Two weeks ago I started up my Walnut Shell and Banana Peels system. As the name implies, those were the primary materials added to the bin (worm-rich living material being the only other component) – and in fact will be the ONLY things (not including water) added from here on out.
So far the results have been…well…interesting. Early on it became pretty clear that the system just wouldn’t be moist enough from the moisture released from the banana peels, so I decided to hydrate it a bit more by adding some ice cubes up top. Yes, this likely slowed things down for a little while (due to drop in temperature) but I felt the slow-release hydration approach would work better than simply pouring water in given the limited quantity of absorbent material in the system.
I must say the smell of the system is (more…)
Just about anyone who has vermicomposted for any length of time will have some experience with “volunteer” plants popping up in their system(s), especially when using a wide variety of fruit/veggie wastes (without any freezing ahead of time). For many this seems to be an annoyance – something to be avoided as much as possible.
I tend to have more fun with it – especially in outdoor integrated systems, where I will often just let the plants grow. Last season, for example, I had a very successful white pumpkin plant that took over my garden and produced 13 pumpkins in time for Halloween (I posted about this on Facebook, but unfortunately didnt get a chance to blog about it here).
Volunteers in my indoor worm bins aren’t nearly as fun, I’ll admit – largely because there are limited options for actually growing the plant out – but a recent mass sprouting event in one of my bins reminded me that perhaps there is more potential that I need to explore.
One day during the recent Christmas holiday season I was caught off guard when I (more…)
In the spirit of continuing to dust off long lost RWC experiments (I swear I feel more like an archaeologist than a vermicomposter half the time! lol)…
Near the end of January 2017 I set up a small experimental zip lock bag system using walnut shells as a main bedding/food material. Then…wait for it…I basically forgot all about it for the better part of a year. (Shocking, I know! 😉 )
Well, just before the Christmas holiday, for whatever reason I started thinking about vermicomposting walnut shells again – and I decided to start up a bigger, “fancier” experimental system. We’ll talk more about that in a minute.
Of course, it only made sense that I should (more…)
Back at the end of September, I “rescued” a batch of ridiculously badly neglected worms. Approximately half of them went into my “Tea Bag Vermicomposting bin“. The other “half” went into what I referred to as the “Tiny Red Worm Rehab” bin.
ALL of them ended up getting totally neglected…uhhhhgain!
In the case of the rehab bin, the effects of the (~ 3 month) neglect period were particularly pronounced because A) very little food was added to this system early on, and B) unlike the tea bag vermicomposting system, this bin ONLY had a loose garbage bag as a “lid” (whereas the tea bag system has a garbage bag AND a regular plastic lid).
SO…I wasn’t too surprised to find lots of (more…)
Back at the end of September (2017) I started up a new experimental bin. The focus – “tea bag vermicomposting“. The idea was to see how things worked out over the long haul with a worm composting system receiving only used tea bags as “food”.
A couple of weeks after the initial set-up, I fed the system again (see: “Tea Bag Vermicomposting – 10-13-17“)…before completely and utterly neglecting it for the better part of the next 3 months.
All hope was not lost, though. During that time I DID (more…)