June 2013

Worm Inn vs Plastic Bin – 06-27-13

I’m sure everyone will be utterly shocked to learn that I really haven’t done much with this project since my last update (yep, that’d be sarcasm! lol). Anywho…the key is that I made some progress today!

I started, yesterday, by removing a couple of bags of food scraps from my chest freezer and letting them thaw overnight in a plastic tray.

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Stacking Bin Euros – 06-27-13

A very quick update for you on the “Stacking Bin Euros” front.

Ever since wasting little time adding my second tray to this system I have been letting it mellow out a fair bit. I’ve added some food and water – but for the most part it has simply sat as-is.

Earlier in the week I did add some of my wood pellets, along with some cut up cucumber. I thought the pellets – once converted to sawdust – might work really well to fill the gaps between the bulky pieces of shredded cardboard, and help to improve the overall water holding capacity of the bedding in the upper tray.

I decided to dig around a bit yesterday and was amazed to find lots of fat Euros in the upper tray, but not a single Red Worm! They seem to have done a decent job processing the lower bedding, but I definitely need to start adding food wastes more regularly to help the process along. I also noticed there was still a fair amount of dry sawdust, so I added some water to help improve conditions.

It will be interesting to see how things proceed from here. I think the sawdust will make an excellent partner bedding for the shredded cardboard. Perhaps if I get a bit more regular with my feeding schedule I will entice some of the Red Worms up into the second tray!

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‘Souped-Up’ Simple Pet Waste Vermicomposter

Recently I have been writing about my small “Super Simple Pet Waste Vermicomposter“. Well, now that I’ve started using compostable kitty litter again, I’m definitely going to need something a lot bigger!

Initially, I was planning to create something similar to my “Vermi-Fertilization & Watering System” that could take the place of my much smaller “super simple” bin. After giving it some more thought, however, I decided instead to create an open-air system since it would be much easier to set up – and likely a lot more effective as well.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As I’ve written before, I really only recommend composting/vermicomposting dog/cat feces if you are fairly experienced – especially if you plan to set up an open-system like the one you’ll be learning about here. It’s very important that: 1) you choose the right materials, 2) you know how to set up the system properly, and 3) you know how to choose a good location for the system.

The site I chose for my bed is (more…)

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Bio-Active Compostable Kitty Litter?

I recently wrote about my newly-discovered (thanks to helpful RWC readers) “ultimate” material – wood pellets. As I said, I think these pellets have a lot of potential as both a compostable kitty litter AND a vermicomposting bedding material – especially given how inexpensive (relatively speaking) they are.

When I first laid eyes on the pellets I really wasn’t sure how they would work as a kitty litter. Straight out of the bag they look a lot more like some type of animal feed than any type of litter I’ve seen. I suspected that my cats would not appreciate the feeling of the sawdust cylinders under their feet, and would therefore avoid using a litter box containing them.

Nevertheless, I proceeded to (more…)

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Wood Stove Pellets – Compostable Cat Litter AND the Ultimate Worm Bedding?

I am REALLY glad I decided to start up my little pet waste vermicomposting project recently. Not because the project itself is particularly earth-shattering (although, it’s definitely going to get a whole lot more interesting!)

No, it was the information shared by RWC readers – namely, Paul L., “Kim from Milwaukee”, and “Priswell” – that completely changed things for me on this front! Paul and Priswell, in particular, told me about the potential for using stove pellets as an earth-friendly litter.

And here I was all set to continue (reluctantly) using clumping clay litter. I ASSumed there really weren’t any affordable eco-friendly alternatives – only to learn that these pellets are even cheaper than the cheapest (“No Name Brand” for those of you up here in Canada) clumping cat litter – $5.99 for 18 kg of the pellets vs $8.99 for 18 kg of litter!! Beyond that awesome potential, it gets even better. I think these pellets may even represent a viable alternative to worm bedding materials like coco coir!

As you can see in the image, the particular pellets I’m using (perhaps Paul will chime in and let me know if he’s using the same ones) are called “CANAWICK Hardwood Pellets”, created by CANAWICK Ecological Fuels. I think they are focused primarily on the Canadian market (I bought the bags from Canadian Tire – a major department store chain up here), but I see on their retailers page that they are also available in parts of the U.S. I’m sure there must be some similar products out there as well.

I would have ASSumed (lol) a product like this would:

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Worm Towers – 2013

It seems that 2013 is shaping up to be the season I finally get around to trying all the things I’ve been meaning to try!
(ok, so there are still a million other things I want to try, but we’re making progress anyway…)

Yet another system I’ve wanted to test is of course the “Worm Tower“. It’s a very simple idea, but it has always appealed to me since it can be an effective way to employ the “power” of composting worms directly in your gardens.

I recently created 5 towers from a (more…)

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Pet Waste Vermicomposter – 06-13-13

Just wanted to post a quick update on the “Super Simple Pet Waste Vermicomposter” front.

Things seem to be moving along nicely in this system. Initially the cat waste zone was colonized by a variety of critters other than worms (including lots of springtails), but I’m happy to report that I’ve been finding lots of small Red Worms in there now, and the waste materials themselves seem to be disappearing.

I am starting to wish that I had used a bin more like the one set up for my “Vermi-Fertilization & Watering System“. That size of bin would make MUCH more sense for something like pet waste, which is never in short supply for those with cats (especially if adding compostable litter as well) or dogs. Even with the “experimental” quantities I’ve been adding, things are getting a bit (more…)

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