March 2011

Name That Worm Inn – Winners

Hi Everyone,
After being away from home for nearly 3 weeks (as indicated by the scarcity of blog posts during that time), our family seems to have come down with various ailments (namely colds & stomach bugs). Ugggghhhh!

Needless to say, I’m not feeling so hot at the moment BUT this contest has been dragged out for long enough, so it’s time to announce the winners!

Let me start by saying that there were a LOT of really great, creative names! We were very impressed! Rest assured that even if you don’t see your name mentioned in this post, there were many names that appealed to me and Jerry (and the wide range of “votes” people submitted should also be an indication of this).

Some of you may end up a wee bit surprised by the winners, however. While humor/creativity was certainly appreciated (and will be recognized here), the task at hand was to come up with a name that would be appropriate for a larger Worm Inn. In my mind there were two major things to consider – Worm Inn brand consistency and some recognition of the larger size. Many of the names submitted would be awesome names for worm composting systems in general, but didn’t quit hit the mark with branding and/or the larger size.


1st Prize – Worm Inn (and stand kit) + 2 lb of Red Worms – “Worm Inn MEGA”

(Leigh B)

2nd Prize – Worm Inn (and stand kit) + 1 lb of Red Worms – “The Gargantu-INN”
(Scott Deitrich)

3rd Prize – Worm Inn (and stand kit) – “Worm Inn Plus”
(Joseph Fontenot)


Honorary Mentions (in no particular order)

Worm Inn Deluxe
Vermillion lodge
VerMansion
“The Big TWINN!” (“The Big Type Worm Inn”!)
Super Deluxe Worm Inn
The BIG Inn
Worm Inn XL
Vermonster Resort
Mega Bag-Inn
Mega Terra Inn
The Mammoth Worm Inn
Worminator
BAITS MOTEL (hilarious!)
The Super Ate Motel
Vermingham Palace
The Wormada Inn
The Compost Colossus
Wormzilla
Big Ol’ Worm Lounge (B.O.W.L.)
Baron Von Worm’s Munch House (hilarious!)
The Large Harvest
Castin Cradle
The WormMahal
Worm-a-Lot
Verm-O-Worm-O-Rama (loved this one! haha)
The Bentley Inn (there’s just SOMETHING about this name – haha!)
Piggly Wriggly
Doo Drop Inn (hilarious!)
Better Worms and Gardens (loved this one for creativity)
Slimetropolis
Super “Bait” Motel
The Global Worm Inn (nice play on words)


Again, there were certainly plenty of other good ones submitted – so please don’t feel bummed out if your name didn’t appear here!

Ok, nuff said! If you are a prize winner please drop me an email so we can work out the details.
Thanks to everyone who participated!
8)

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Fun With Meat Grinders

One of the things I’ve been wondering about for a while is the possibility of using some sort of big old-fashioned manual-crank grinding device for crushing up worm food materials. One of the possibilities that came to mind was a big meat grinder, but I’ve always assumed it would cost way too much to get my hands on one.

A recent email from (Brazilian) RWC reader, Gustavo, has me re-thinking this possibility! Gustavo initially emailed to let me know how he was using a meat grinder to prepare food for his African Nightcrawlers. This certainly caught my attention, and I was quick to ask if he’d mind sending in some pictures. As you can see, he happily obliged (thanks again, Gustavo).
8)

I’ve included much of Gustavo’s initial explanation, along with the captions he provided for each picture

Hey, man! Just wanna share something cool I did today. I’ve seen a lot of people trying to make their worm bins work faster by using their blender to triturate the worm’s food. It may be good, but if you don’t control yourself in the process you only get a load of goo that will let the bin too wet. Anyways, I don’t like it. I prefer to use my blender to mix MY food. So, I was cleaning my house and found my grandma’s old meat grinder! I gave it a try and get a wonderful result, the food was homogeneously triturated. I did it to some vegetables, which dropped a lot of water so I placed them in the bin in one side and used the water to irrigate a dry spot, and even with some hard things, like manioc (I think this is the english work for that, or cassava).

The best thing is it’s cheap if you don’t own one and can find a lot of them in the internet. I think you buy used things there in ebay, right?

I let mine placed outside the house and clean it after using it with a hose (drying it later, of course, so it don’t get rusty).

That’s it. For small bins, like mine, it may be a good way to accelerate the process.


