February 2013

Worms Love Romance Novels!

I’ve put a variety of things in my worm bins over the years – eg coffee cups, dryer lint & pet hair, and bed sheets – but I don’t think I’ve ever tried whole books.

As our good friend, Larry “Garbage Guru” Duke demonstrates, worms seem to love trashy romance novels! Gives a whole new meaning to the term “book worm”.

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Growing Oyster Mushrooms in a Worm Bin?

One topic I’ve been fascinated with for a long time is mycology – especially as it relates to edible fungi. Likely the coolest online video I’ve EVER seen featured a large-scale integrated “eco-machine” system set up by Dr. John Todd in Vermont (quite a few years back now – sadly I was never able to track down the video again). It involved using brewery waste to grow oyster mushrooms. The spent mushroom growing substrate was then fed to Red Worms, which were in turn fed to yellow perch in an aquaponics system used to fertilize a variety of plants. It was absolutely amazing!

Even just idea of combining (more…)

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Garden Towers – Revisited

A short time ago I received an email from Tom Tlusty*, one of the partners and co-founders of the Garden Tower Project. He wanted to let me know that the project has not only continued on, but that things seem to really be taking off for them. They currently have a Kickstarter (crowd-funding) campaign that’s been going gangbusters ever since launching. They have actually surpassed their goal already – but as Tom explained, they are still welcoming any and all additional contributions since it will help to ensure the success of the project.

What’s cool is that (more…)

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Crazy Q&A Podcasts – Session #9

Today’s Topics

– Restocking a bin with a declining worm population
– Pros and cons of Euros and Red Worms
– Dealing with Black Soldier Fly larvae
– Risks of vermicomposting diseased plant materials
– Are green food wastes as risky as grass clippings?
– Vermicomposting “zoo poo”
– Do earthworms produce better compost than Red Worms?
– Are house fly larvae harmful to worms?
– Dealing with cocoons and babies left in vermicompost
– Adding stinky food wastes to a vermicomposting system.
– Are there any organic materials that won’t break down in a vermicomposting system?

Hope you enjoy it!

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Euros vs Reds – 02-19-13

Yet another quick “Euros vs Reds 2.0” update for you. I checked on the bin this morning and was very happy to see that all the excess liquid had been soaked up, and that there was a nice earthy smell in the bin.

So, I decided to add the worms – three adults of each. If I had wanted to be super “scientific” about it I likely would have added immature worms so that we could guarantee a level playing field (some of these adults may be ready to drop cocoons while others are not) – but I honestly don’t think it will make a big difference.

I will likely just let the worms settle in to their new home for the next week or so before adding more food, but I’ll keep an eye on them over the next few days just to make sure all is well (you never know)!

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Euros vs Reds 2.0 – Update

I finally got around to checking on my new Euros vs Reds system today, naively assuming that I’d actually be able to add the worms. lol

The initial appearance wasn’t too bad – plenty of fungal growth as expected, but otherwise looking just fine.

It was the SMELL I had a problem with! There was a pretty powerful (more…)

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Invertebrates of the Soil/Compost Food Web

This is another great video put together by RWC friend, Allison Jack. I’m sure some of you remember the last video of Allison’s I shared here: the equally-fascinating “Vermicompost โ€“ A Living Soil Amendment”.

This one should definitely help some of you identify some of the critters in your bin!

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