December 2013

RWC 1000th Blog Post!

Wow, it seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating the 600th blog post here at Red Worm Composting! In actuality, it was nearly two years ago! Time flies when you are playing with worms.

On this monumental occasion (who’da thunk we’d get this far?!), I thought it would be fun to look back and reflect on some of the more memorable blog posts. Unfortunately, the selection process was a wee bit biased (LOL)…but of course, I welcome any and all other memorable/favorite posts people want to mention in the comments section. I’m sure I’ve forgotten many more good ones than I can remember!

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Lorne’s Winter Worm Bin

Worm friend and fellow Canadian, Lorne G., shared his winter worm bin set-up with me about a month ago. I had meant to post something about it here, but just didn’t end up getting around to it. Not too surprisingly, Jess’ recent email (which inspired “Jessโ€™ Winter Worm Bin“) reminded/motivated me to get back in touch with Lorne to see how things were coming along.

I’ve included his original message (with images), along with his more recent follow-up:

November 7th, 2013

Hi Bentley,

I’ve emptied the worm bench* for the winter. Everyone has been moved into my garage. The worms are now in a plastic container with a circulated water heating system. There’s 40′ of hose holding 2.5L of water that is heated with an aquarium heater set to 22’C (71.6 F). There is a very small fountain pump that circulate the water. The system was tested before the worms were moved. I haven’t turned it on yet as the bin is still at a decent temperature. My garage does get below 10’C (50 F) so I will be turning it on in a few weeks.


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Seattle and the Mystery of the Disappearing Red Worms

Yesterday I received an intriguing email from ‘Annette’. Her subject line
was “Seattle and the Mystery of the Red Composting Worm Disappearance” (as
you can see I’ve used an abridged version for the title of this post). Needless
to say, it sucked me right in! Here was her message:

I just called Seattle Tilth’s gardening hotline because I could not
figure out why on earth my red worms were gone. I’ve done this for
years and never had any issues. Conditions were not too wet or dry in
the wood worm bin. Apparently, most of Seattle is experiencing a red
worm disappearance.

Seattle Tilth has been selling compost worms for as long as I can remember and
they stopped because nobody – even other gardening stores – can figure
out what the hell is happening. (this happened before our recent cold
spell, I might add). Also, a friend of mine ordered online some worms
from a totally different source than where I got mine and his are gone
too. Any thoughts?

Hi Annette,

As you already know, this has me completely stumped! I decided to post it here on the blog for the sake of seeing if anyone else had heard anything about this.

If the worms were all (more…)

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Jess’ Winter Worm Bin

I recently received a cool (no pun intended – haha) e-mail from RWC reader, ‘Jess’. Here’s what she had to say (including some pics):

I thought I’d share how I’m keeping my (homemade) stacking worm bin warm in my garage (feel free to share). It was 40 degrees in the garage and when I first checked the temp in the bin – the top bin was 45 degrees (lots of new moist bedding) and the bin below it (mostly complete vermicompost) was 50 degrees.

I took an old heating pad and put it on the lid of the top bin, added some old rags and pillow cases, a large bag filled with water (one found in a large box-wine, LOL) to help insulate the heat from the heating pad, then I covered the whole thing with an old plastic table cloth. Within a couple of hours, the environment was up to a toasty 60 degrees!


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Worm Inn Mega – 12-04-13

It’s been a little while since my last Worm Inn Mega update, so I figured I had better bring everyone up to speed on that front.

It seems all that chunky food waste (namely the pumpkin), without all that much absorbent bedding material ended up leading to a couple of different – slightly unpleasant – situations. For one thing the system started to smell – yes that’s right, even the almighty Worm Inn can indeed smell if you don’t honor the principles of effective vermicomposting! lol

It also started to leak out of the bottom. Again, absolutely NOT surprising – even with that nice absorbent false bottom I added when setting up – given how much water-rich food waste I added, and how little (relatively speaking) absorbent bedding I added.

Both “situations” were remedied very quickly and easily. (more…)

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Big Tex Pumpkin Harvest

*** IMPORTANT UPDATE – PLEASE READ *** – This is NOT the Big Tex Worms website, which in fact no longer exists. Liz decided to move on from the worm business to pursue other things a number of years ago. This is simply a guest blog post (and video) she shared with us (here on my “Red Worm Composting” website). Over the years quite a few people have searched for “Big Tex Worms”, arrived here and assumed it was her site (some ending up feeling disgruntled once they found out it wasn’t). If you are looking for composting worms – we do sell them, and Liz is still a friend (she now sends people to us when they get in touch with her about worms). That being said, please don’t assume that we are selling the worms the exact same way she was. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Thanks!

Every year I collect pumpkins from my neighbors after Thanksgiving. I then use these pumpkins to feed my goats, chickens, ducks and worms. It gives me feedstock for 2-3 months! This is a frugal recyclers dream. Here is a video I made explaining how I do it:

About the Author: Liz is the worm farmer behind BigTex Worms, located in a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas. Liz, along with with her homeschooled daughters, run BigTex Worms. Her goats, chickens and ducks provide feed for the worms do the rest of the real work. Liz just wrangles them to ship orders all over the US.

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