This is my grinder disassembled, it’s easy to understand how it works. The handle pushes the food and rotates that smaller part (in my hand) at the same time:


This should explain it better:


So, this is it. Just put the food in the grinder and rotate the handle. You only need to be cautious to not let your finger inside it too, it’s manual, but it’s very strong and can pull your finger very easily if the rotation is fast enough. I prefer to press the food (when needed) with a stick.


This picture shows how the finished “product” is. You can open or close it a little more for bigger parts. I like it almost closed for smaller parts.


The final result. Today’s lunch: zucchinis, carrots, pumpkins, tomatos and cucumbers. (I translated these names in google translator, don’t know if they right)


I put this today in the bin, this is how it looks like..


But this picture I took a few days ago shows what you get in only 4 days. You can’t distinguish what is food, what is compost… I can only distinguish the leaves and one of my chickens feather. I tried to show how many worms were there, but I have africans, they’re very fast, when I took the leaves they ran away. Btw, the appearance is not very beautiful, it’s too humid… it’s raining in Brazil for 2 weeks – it’s an outdoors bin.


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Name That Worm Inn – VOTING!

The Name That Worm Inn contest has officially ended – but the FUN is only just getting started! As mentioned elsewhere, what I’d like to do now is encourage everyone to pick your favorite names and to leave them in a comment below. I am including the official list of names in this post to make things a bit easier.

These “votes” are not going to be tallied – but your opinion is VERY important since it will help Jerry and myself to come up with a “short list” for the final selection.

To make things a bit more fun (and helpful), I would appreciate it if everyone could list favorites in two categories:

1) Most appropriate name for the product – decide which names you think are best suited as an actual product name for a large-scale Worm Inn system.

2) Most creative/hilarious etc – this is for your favorite “fun” names! These ones may not get chosen for the actual product name (we shall see), but they definitely still deserve to be recognized! IMPORTANT NOTE – if there is a funny/creative one that you think would be a good product name, DO include it in your other list (I’m not trying to imply that these sorts of names won’t be considered)

Keep both of your lists down to 5 names or less, and PLEASE (in the spirit of gamesmanship and all around good fun) don’t select your own names!

