December 2012

The Beast-12-28-12

I finally got back out to my trusty “winter worm food bin” yesterday. It seems my planned “holiday worm treat” ended up postponed due to my getting swept up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

I was happy to see that temperatures in the food bin were still quite warm – especially considering the fact that ambient temps have dropped recently – and we even had a decent winter storm this week.
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Creating a “Happy Place” for Your Worms

A question from Cindy:

My worm bin is almost 1 year old. It was doing wonderful until about a
month ago. Now I hardly have any worms (& they are all small) and lots
of tiny white “bugs”. How can I get my bin back to a happy place? How
do I get rid of the little white “bugs”?


Hi Cindy,

What you’ve described sounds to me like something I refer to as “mature worm bin syndrome” – and is not uncommon when you continue using the same system for an extended period of time without harvesting vermicompost. I’m assuming this is the case for you since you didn’t mention any harvesting during that 1 year period (but we’ll touch on some other possibilities later on just in case).

The problem is that as the quantity of worm castings increases (more…)

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Charlotte Airport Vermicomposting Update

Yesterday I received 4 or 5 e-mails pointing me in the direction of a very cool article about the giant vermicomposting system in operation at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (thanks again, everyone!). It’s always really exciting to receive news like this – about “real world” initiatives involving vermicomposting – but I was extra-excited in this case since I’ve been wondering what ended up happening with this project.

As some of you may recall (more…)

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Cooking up a Holiday Worm Treat

I have some good news! It looks like I have really beaten those pesky skuttle flies into submission in my VB48 system. Ever since that initial surge of new adults emerging (shortly after I started adding the parasitic nematodes), the population has been steadily on the decline. I’m reminded of the importance of patience in this field of endeavor – and of course, the value of a multi-pronged eradication strategy (those slop traps really helped as well) when it comes to getting rid of flying pests.
8)

It’s important to note that there are STILL scuttle flies around – they haven’t completely vanished – but it’s pretty clear that the ecological balance in the VB48 has shifted quite a bit. Interestingly enough, I am seeing a LOT of small rove beetles in the bin now. So I’m wondering if perhaps they’d played a role in all this as well.

Anyway – I think it’s time to celebrate this small victory – and what better way to do so than by “cooking” up a feast for the worms in my new outdoor food bin!

This morning, I dumped several bags of frozen (and partially-frozen) food waste into a rubbermaid tub and took everything out to the bin.


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Bentley’s “Ultimate” Winter Worm Food Bin

Earlier in the fall I emptied out my “ultimate” vermicomposting bin for the sake of saving as many of the worms as I could. Interestingly enough, the conditions inside were much closer to “ultimate” than back during the summer. It was nice and moist, and there were plenty of worms to be found.

Another reason I wanted to empty the bin out was to make space for (more…)

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Bedding as Bedding?

“You know you are a worm-head when……you are shocked when your friends tell you they spent $200 on new ‘bedding’.”
~ You know you’re a Worm-Head Part-Deux

My wife recently informed me that it was time to get new sheets (the old ones seemed fine to me – but…well, I play with worms for a living so what do I know! lol). I told her in no uncertain terms that I would “take care of” the old ones.

She gave me THE look, (You know you’re a worm-head when you know THE look I’m talking about) but let me take them away with me nevertheless. Bless her tolerant heart.
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Scuttle Fly “Slop Traps”

As I wrote recently, I’ve come up with a new approach for dealing with my scuttle fly invasion. My beer trap has worked reasonably well, but I thought I might be able to kick things up a notch if I REALLY gave the flies what they are after – stinky, rotten waste materials.

I’ve noticed that they can really pick up pungent odors quickly/easily and it always seems to draw them in right away. It certainly doesn’t need to be rotting materials either. One night when we ordered pizza I noticed a fair number of them suddenly in the area where the pizza boxes were sitting. Another time it was a similar experience shortly after opening a can of tuna. So, I figured why not put these sorts of materials in plastic bottles and punch some small holes in them.
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