September 2012

DIY Tumber – Revisited

It’s been quite some time since I last wrote about my DIY compost tumbler. Truth be told, until recently the system has basically sat idle. Same old, same old with me – lots of stuff on the go, so I inevitably end up focused on other things.

Well, for whatever reason it caught my attention not too long ago, and I decided to start adding lots of shredded cardboard and food waste to see what would happen. It seemed to take a LOT of material, and I must say I was very pleased to see it turning every bit as nicely as when I first constructed it (when I say “I”, you should should assume that means me and my dad – my trusty DIY amigo! lol) – even with the heavy load.

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Horse Treats & Potato Peels & Banana Peels?

Question from Will:

My son has some horse feed that has mildewed, will it be ok for worm
feed? Its a regular brand of sweet feed that got wet. I have also been
saving my potato skins and banana peels for food as well any thoughts?

Hi Will,
Most farm animal “feeds”, and of course things like “Worm Chow” (yes it DOES indeed exist! lol) are actually excellent food materials for growing composting worms. BUT, they can be a little bit more challenging to use than your run of the mill food scraps. They tend to not only have more protein (i.e. nitrogen) in them, but they are often quite starchy – so there is definitely a good chance you will end up with a stinky, anaerobic mess if you add too much at once (especially in mixed with water first). (more…)

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Bentley’s Ultimate Bin-09-21-12

Today I was getting ready to put together a self-mocking post entitled “Bentley’s Ultimate Bin…For Growing Isopods”, telling you all about how my “ultimate bin” project ended up being a total dud for Red worms, but a top notch way to breed loads of isopods (aka “sow bugs”, “wood lice” etc).

But then something strange happened…
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Stacking Bin Euros

Earlier in the week I wrote about my plans to keep a population of European Nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis) in a plastic stacking worm bin – specifically, my Worm Factory 360 (see “Can Euros Thrive in a Stacking System?“). Yesterday I got everything set up, and even added the worms (more on that in a minute), so we are officially off to the races.

The first step of my set-up process involved laying quite a few layers of newsprint over top of the grate bottom in the first tray. I’m even more paranoid about Euros crawling down into the reservoir than I was with the Red Worms (used last time I set up the WF-360), so this was a no-brainer.
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Can Euros Thrive in a Stacking System?

People periodically ask about keeping European Nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis) in stacking worm bins. Based on my own experience with these worms (and what I’ve read), I typically recommend that they set-up some sort of deeper bed/tub system instead, and use Red Worms in their stacking bins. I still think this is decent advice, but the fact of the matter is that I’ve never actually tried to keep Euros in this type of worm bin. I DID attempt to keep them in a Worm Inn a few years back (see “Worm Inn Journal – 02-10-09“). They insisted on staying down near the bottom of the system – not very helpful when you are trying to separate them from their castings – so I concluded that flow-through systems (in general) were probably not ideal for Euros.

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John’s VB24 Update

Waaay back in December (2011), I posted an email and some pictures sent in by my good friend, John Duffy, relating to his VB24 building experience (see “John’s VermBin24“). As mentioned in that post, John had (kindly) agreed to continue sending in updates/pics – helping to keep all of us posted on his progress.

Unfortunately, while John DID in fact send me some additional updates, yours truly never got around to getting them posted on the blog. (sorry folks!)

The good news is that John has continued to use and enjoy his VB24, and he recently sent me a brand new update – so here you go (thank again, John!):
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High Altitude Tomatoes

RWC worm-friend, Tina Ligon, recently wrote in to ask if I was still sharing gardening pics (see “How Did Your Garden Grow“). The picture she shared with me was SO beautiful I decided to give her her own post!
😆

I garden at 7900′ in Colorado and all of these tomatoes were grown here.
I have just harvested two 30 gallon trashcans of vermicompost from my
outdoor bin (a former refrigerator). Of course I amend my soil in my “tomato
house” as I call my self made greenhouse with vermicompost.

You don’t have to be a tomato fanatic (like me) to appreciate a picture like that. Thanks again for sharing, Tina!

By the way – if you haven’t seen Tina’s guest blog post from a few years back, I highly recommend you check that out as well:
Tina’s Outdoor Worm Bin Experiment

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