adults and 1 juvenile (likely stuck to an adult that was added and I didn’t spot it). Tub #2 had 9 adults. Tub #3 had 6 adults.
The coarsely shredded cardboard bedding didn’t seem like it was working all that great as a sole habitat material, so I decided to add a potting soil mix – mentioned in my first castings experiment post – down at the bottom.
NOTE: The soil mix had been created by mixing a small amount of poultry feed with a safe potting soil mix (no fertilizers in it), moistening, then leaving to sit for a period of time
Today (Day 22) almost all the worms I found were down (more…)
Last week I started a new experiment to compare the growth of alfalfa in amended and non-amended soil. I wrote my first post earlier this week (“Impact of Castings & Tea on Alfalfa Growth“).
The four treatments are: 1) Water & soil, 2) Liquid (Organic) Fertilizer & Soil, 3) Castings & Soil, 4) Liquid castings extract & soil.
As mentioned in my first post (linked above), most of the alfalfa seeds in all four treatments had sprouted by Day 3 – and there didn’t seem to be much in the way of obvious differences as far as germination rates or overall success (# seeds germinating) goes.
Since then, my one challenge has been trying to find (more…)
For quite some time I have been meaning to do some more testing with castings and non-aerated castings extracts.
Some may recall that aerated vs non-aerated tea experiment I conducted in 2018 (see “Non-Aerated Castings Tea – 9 Months Later” for the wrap-up and links to earlier posts).
As I discovered, non-amended “teas” can sit for extended periods without going foul (unlike their amended counterparts), but unfortunately I just didn’t get around to actually testing these extracts for their plant-growth-promoting properties.
This past fall I started getting interested in sprouting & microgreens as a winter home food production option, and naturally (me being me) wondered what, if any, impact castings extracts (and castings themselves) might have on sprout and microgreen production. My dad bought me some supplies (sprouting seeds and a little sprouting container), and my friend Alan Yokiosha (who owns a microgreens business) even sent me some cool microgreens kits to “play” with.
As exciting as all this is, I thought it would make sense to start with (more…)
Back in November I started a brand new “tiny tub” Red Worm population growth project (see “10 Worm Population Growth Challenge“)…
…only to watch as it turned into a complete and utter failure (see “10 Worm Challenge (FAIL) Update“). lol
The important thing is that I learned from the experience, licked my wounds…and now – rather fittingly in the new year – have finally made a fresh start (yesterday was “Day 0”)!
I THINK things will go differently this time around (certainly hope so anyway – or I might start to wonder about these 20 years I now have under my belt).
In some ways I am keeping things (more…)
I’ve had a lot of fun, interesting and, well – downright bizarre e-mail exchanges with worm folk over the years, but a message I received from Daisy W. back at the end of November may now reign supreme in all 3 categories!
Here is what she had to say:
This is going to sound weird – and of course you can decline. My husband is a big fan and follows your YouTube channel religiously. Often while he talks about his bajillion worms, he’ll refer to you and “what Bentley the compost guy says.”
I saw this Groupon today of a company that makes pillows out of people’s faces. For a little Christmas gag gift for him, I’d like to have this a pillow made of your face…
Earlier this week, I was reminded of the fact that just because I have 20 years of vermicomposting experience under my belt it doesn’t mean it’s always going to be smooth sailing.
I had high hopes for my “10 Worm Population Grow Challenge” – but alas, it went south in a hurry. I guess if there is a positive – apart from some important lessons I’ll share a bit later – it’s that it was a “fail fast” scenario, giving me the opportunity to potentially get a new project going without losing too much time.
So, what happened?!
Right off the bat, let me justify the (poor) results a little bit by saying that (more…)