January 2010

Four Worm Update – 01-06-10

Four Worm Reproduction Experiment
Contents of the “Four Worm Reproduction Experiment” nicely decayed and ready for worms!


After 26 days of worm bin “aging”, I finally decided to get my new “Four Worm Reproduction Experiment” officially up and running today.

Needless to say, everything is looking (and smelling! haha) nice and…uhhh…RIPE in the bin, so there is little doubt that we are more than ready for some vermicomposting action!

In my last post I mentioned that it’s often not a bad idea to open your bin up a number of times during the aging process so you can mix everything up a bit and add water and/or new bedding as needed. I actually haven’t really done much with this bin, but today I did do a bit more mixing and also decided to add a small amount of water as well – just to get things as close to (my version of) “perfect” as possible.
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Next, of course, I added the four worms!

Four Red Worms
Four young worms – let’s see what they can do!


Just as I did in the original Four Worm Reproduction Experiment, I selected four vermi-youths (those without a clitellum) so as to ensure that ALL future worms are the result of reproduction that has occurred in this system. Adult worms can carry sperm around for quite some time, and will use it to fertilize many new ova (thus leading to production of quite a few cocoons) until such time as the supply runs out.

Anyway, I will probably now leave the worms to do their “thing” for awhile before providing another update. There is more than enough for them to eat, and while it might be interesting to see how quickly they mature, there really won’t be much else to report on for at least a few weeks I’m sure.
I’ll keep everyone posted!
8)

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Mark’s Kansas Winter Worm Report


It’s cold in Kansas. How is your outdoor bin doing?


Well some of you maybe wondering “How in the global warming world did that trash weight go up so much”?
It’s like this… you see, I have a warming cable in my bin. Now when this cable heats up, it forms this hard cement like stuff that insulates the rest of the moist bin contents from the heat. The only way to get the cable to warm up again is to free the cable from the crust and that involves digging around the bin for about 2 hours. Now (as the picture illustrates) it is COLD out there! The temps of the bin dropped to mid 50s F. I didn’t want to freeze my jingle bells off and Letty yelled something in Spanish about putting on the hat she got me for Christmas so, I went back to basics. Add fuel and insulation. I should caution that over feeding is very very risky.
Here is an example of ten days in December:
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12/17/2009 – 13 lb – pumpkin/manure
12/18/2009 – 1 lb – leaves
12/19/2009 – 18 lb – pumpkin/manure/banana peels
12/21/2009 – 16 lb – manure/ coffee grounds
12/26/2009 – 13 lb – manure/banana
12/27/2009 – 13 lb – melon/leaves
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The temps did go up and there is a 2 inch layer that is warmer than the rest. The indication is the abundance of worms and their reaction to light. I can’t get an accurate reading in this layer.

HOW IS YOUR OUTDOOR BIN DOING?


‘Mark from Kansas’ is an avid vermicomposter from…well…Kansas, and contributing author here at Red Worm Composting. When he is not tending to his OSCR worm bin, Mark also enjoys spending time with his wife Letty (who also doubles as his trusty vermicomposting assistant) and picking petunias (ok, Bentley just made that last bit up).


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Breaking the Silence!

Happy New Year everyone!
I just can’t take it anymore – SOMETHING needs to be said!
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As some of you will know I’ve been very busy with a behind-the-scenes project these last few weeks, and sadly it has pulled me away from my usual blog posting habit! Unfortunately I have managed to drag our good buddy “Mark from Kansas” down with me as well! haha

Mark sent me a post to review and publish for him, and yet here we are a week later with nothing done about it!
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(sorry Mark!)

UPDATE: Here is Mark’s post (in case you haven’t seen it yet): “Mark’s Kansas Winter Worm Report

Anyway – rest assured, things are definitely going to get back on track. As you might imagine, this is going to be the “WEEK OF UPDATES”! haha
Some news will be good, some…well…not so much! But I’m not one to let vermicomposting set-backs to dampen my spirits, so onward we shall march!

Ok – enough jibber jabber! I’ll be adding one or two real blog posts sometime this afternoon!
8)

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