1) Worm Inn Deluxe
2) Supersoil Bucket
3) Jerry’s VerMansion
4) “The Big TWINN!” (“The Big Type Worm Inn”!)
5) BAITS MOTEL (Get it? Sorta like “Bates Motel” from the movie “Psycho”)
6) Super Deluxe Worm Inn
7) The Worm Castle
8 ) The Worm Hotel
9) Squirmin Worm Inn
10) The BIG Inn
11) VermiCastle
12) The Worm Mansion
13) Worm Inn Plus
14) Vermi-villa
15) Deluxe Above Ground Worminator
16) Cast Away
17) The Great Wormery Estate
18) The Taj Mahal for Worms
19) RED WORM RESORT
20) Mother Natures Care Sack
21) The Worm Fortress
22) The Vermi-cycling Habitat
23) VermicuLife
24) VermicompostInn
25) The Vermicomposting Hotel
26) Vermi Village
27) Worm Reactor
28) Wormopolis
29) Redworm Army Barracks
30) Worm Super Inn
31) Worm-a-Tel
32) Worm-opia Inn
33) The Macro Vermichute
34) Wiggle Inn
35) The Worm Manor
36) The Intergalactic Wormhole
37) The Worm Tunnel Funnel
38) Bulky Bag o’ Worms Chalet
39) The Super Ate Motel
40) Wiggler’s Inn
41) Vermingham Palace
42) THE GARGANTU-INN
43) Jerry’s Super Worm Inn Dude Ranch
44) Verm-topia
45) Squirm Inn
46) The Wormada Inn
47) WormIt
48) Worm World
49) Zip on Inn
50) Worm Hostel
51) Crawl on Inn
52) The Compost Colossus
53) Big Worm
54) Vermaison
55) VermInn
56) Worm Club
57) Worm Penthouse
58) Wiggly Worm Rancher 2000
59) Nature’s BLACK GOLD!
60) Black Gold Inn
61) The Wiggle Room
62) Super Pooper Inn
63) The Wormotel
64) The Bait Bank
65) Wormzilla
66) Worm Lodge
67) The Worm Rancher
68) Eden Worm
69) Worm Inn XL
70) Vermonster Resort
71) Holey Ground
72) Red Worm Town
73) The J-Worm Ranch Inn
74) Vermi Terra
75) Black Gold Maker
76) Worm Bed & Breakfast
77) Just Passing Through
78) Chateau Wormmont
79) The Pent-Inn
79) The Vermillion Lodge
80) Worm City
81) Cornucopia of Worms
83) Big Ol’ Worm Lounge (B.O.W.L.)
84) Worms Galore
85) Worm Inn-V
86) The Worm Pantry
87) Baron Von Worm’s Munch House
88) Green-World Vermicomposting System
89) The Castin’ Cradle
90) Worm Palace
91) Worm Womb
92) The Large Harvest
93) The WormMahal
94) Jerry’s Wormery Lodge
95) Castings Alley
96) Worm-Ecology
97) THE WORM EMBASSY
98) Worm Shack
99) World of Worms
100) Fetida Hilton
101) VermiWorm Complex
102) Sack-O-Worms
103) Vermi-tropolis
104) Worm Wizard (“the easy flow-through composter”)
105) The Master Suite
106) Eco-Worm Composter
107) Hotel Vermi
108) The Red Worm Planet
109) The Alpha-Worm Composting Hammock
110) VermiVortex
111) Worm-a-Lot
112) Mass O’ Worms
113) The Squirmory
114) Vermiflow Inn
115) The Wormitory
116) Worm Locker
117) Magnaworm Inn
118) Yard-O-Worms Inn
119) The Worm Bag
120) Poop Palace
121) Red Worm Inn
122) Worm & Cozy Inn
123) Worm-S-Court
124) Red Worm Roost
125) Squigglers’ Paradise
126) Worm Swiggler Ward
127) Verm-O-Worm-O-Rama
128) The Bentley Inn
129) Worm Inn Habitat
130) Wormwood Scrubs
131) The VerMaid
132) Jumbo Worm Inn
133) Club Worm
134) Mega Bag-Inn
135) Wormylon 5
136) The Worm Estate
137) World Wide Worm Inn
138) The Big Dude
139) Piggly Wriggly
140) Dr. Worm’s Laboratory
141) The Wiggler’s Big Tent
142) Mega Terra Inn
143) Doo Drop Inn
144) The Mammoth Worm Inn
145) WMD (“Worms of Mass Destruction”)
146) Better Worms and Gardens
147) Squirm Town
148) Wormville
149) United States of Red Worms
150) The Worm School
151) Wiggly Wriggly Resort
152) Troop Beverly Worm
153) Old Worm Town Inn
154) Slimetropolis
155) Worm’s The Word
156) Wormacone
157) The Worm House
158) Worm Mania
159) The Bait Shack
160) Motel Worm (“We’ll Leave The Lights Off For You!”)
161) Super “Bait” Motel
162) The Worm Hang Out (The W.H.O.)
163) Worm Chateau
164) Worm-a-licious
165) Red Worm Compost-Inn
166) The Wormery
167) The Global Worm Inn (to help stop global warming!)
168) The VermiNation CompooStation
169) Holiday Worm Inn Express
170) Wormaversity
171) Palais du Vermsailles
172) Behemoth Vermi inn bin
173) The Vermi Comp Plantation
174) The Worm Inn Mega Edition (“Worm Inn Mega” for short)
175) The Casting Optimizer
176) Vermi-Casa Grande
177) Inn n Out Worm Bin
178) The Mini Worm Bag
179) The Worm Farm
180) Black Gold Cove (The Treasure Within)
181) Red Wiggler Resort

LET THE FUN BEGIN!
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Winter Worm Windrow – Whoops!

I’m sure that at least a FEW of you must have been wondering what on earth was going on with my “Winter Worm Windrow” this season. I haven’t provided any sort of update since early in December! (see “Winter Worm Windrow-12-09-10“)

Well…let’s just say I haven’t been nearly as active with my “real world” vermicomposting activities this winter. Bottom-line, my “Winter Composting Extravaganza” basically didn’t happen. I got caught up in the usual whirlwind of other stuff, and never did end up securing a supply of coffee grounds from a brand new cafe in town (mentioned this potential arrangement in this post: “Winter Worm Windrow-12-2-10“).

Anywho

While spring MAY indeed be just around the corner in my neck of the woods, I figure it’s never too late to have some fun with the windrow system! As it turns out, the coffee shop owner recently contacted me to see if I was still interested in taking their coffee grounds – and, needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity!

