October 2007

Worm Composting Videos!

I am pleased to announce the launch of a vermicomposting video section here at RedWormComposting.com with the recent creation of my very first ‘how to’ video! I decided to create videos for the benefit of all those who learn more easily via video/audio format and also hope they will help get the word out about the site (since they can be embedded on other people’s blogs/sites.

I only have one video so far, but am planning to create a bunch more over time! Video #1 shows you how to create your own ‘deluxe’ Rubbermaid worm bin. This type of bin is a little fancier than the basic worm bins I normally set up (I’ll be making a video showing how to make one of those soon), but it should be an ideal system for someone just starting out since it provides ample aeration and drainage, while keeping things fairly neat and tidy (all liquids simply drain down into lower reservoir bin).

I wish I could provide the original videos here on the site (since they are so much better quality), but alas the bandwidth usage would be off the charts! I may try hosting a few videos at some point just to test this out, but for now I will stick with the YouTube format.

Hope you find the vids interesting/useful!
Any comments/suggestions/requests you have will certainly be welcomed.

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Worm Power

I came across an interesting article at Science Daily today describing the large-scale vermicomposting system developed by Tom Herlihy of RT Solutions Inc to process dairy manure. It sounds pretty cool. Worm power is the name of the worm compost product that is produced.

Here is a blurb from the article:

Initially, the manure is subjected to a series of heat treatments in a composting process to ensure the elimination of weed seeds and potential pathogens to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency standards. Next, red worms, a specific type of earthworm used for vermiculture, digest the organic waste. The worms’ digestive system, along with bacteria inside the digestive tract, accelerates the decomposition and stabilization of the organic matter.

The process is also fast and efficient. One pound of worms can digest up to a half pound of organic material per day. The process can transform 1,320,000 pounds of raw manure into a high-quality soil fertility product in approximately 60 days. According to Herlihy, the final product has the wonderful look and feel of dark coffee grounds with a pleasant, slightly earthy aroma.

Here’s a link to the full article: Worm Power: The Future Of Composting

I decided to see if I could track down a website for RT Solutions, and was able to find one dedicated to the Worm Power product line (worm compost and worm tea). It is a great website with lots of information, not to mention a cool photo of Herlihy’s flow-through reactors (on the “Worm Power in the News” page).

Here is some info from their “About Us” page:

RT Solutions (dba Worm Power) owns and operates the largest process controlled vermicomposting facility in the Eastern United States. Our facility is integrated with a 4th generation family “Dairy of Distinction” in the Finger Lakes region of Western New York.

Marketed under the WORM POWER brand name, large volumes of premium organic soil fertility products are produced at our state of the art facility under strict quality controlled conditions in a three part patent pending system. Initially the organic materials from the dairy are processed in a thermophilic composting step (high heat) that ensures that Worm Power is free of weed seeds and that it is certified to meet all USDA and EPA standards for possible pathogen destruction. Next, over 8 million earthworms (commonly referred to as red worms) organically process the material under specific and controlled conditions to give WORM POWER its outstanding soil fertility building properties.

[UPDATE 2018: Tom Herlihy no longer works for Worm Power and they have removed the old About us page and any mention of RT Solutions]

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Worm Girl – Promoting the Power of the Lowly Worm

I love hearing about other people who are as passionate about vermicomposting as myself. Susan McVety, a.k.a “Worm Girl” seems to be one such person – and she’s a fellow Canadian, no less!

I recently came across an interesting article about McVety and her Montreal-based worm crusades, and knew I had to write a post about her here.

Here is a blurb from the article:

If you’re looking to compost with worms but don’t know how, Susan McVety will come to your rescue.For $10 McVety will deliver a yogurt container full of red wrigglers to your home. For $25 she’ll bring a “stylish” Worm Girl compost bin (a Rubbermaid storage bin with plenty of air holes around the sides near the top and a “handy/pretty sash covering the holes”) complete with worms, and a pamphlet on worm care basics. McVety offers the service on weekday evenings and weekends, and technical assistance and follow-up visits as needed. She’ll even baby-sit your worm bin for a while if you run into problems.

“Baby-sitting” worms?? Now that’s what I call true dedication to the cause!

Interestingly, Worm Girl (in true superhero fashion) holds down a regular day job (as a university researcher) – donning her worm cape only on evenings and weekends.

Aside from reading the article I mentioned, you can learn more about Worm Girl and her wormy work via her MySpace page.

[UPDATE 2018: Link to article no longer working so it was removed. Amazingly enough, MySpace DOES still exist, but Worm Girl’s page doesn’t look like it contains any worm-related information so I removed the link to that as well.]

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Large-Scale Vermicomposting in Hong Kong

I just caught this really interesting video on Al’s Bokashi Blog. 80 million worms processing tons of waste ever day! Totally awesome!! We definitely need more operations like this here in North America!

[UPDATE: June, 2008 – Unfortunately, it looks as though this video has been taken down from the Reuters site]

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