RWC Community Experiments

In the recent survey I came across a REALLY cool suggestion (plenty of other great suggestions too, of course!). Someone suggested that rather than constantly setting up different experiments myself and trying to keep up with them (we ALL know how many of them end up falling off the rails – assuming they even get started! lol), I should think them up, and get others to think them up – and then simply round up volunteers from the RWC community to perform the experiment.

This is a BRILLIANT idea (and the person who suggested it is more than welcome to step forward to take credit)! I know there are plenty of keeners out there who would enjoy getting involved and contributing to the “greater good”. It would certainly take a lot of burden off me – and we’d likely end up with a lot more finished experiments, more reliable results etc etc. Even if not all of them are super serious (perfectly planned out with scientific method etc), I think it would still just generally be a lot of fun to compare notes – results could be shared here and in the newsletter!

For starters – I’d love to get some suggestions for different things to test out. There were a number of cocoon experiments I had been meaning to get started a while back – so perhaps I can get those back on the radar screen (rather than swept under the carpet – haha).

One of our community members, Jonathan B., wrote in with an interesting experiment suggestion recently. Given the often-soggy nature of the lower reaches of a typical plastic enclosed tub worm bin, he was wondering if Euros could thrive down there – creating a better quality vermicompost – while Reds thrive in the upper zone. A big part of WHY this one really interests me is the fact that I get asked all the time if you can have both of these worms in the same bin. In MY experience this doesn’t tend to work out all that well over the long-haul – seems as though the Reds really do kinda take over. I would however be very interested to see if there was anyone interested in trying this out?
I myself am hoping to start up (fairly soon) a “head to head challenge” sort of experiment with these worms to see how they compare in terms of growth and reproduction rates (and overall vermicomposting).

Oh BTW, for the person on the survey who said they “know” I’ve never used Euros – LOL – please be assured that I actually have – just not nearly as much as Red Worms. Some may recall that I ended up having to dump a bunch of them in my big backyard bin after adding bokashi to my indoor Euro bin…long story (see posts below)! lol

Symptoms of a ‘Sour’ Worm Bin
Sour Worm Bin Saga Continues
From Bad to Worse – Sour Worm Bin Decline
Sour Worm Bin Follow-up

Anyway – that’s basically that! I hope people are as excited about this idea as I am! Thanks very much to the mystery person who suggested the idea – would be great if you decided to add your input here as well (but no pressure! lol).
8)

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Comments

  1. I think that the species do behave differently. I discovered it by default having a seperate population of “Dendras” in a stackable I have.
    See “Dendra bed” in the blog. Also the video of the outdoor bin.

    http://squirmhotel.blogspot.com/

    over time the reds do seem to take over, prob because they breed faster.

    Just my 5 cents worth.

    Larry

    • scworm
    • October 29, 2011

    sounds fun, count me in.

  2. I got a couple ideas or more if you run out.I have more experiments that i didn’t finish,than i did finish.
    My favorite of all time is one i noticed while doing my color change experiment.Worms do change colors.Just not the colors you would like them to be.But that’s not it.One particular test chamber(AKA: Gatorade bottle)had larger worms than all the others.Much larger!The problem is the ingredient is expensive here,unless you grow it.I don’t like eating it anyways.So if my wife wanted some for dinner,the leftovers would get tossed in the worm bin for sure.But she doesn’t like them either.She does eat spinach now though.But this one wasn’t an experiment for stronger worms.LOL! Whattya think? Everybody wants bigger worms.This was only tried on EF’s too.So you could try it on any worm specie.And it is a simple experiment.May have just been a fluke! No idea?I never re investigated it yet!

    • jean kruse
    • November 1, 2011

    Count me in also, love to do worm experiments. Larry, what was it that made the much larger worms?

    • Thomas Gormley
    • November 1, 2011

    To Bentley and my worm friends,
    I would like to point out that dying foliage can cores Aspergilloma, Aspergilloma, is a fungus on the lungs and series damage you health so to my worm friends I recommend using a face mask before attending your worms and you will be even better for longer at composting with much better health.
    Have a nice day from
    Thomas, In the UK

  3. Jean,it was canned beats.I was going to use the ones off the veggie fridge shelf.But it was too expensive.I thought the sodium and preservatives would have done the worms in from the canned.But it didn’t.So i was also needing to test canned versus fresh beets.

