April 2013

Gum Vermicomposting – Update

It looks as though gum is NOT ideal for vermicomposting (go figure – haha!) – at least not the particular varieties I used for my recent gum vermicomposting experiment.

What`s interesting is that some of the invertebrates – namely springtails and mites – did show an interest in the two pink pieces of gum (Trident watermelon flavor as I recall) – at least initially (see first image below). Perhaps this had something to do with available sugars.

There didn`t seem to be ANY (more…)

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Vermicomposting Cheese?

Continuing with my theme of “how many crazy things can I vermicompost?” (lol), I decided to toss in part of a “Cheese String” the other day. I wasn’t expecting much due to the fat and salt content of the cheese, but have ended up quite surprised by the results.

Not sure “vermicomposting” is the appropriate term – since the worms are not-surprisingly showing zero interest in the cheese – but springtails, mites and a small beetle variety have been going to town on it!



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Worm Inn vs Plastic Bin – 04-22-13

While I’ve been pretty quiet about it, I’m happy to report that things have continued to move along with my “Worm Inn vs Plastic Bin” challenge. Last Tuesday (April 16th) I added some food scraps – specifically, watermelon and banana waste – to the two systems. Since the waste materials were pretty chunky (I’m sticking with John’s original suggestion to avoid optimizing them too much) it was tough to weigh out exactly-equal portions. As such, I decided to add (more…)

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Vermicomposting Gum?

This little experiment is a hat-tip to Larry “Garbage Guru” Duke – who suggested gum vermicomposting as a potential idea for our “Worm Inn Project Challenge”.

I’ve vermicomposted a LOT of different things over the years, but for some reason gum has never really crossed my mind as something to try (even though I’ve been a regular gum-chewer for quite some time).

For the past week or two I’ve been (more…)

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Crazy Q&A Podcasts – Session #12

Today’s Topics

– “Spider Mites” in indoor worm bins?
– How long before harvesting vermicompost?
– Adding worms to potted plants?
– Are cooked veggie/fruit wastes ok?
– Frogs – friends or foe?
– How do people harvest dry castings?!
– Red Worms in a system where they were not introduced.
– Can Red Worms adapt to cooler temperatures?
– Should I be worried about skunks (what about robins)?
– Why is it so difficult to raise European Nightcrawlers? (Hint – it’s not! lol)

Hope you enjoy it!

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Worm Inn vs Plastic Bin Challenge

On Thursday I finally managed to get the ball rolling with the new “Worm Inn vs Plastic Bin” challenge (had hoped to get this post up yesterday, but an ice storm left us without power for most of the day). The goal was primarily just to create baseline habitat for the worms – something I’ll continue to tweak over the next week or two.

The plastic bin I selected is a Rubbermaid “Roughneck”, with a similar volume as the Worm Inn (~ 2 cu ft). It has quite a few small drill holes along the the upper sides, and 4 bigger holes (originally cut out with a box cutter) in the lid. With a depth of less than 9″, I think this particular model has the potential to do reasonably well against the Inn…but we shall see!

It’s really important to keep everything (other than the containers themselves) as consistent between the systems as possible. As such, I decided to (more…)

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Pineapple Vermicomposting – 04-11-13

I wanted to post a very quick pineapple vermicomposting update today. It has been interesting to watch what’s been happening to the pineapple chunks in the two bins.

So far the worms have shown ZERO interest in the material. In the Euro bin (1st picture below) it doesn’t even look all that different from when we started. There are some springtails interested, but nowhere near as many as on the hamburger buns.

Clearly, conditions in the VB48 are a fair bit different than in the Euro bin (as indicated by the appearance of the pineapple chunk in the second picture). It’s likely warmer in there, and there is certainly a much-more-established ecosystem of invertebrates. Again, the springtails are showing some interest in the material – but it’s the white mites that REALLY seem to like it. Definitely helps to explain why they can show up in great abundance when lots of wet, acidic food wastes are added to a worm bin.

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