Pineapple Vermicomposting – 04-11-13

I wanted to post a very quick pineapple vermicomposting update today. It has been interesting to watch what’s been happening to the pineapple chunks in the two bins.

So far the worms have shown ZERO interest in the material. In the Euro bin (1st picture below) it doesn’t even look all that different from when we started. There are some springtails interested, but nowhere near as many as on the hamburger buns.

Clearly, conditions in the VB48 are a fair bit different than in the Euro bin (as indicated by the appearance of the pineapple chunk in the second picture). It’s likely warmer in there, and there is certainly a much-more-established ecosystem of invertebrates. Again, the springtails are showing some interest in the material – but it’s the white mites that REALLY seem to like it. Definitely helps to explain why they can show up in great abundance when lots of wet, acidic food wastes are added to a worm bin.



I think the next thing I’ll need to try is burying chunks of pineapple to see if that makes a difference!

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Comments

    • Cable
    • May 12, 2017

    Hi Bentley! Avid lurker here, and wanted to followup to see what your later results were with the pineapple.

    After reading a number of articles, some wary, some gung-ho, I went for it and added the pineapple rinds to my worm bin (We eat the insides, and the tops you can lop off and re-plant to get new pineapples a year or two later). The rinds are so hearty that they’re taking forever to breakdown, and the worms don’t seem too interested.

    So I figured I’d blend them up along with my other kitchen scraps: lettuce, kale, tomato tops, banana peels, tea bags, paper towels, orange peels. Blended it all up with some water (vitamix ftw) still at a thick non-runny consistency (was an entire blender container full) and dumped it into my top layer in my worm360 (6 layers total), added some brown material from the garden compost pile mixed with shredded cardboard scraps – mixed it up a little, and then put an extra layer of just cardboard on top to fight against fruit flies (have been fighting them for months now).

    I’ve done this twice now in 2 different layers. The first mix, it sat un-touched for a week or two, what few worms were previously in that layer retreated downwards or disappeared. But I did see a number of pods. Then another week or two later, the worms had reappeared en-masse and were going to town. The second time I just did it a few days ago, opened the bin today and there was steam coming from the mixture =/, and maybe 5-10 worms total in my entire top layer. In line with your OP, there are a LOT of mites however, they love this stuff.

    Opened up the next layer down with the previous set, and the worms were balled up in specific places: under a soggy egg carton, and then under another large scrap piece, but not very well dispersed among the mixture. Opened up the subsequent layers below and they’re all doing just fine still thankfully.

    So my questions are multi-fold:
    1) When people blend their scraps and feed it, how do you mix it with your current layers or use it to start new layers? Do you mix it in among the brown materials, or create distinct layers?
    2) Did I maybe introduce too much material all at once?
    3) Do you think the pineapples, either by their acidity or the enzymes, are hurting the worms? Or at least making it inhospitable for them?
    4) As mentioned I’m using the rinds specifically instead of the edible portion – are the rinds more problematic?

    Thanks in advance, and I really appreciate all of the incredible posts you make about worm composting – they’ve been super helpful for me for the past 6 months and I am thankful to have a thriving 6-stack worm farm. Will be purchasing another 2 trays to get to the max 8-stack configuration they recommend.

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