April 2018

[UWB – Day 36] – Sorry Mr. Toad!

It is with a midly-heavy heart that I must inform the RWC community that Mr. Toad (or “Ted” as I had wanted to call him) has officially “left the building” – he is no longer a resident of my Urban Worm Bag (I can almost hear the worm and critter cheers).

I’m happy to report that he is alive and well, now living in a one-bedroom clear salad container, with recently installed skylights, wading pool, bedding, a cardboard tube, and a springtail-infested apple core.


OK ok – I do feel a bit guilty about this. He basically went from living in Toad Mansion (with 24 hour all-you-can-eat buffet) to a plastic prison cell…but alas, it had to be done! (more…)

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Non-Aerated Castings Tea – 4-13-18

This is a very quick update to let everyone know that I had to get rid of the bags in my amended tea treatment earlier this week. They just continued to stink more and more (yep even “sealed” inside ziplocks), to the point where I was concerned the smells would start wafting into the rest of the house.

Needless to say this “tea” was pretty foul stuff by that point, so I can only imagine (more…)

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80/20 Vermicomposting

In 1896, an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto published a paper demonstrating that about 80% of the land was owned by 20% of the population in Italy. This concept eventually evolved into what we now known as the “Pareto Principle” or the “80/20 Rule”.

The basic idea is that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes…80% of the results come from 20% of the people/methods, and so on.

This 80/20 ratio has been found to (at least roughly) apply to countless different areas of business, life, and the natural world.

See where I am going with this?

Yup…it definitely applies to vermicomposting as well.

That being said, don’t get hung up on the exact proportions – the key thing to remember is that… (more…)

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Urban Worm Bag – Day 27

Things have continued to move along nicely with my Urban Worm Bag. The worms are healthy and active, and the level in the system continues to drop.

My most recent (~ 10.4 lb) food deposit brings the grand total (of kitchen scraps added) to just over 39 lb. And it’s important to point out that I’ve actually been mixing quite a bit of “living material” and water in with my food, so the actual weight of material added is quite a bit higher (and I have not been tracking the amount of bedding added either).

Truth be told, I have actually been going a bit easy on the system because I don’t want to make it inhospitable for our toad friend.

I’ve already learned a couple of lessons in that department. For starters, I assumed that all the moisture and humidity in the system would be more than enough “water” for a toad. Apparently not. I noticed (more…)

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The Insurance Bin

As much as I like to encourage people to try vermicomposting indoors, I do understand that some of us just aren’t in a position to go this route. Maybe there is a spouse or family member who is very opposed to the idea. Maybe we don’t want to risk ending up with bad smells, escaping bugs or other unsavory situations. Maybe there just isn’t enough room indoors. Whatever the case may be, some form of outdoor system might be our only viable option.

This is not necessarily a “bad” thing – outdoor vermicomposting can actually have a lot of advantages, especially at certain times of year. The big problem, however, is that you can end up at the mercy of (more…)

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