November 2020

Set-It-And-Forget-It Vermicomposting

When most people think of vermicomposting they tend to think of it as more of a continuous, active process.

This is all fine and good – and could even be considered one of the advantages of this approach – but I think more needs to be said about the power and potential of “batch” vermi-systems.

It a nutshell, the idea is that you add everything to the system right away – or at least early on – and then basically leave it alone, letting the worms and other organisms work their magic over time.

One example I have written about is Mark Payne’s “vernmenting” method, which even seems to offer the added advantage of letting you process some materials that wouldn’t be well suited for a typical worm bin.

I really love Mark’s approach with sealed (but still ventilated) buckets, but I personally prefer something a bit closer to a typical worm bin set-up.

The good news is that there isn’t just ONE “right” way to set up bins like this. The possibilities are endless, in fact. Even the bins within a group I set up at the same time can vary a fair bit.

That said…

There are still some key recommendations to keep in mind – and I will come back to these a bit further along. First, let’s look at how I recently (more…)

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Backyard Vermifiltration Wrap-Up

Back in June I wrote about a DIY vermifiltration system I set up in my yard using an old leaky rain barrel.

The main idea was to collect greywater – dish rinsewater and cooking water likely the main sources – and to pour that through the system on a regular basis. As it percolated down it was worked on by countless microbes (assisted by the activity of Red Worms) and came out the bottom as a liquid far better suited for watering, and perhaps even helping to boost the fertility of nearby garden beds.

It was not a vermicomposting system in the traditional sense. Much of the starting material added early on was very resistant to breakdown – eg. expanded clay balls, woody materials, pine cones. This helped to maintain some structural integrity in the “filter” and created lots of surface area for microbial colonization.

That being said…

The system still provided me with an opportunity to (more…)

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Kombucha Vermicomposting?

Last month, while involved in a “dry October” challenge, my wife and I discovered another interesting beverage – kombucha (pronounced “kum-boocha”, according to Google).

We both loved it, and the fact that it had low – or in some cases NO – sugar, and even some potential health benefits certainly didn’t hurt either.

Of course, me being me, I couldn’t just leave it at that. I had to go into full on “geek” mode – learning everything I could about it, including how to brew our own.

And my dad – being the kinda guy he is – of course showed up one day with a starter culture, not long after he caught wind of the fact that I was planning to try making it!

The rest, as they say, is history!

As a “worm-head” it was also only a matter of time before I (more…)

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The Ugly Simple Breathable Bucket Bin

Last fall (2019) I wrote about my new “breathable bucket” system approach that involved using bottle cap vents inspired by Mark Payne’s “vernmenting” method.

Over the next 6 months or so I was very impressed with how well these breathable buckets worked as worm bins – especially in comparison to other bucket bins I’ve tried in the past! I now regularly recommend them to anyone looking for a super simple, space-saving (not to mention inexpensive) way to get the ball rolling with worm composting.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to try a modified approach. Instead of installing the cap vents I just used big drill holes with old sheet fabric secured tightly over top. I made a couple of these bins, and did get one system set up – but didn’t end up testing it out quite as actively as I had hoped…

Until Now…hopefully!

One source of motivation at the moment is a (more…)

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Smallest Worm Bin – 11-09-20

A little over a week ago, I wrote about a tiny little worm bin I set up using a miniature toolbox (part of a gag gift).

Although there was strong element of silliness involved, the project itself is actually quite serious, and the progress in the system will be followed quite closely over time.

This morning I decided to perform the first “official” check-up (have looked in quickly a few times). Opening up the bin I could see that (more…)

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