July 2013

“Yellow Soldier Flies” – Revisited

Last fall I reported on finding what looked to be soldier fly pupae in my compost tumbler (see “DIY Tumber – Revisited“). At the time I wasn’t able to track down any of the suspected adults (large, yellowish flies I’ve frequently found in close proximity to my outdoor composting systems over the years), and my attempts at getting the adults to emerge (from some of the pupae I collected) indoors didn’t end up panning out.

Well, I’m happy to report that I am now finally on the verge of putting the pieces of this puzzle together!

A short time ago I was lucky enough to (more…)

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Mystery of the Disappearing Worms

Here is a recent e-mail I received from Gordon C.

Dear RWC/Bentley – I just suffered what appears to be a massive worm disappearance, the earthworm equivalent of colony collapse disorder, and I’m wondering if you can give me any ideas on this –

In short, I’ve been tending worms for close to a year and things have generally gone well up until a black soldier fly infestation about a week and half ago. After figuring out that the rotting veggies in the worm bin were the likely source, I put a thin layer of coir on top of the bin, which was at the time fairly chock full of worms. (And put up fly strips for the flies.) I noticed the next day that some of the worms were crawling up the sides of the bin, which is not completely unusual, and I also found a few outside on the floor – definitely more unusual, but not unprecedented and not fatal. A few days later (I had to go out of town just as this was happening), I chopped up some fresh veggie scraps and froze them, which I’ve been told is a good way to kill any fly or other larvae and eggs that may be in them. I then let them sit outside for two days in a sealed plastic bag, in a shady spot. Then, yesterday, I put the fresh scraps in along with shredded newspaper for bedding. A few more were crawling up the sides, and another handful were on the ground outside, and I saw a few worms inside but didn’t thoroughly inspect. Today I did inspect thoroughly, and could only find a tiny handful of worms – like maybe 10. So many hundreds of worms seem to have vanished in the space of a week or so.

Thanks so much for any guidance you can give me on this – it is confusing and concerning me as well as bumming me out!

Gordon


Hi Gordon,

There are a number of potential red flags in the information you shared with me:
(more…)

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New Garden Tower Contest

My “Garden Tower Project” friends recently dropped me an email to let me know about a very cool contest they’ve got going at the moment.

Unlike me, these guys REALLY know how to do a contest! Apart from offering a Garden Tower as a grand prize, they’ve got more than $1000 worth of other stuff to give away.

They were even nice enough to make me look good by adding the RWC site to the contest page (they are purchasing a pound of worms for one lucky contestant)!
😆

Entering the contest is as easy as filling out a simple form!

IMPORTANT: This is for U.S. citizens only – and the deadline is July 22nd, 2013! Visit the contest page via the link below.

>> Garden Tower Contest <<

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Euros vs Reds – 07-02-13

It’s been just over 3 months since my last Euros vs Reds update, so I figured it was high time I check on the bin! I seem to recall adding a little bit of food here and there, but there’s no doubt that this bin has been badly neglected for the most part (it’s important keep in mind, however that I only started with 3 of each type of worm so not quite as bad as it sounds! lol).

Today I wanted to (more…)

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More Fun with Rock Dust

A couple of weeks ago I reconnected with my rock dust supplier/friend Klaas, from Boreal Agrominerals Inc (formally known as “Agricultural Mineral Prospectors Inc”). Two years ago he gave me some of his micronized (ground really fine) “Spanish River Carbanatite” to “play” with (see “Fun with Rock Dust“), and while I’ve certainly put it to good use in a variety of ways (and have mentioned it multiple times here on the blog), I have yet to do any formal testing.

My renewed interest in rock dust is in large part due to the fact that (more…)

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