Regular readers will know that I have a love/hate relationship with coffee grounds (as a vermicomposting “food”) based on my countless attempts – many of them unsuccessful – to figure out how best to use it. Hopefully this new arrangement will provide me with ample opportunity to do just that!
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Before I made my first official coffee grounds pick-up (last week) I decided to thaw out two of my garbage can food scrap holders (I wrote about these bins in the “Winter Worm Windrow-12-09-10” post) so they could be dumped in the windrow as well. I even had some bags of brown leaves left over from the fall!

I won’t claim to have found a steamy warm bed full of Red Worms when I pulled back the tarp on the windrow, but it DID at least look like the system hadn’t frozen solid – so I’m happy about that! Hopefully with a little TLC I’ll be able to get things humming again! As you can see (below) once I added all the leaves and other materials to the windrow (actually added quite a bit to my big wooden bin as well) it was back to its old form again.

Will be sure to update everyone on my progress with the system (and coffee grounds vermicomposting) again some time over the next few weeks.

Stay tuned!
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A Tribute to “Mark from Kansas”!

By Larry Duke

March 11th, 2011. My one year anniversary of worm composting.

Thinking about my one year anniversary, I was trying to plan on doing something special. Like giving away a pound of worms in a contest. I filmed a contest video three times. Then suddenly I deleted them because I started to think about what got me started on my life with worms. And I have to tell you, if it wasn’t for that “Mark from Kansas” video of his bin, I would probably not be talking about worms today! I know for a fact I would not have my big flow-through that has gotten my mind off of some pretty low times in my life. So rather then thinking of myself, I want to thank “Mark from Kansas”! Because he changed my life for the better. So if I have ever inspired any of you for the better. Don’t thank me! Thank “Mark from Kansas”!

So “Mark from Kansas”, my hat is off to you sir! And I don’t do this often. I gotta hide my bald head! HA HA!
Anyway – thanks a lot, Mark, for inspiring me! I’m your #1 fan!

Your friend,

Larry D

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Name That Worm Inn Extension

Hi Everyone,
I’ve been very occupied with a family road-trip this week and haven’t had much time for computer stuff, SO I have decided to extend the deadline for the “Name That Worm Inn” contest until Friday March 11th (midnight EST). I will send an email out to the RWC Newsletter list as well.

If you have submitted your name but have not heard back from me and the name has not been added to the list etc – have no fear, I will be sorting through the latest entries (in the order they arrived) and will get back to everyone (with a yay or nay) this morning.

Thanks for your patience!
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Worm Inn Journal-03-04-11

All this recent talk about Worm Inns has reminded me that it’s been a LONG time since I’ve written an update for my own Worm Inn system. I’ll be the first to admit that my various systems have suffered from neglect during the past few months (Worm Composting Windrow?…Whoops!) – but I actually have started tending to my Worm Inn in the last couple of weeks.

Those who know me probably won’t be surprised to learn that I’ve decided to do something somewhat different with the system (I love my “hair-brained experiments”!). Rather than feeding the Inn run-of-the-mill household food wastes, I’m going to convert it into a cardboard-only system. Well – ok, not quite! I’ve decided to provide a nitrogen source in the form of water from my daughter’s goldfish tank.

So far it seems to be working quite nicely! The level of cardboard in the Inn continues to go down, and the worms seem to be healthy and active. I will be very interested to see how things pan out over the next few months – my hunch is that I’ll end up with a LOT of worms, and some nice crumbly cardboard-vermicompost!

I encountered a very surprising sight today – my systems seems to be a veritable breeding grounds for slugs! This is definitely a first for me – and especially intriguing given the fact that this is an indoor bin! Slugs generally don’t do well in regular enclosed plastic worm bins, but I guess the damp (but not soaking wet), well-aerated environment (and perhaps the microbial buffet provided by the fish water?) is ideal for them. I dunno – but very interesting nevertheless!
Maybe I can become a professional escargot farmer!
😉

Thankfully, these don’t seem to be one of the predatory species of slugs (not even sure if we have those around here), so they seem to be co-existing with the worms just fine.

Slug in My Worm Bin

While I was digging around, I also noticed a lot of small, orange globules (see below). At first I thought perhaps that these were slug eggs, but after doing a Google image search I’m pretty sure they must be something else. They may be some sort or slime mold or some strange variety of fungi – hard to say for sure.

Slug Eggs? or Slime Mold?

Anyway – that’s basically it for this update. I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted on my progress with the fish-water Inn!
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