    • scworm
    • November 1, 2011

    thomas,

    Can you expand a little bit on your comment, sounds impotant but a litte vague to get the message properly. thanks

  4. It’d be interesting to see different DIY designs – I just started with a double tub system. I have 1/4″ screen on the top tub bottom, but wondering if 1/8″ will let fewer worms commit wormicide and still let castings fall through to the bottom tub.

    • Sharon
    • November 2, 2011

    I would be glad to try an experiment or two. I’m not very good at thinking them up but am open for suggestions.

    • Sharon
    • November 2, 2011

    Btw it’s 10:23 here in South Carolina but the time says it’s the middle of the night lol

    • Ashley
    • November 2, 2011

    Community participation sounds like a great idea, but it raises the question of how we’d interact/publish results. I think we’d require a forum format of sorts rather than a blog format, where each experiment could have its own thread.

    • Gerene
    • November 2, 2011

    As a complete newbie to the world of worm composting, I would love to be a volunteer guinea pig in the start up category. Unfortunately I have less than a small budget, for now til the end of the year I have NO budget. I would love to see what you guys come up with so those of us new to this system can really see the best way to go about it.

    Right now I am most interested in the worms that can turn over dirt with almost nothing added. I’m gonna ask Santa for a few pounds of those worms for Christmas. LOL My gardening plans for next spring could depend on those little suckers.

    • Laura
    • November 2, 2011

    Here are some possible vermi-experiment/study ideas:

    1. How can a worm bin be made flood-ready? For instance, if the bin is in a basement, and that basement gets flooded whenever a bad rainstorm comes through the area, what would be some ways to reduce the amount of work for the worm owner? (Of course, with how much rain my area got this year (record level already, and the year isn’t over), next year is likely to be a drought, so I probably won’t need this information any time soon. But others might be interested.)

    2. Is there any way of doing wormcomposting directly in the barn, with the animals who produce their main source of food? (To reduce the work).

    3. Are any types of plants harmed by vermicompost?

    • Thomas Gormley
    • November 3, 2011

    In the articles I wrote on the first November, relating to your inquires about Aspergilloma,

    to Bentley and my worm friends,
    I would like to point out that dying foliage can cores Aspergilloma, Aspergilloma, is a fungus on the lungs and series damage you health so to my worm friends I recommend using a face mask before attending your worms and you will be even better for longer at composting with much better health.
    Have a nice day from
    Thomas, In the UK
    Author: scworm
    Comment:
    thomas,

    Can you expand a little bit on your comment, sounds impotant but a litte vague to get the message properly. thanks
    – Hide quoted text –

    TO Bentley and worm friends Aspergilloma .is a lung condition obtained from micro spores of dying foliage
    And rotting fruit and vegetables the micro spores lye in the lung and once infected the infection can travel around the body and it also can kill a venture-le, you can obtains more information on
    W w w. Aspergilloma .org. u k and on Wikipedia I hope this explains
    Ti properly
    Thomas, UK

    • brenda bowen
    • November 18, 2011

    I have 2 wf360 one I am feeding regular stuff paper veggies and leaves and a small amount of horse dodo.The second one is only being feed horse manure and leaves,so far I have added 8 lbs of manure and they are loving it. There is about the same amount of worms in each so should be interesting to see in the spring how they are all doing.

    • pletby
    • March 17, 2012

    Sounds like as long as you’re a healthy human, Aspergilloma isn’t a concern. Only a problem with the immunocomprimised. Thanks for the heads up.

    • Thomas
    • March 20, 2012

    To Bentley and my worm friends,
    I would like to point out that article you published on aspergilloma
    This is a health warning only, and no resent to stop your hobby or occupation
    I was simply stating stay healthy and happy and the way to do this is to look after your health, this woes published on the 1st November 2011 at 7.15 pm and follow-up on the
    3rd, November, 2011, at 8 pm. All this this a warning after all you wooden handle worms
    While eating and nether handle worms without a pair of gloves’ wood you.
    Thomas

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