June 2014

Fixing a Sour Worm Bin

Question from Leslie:

I have a Worm Factory 360. All was going well for a while, then a
bunch of food went bad and I thought I could add it all and just get
away without feeding for a while. Bad move. I think my bin is souring,
or soured.

Could I add a new, clean bin (of mostly coir) on top of it? It’d make
a safe space for the worms to get away from my mess, but still allow
them to go back and eat at their leisure.

I also get a little too involved in things, and worry that any more
hands-on approach at fixing things will invariably make it worse and
leave me obsessing.

I really appreciate your help. This site is awesome

Hi Leslie,
Thanks for the kind words (I wrote “worms” the first time…happens a lot! lol)

I think you are on the right track for improving the sour bin situation. If it was me, I would (more…)

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The Vermicomposted Sheet

Back in December of 2012, I wrote about adding a ripped up sheet to my VB48. Not surprisingly, I basically forgot about doing so…at least until quite recently.

Earlier this week I decided it was finally time to (more…)

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Rotten Hay as Worm Food

Question from Norma B:

I live on a farm with some hay bales that was too wet to make into dry hay when baled and did not ferment correctly to make good cow feed. (they are usually in a long line of white plastic) All the white plastic has been removed – they are left out in the open to rot. If I put some fresh manure on the bales, then the worms…. would they help to compost the large bales of hay? (600 lbs) I also have some wood piles… would the worms work on them?

Hi Norma,
Using composting worms to process old rotten hay and straw is an excellent idea! Hay bales in particular might not need anything more than a good soaking with water, since the C/N ratio would likely be low enough to support a fairly rapid microbial decomposition process. If they were straw bales I’d suggest soaking them with a manure “tea” (or some form of liquid manure) rather than adding solid manure on top.

Given the size of the bales, it would be important to leave them alone for a period of time before adding the worms, since there will likely be quite a bit of heating. Alternatively you could heap up some well-aged manure (ideally, material that’s been sitting outdoors for a month or more) next to the bales and introduce the worms into it. This way they would have a safe habitat, and could move into the bales once temps drop.

As for the wood piles – unfortunately, the worms can’t offer much assistance there. You could definitely speed up the process a lot if you had some sort of chipper/grinder, and then mixed the wood fragments with something like manure – but even then, the wood itself would be too hard and resistant for the worms to process.

Hope this helps!

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Vermi-Fertilization System – 06-14-14

I’m happy to report that I finally got my “vermi-fertilization system” garden up and running this week. I started the process on Monday, when I removed most of the material. As mentioned in another post, I’ve been using it as a storage bin for worm-rich aged manure, prior to the worms being harvested for customers.

The garden itself has been serving as (more…)

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Wormy Windrow Tomato Garden

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Well, I’m certainly not going to claim I have “invented” anything here – lol – but a major necessity has required me to do things a bit differently on the tomato-growing front this season. If you have followed the blog for anything length of time you’ll likely know that I LOVE growing tomatoes every year (so much so that I’ll be starting up a new site dedicated to the topic! Stay tuned) – but this year I have gone a little overboard, even for me!

I have way more plants than I have good spots to grow them, so I’ve had to get a little creative. First and foremost, I’ve decided to basically turn my longest vermicomposting windrow into a form of lasagna garden.

This certainly won’t be the first time I’ve (more…)

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Worm Inn Mega Re-Boot – Part II

In this second installment of my “Worm Inn Mega Re-Boot” series I want to talk about the actual stand building process.

As mentioned in another post (see “Worm Inn Mega Wooden Stand“), my plan had been to use Blake Ketchum’s design (a building manual is available to all those who purchase the Mega from RWC), and that’s exactly what I did. There were a couple of changes made (which will be discussed here), but all in all we stuck to the plans as they are laid out by Blake.

It’s no secret that I am NOT a DIYer. Even something as basic as this wooden stand had me feeling apprehensive. I am happy to report, though, that the actual building process ended up being a walk in the park. So easy in fact, that I’ve decided to build another one, and to set up a second Worm Inn Mega system (but we’ll get to that a bit later). I am confident that pretty well anyone could build this stand – especially with a helper (as per usual, my dad provided some assistance).

One nice bonus right out of the starting gates was (more…)

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