June 2012

Worm Inn Flow-Through System – Part I

Earlier in the week I shot another ultra-low-budget video with my point and shoot camera. It’s a huge file so I decided not to do a self-hosted version like last time. Thankfully, Vimeo seems to create a nicer finished video than YouTube (although I will try uploading it there as well).

This video provides an overview of the Worm Inn system – probably won’t offer much new info for those who already own a Worm Inn, but rest assured I am planning to make some other videos that will get into more detail about using this system.

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Lasagna Bed With Sod and Manure

I received this message from Sarah:

I have a large “lasagna” pile of 2 month old cow/horse manure and and
dead pasture sod strips (good amount of soil still attached).
The pile is about 9000 cubic feet (only 3 feet deep).
The pile is sitting outside in the back of our orchard in Western
My tractor is not heavy enough to turn it.
Might red wigglers compost it for me?
If I apply red wiggler worms would they pretty much stay in the pile,
or do we need to build a “bin” around it to keep them in?
Thank you for any info.

Hi Sarah,

This sounds like a fun project to me!

Sod isn’t the best material for a vermicomposting bed, but the aged manure certainly is, so I guess it would come down to the proportions of these two materials (ideally, you would have more of the manure than the sod). Moisture levels in the bed will also be an important consideration.

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Worm Inn Journal-06-22-12

In my last Worm Inn Journal update I wrote about adding some comfrey leaves to the system in an effort to see if green wastes might offer a viable alternative to food wastes (which I happened to be running low on at the time). As it turns out, the worms seemed to go crazy for chopped up leaves (certainly didn’t hurt that they had been frozen-then-thawed, and mixed with well-aged manure) – so, late last week I decided to really take things up a notch by adding a much larger quantity of plant materials.

That being said, let me once again issue my stern warning for those thinking about doing the same thing…

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A Look at Different Vermicomposts

Yesterday, for some strange reason, I suddenly felt compelled to shoot a short video about different kinds of vermicompost. What you see above was actually meant as a totally rough practice run. I literally turned on the camera (my trusty point-and-shoot digital) sat down, and started talking.

That won’t likely come as any major surprise for most people watching! lol

What’s cool, though, is the fact that I decided to “let go” of my perfectionist tendencies (which, ironically, don’t result in much better videos) and used it basically as-is. This was especially surprising given the fact that (more…)

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Worm Bin Run-Off

Question from Tom:

Do you know of anyone that has collected the run off water from
several bins and processed the water for a spray. Does the water
contain the “leeched” nutrients and minerals that could be used, for
example, as a additive to house plants.

Hi Tom,
What you’ve described is actually what a LOT of people would refer to as “worm tea” (“vermicompost tea” etc) – largely thanks to misleading info provided by worm bin manufacturers. The best vermicompost tea is of course actually made using finished (nicely stabilized) vermicompost.

Can leachate be used as a liquid fertilizer? (more…)

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Wooden Flow-Through Bin-06-14-12

I thought I’d share a quick update for my new wooden flow-through bin. As is often the case with my projects (especially this time of year), things have been progressing a bit slower than planned with this bin. I ended up taking it with me for a workshop I was giving several weeks ago, and I stocked it with some Red Worms as part of the demonstration – but I’ve done very little with it since then.

Yesterday I decided to start getting things back on track by adding some frozen-then-thawed food waste (1.306 kg / 2.88 lb) along with some “living material” and shredded cardboard. I also added the second level so I’d have more space for the materials being added.

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Citrus Vermicomposting

Citrus fruit wastes tend to be among those considered less-than-ideal for vermicomposting. They are highly acidic and the rinds contains volatile oils (and are slow to break down in general), so even a mellow vermicomposter like myself tends to treat them with caution.

That being said, I DO like to push the envelope every now and again (wink wink), so when I started noticing a lot of juiced lemons showing up in the coffee grounds I regularly pick up (from a local coffee shop), I thought it might be fun to set up some sort of citrus vermicomposting experiment.

If you’ve been following the blog closely this spring you’ll know that (more…)

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