Back in early October (2019) I decided to test out Mark Payne’s “Composting Rolls” concept – a major part of his overall “Vernmenting” approach. I set up 2 medium sized bins with these rolls (containing a food mix I made ahead of time), put them in a climate-controlled indoor location, then basically just left them completely alone.
I’ve opened up the bins 2 or 3 times since then, but late last week I finally decided to conduct a more thorough examination – and to catch all the action and excitement on film!
It is quite fitting that I referred to this as a “batch vermiculture” project back in the fall (see “Batch Vermiculture with Composting Rolls“). As you will see in the video, there are plenty of worms (including Lumbricus sp. litter worms) and cocoons, along with a diverse ecosystem of other organisms…
…BUT the amount of vermicompost produced was pretty minimal – especially when you consider the time-frame!
As such, I see this as a fantastic way to create a hassle-free “Insurance Bin”, or to create some form of worm culture mix product you could sell or give to those wanting to start up new systems.
In case you are wondering about my plans for this system (featured in the video)…
Rather than simply it continue on as-is, I decided to see if I could ramp things up a bit by sprinkling in some poultry feed as I was putting everything back in the bin. I may start adding some food waste at some point as well.
One thing I touched on in the video was the fact that Lumbricus worms don’t tend to do all that well in more typical indoor vermicomposting systems – so it might actually be interesting to see what happens with those worms as things get more active!
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I am new to worm bins — just started mine at the end of March — and so glad I read your post about an insurance bin! I made one with just a few worms and some cocoons. Life got busy and I neglected my worm bin for a couple of weeks. When I checked on it a few days ago, almost all of the adult worms were gone. I didn’t find any dead worms around the bin, so I don’t know what happened! The bin was almost full by this point, so it was a good time to take the castings out. Thankfully, there were some really healthy adults in the insurance bin. I started over on my main bin, using the insurance worms, and made a new insurance bin using some of the little baby worms I found in the castings. LOVE your blog — I’m learning so much!
Hi Dianna – this is great. It’s funny how a back up system can end up working better than our main ones sometimes (and trust me when I say this has happened to me a lot). Hard to say what might have happened with the main bin. Two weeks doesn’t seem like very long. I’d be interested to learn more about where the bin was sitting, what sort of feeding etc it was receiving prior to the neglect…these types of details might give some clues. Anyway – really glad you had the insurance bin to fall back on!