Mark’s OSCR Videos – 12-22-09

The other night I forgot that I left my chamber fan on and remembered right before I went to bed. When I pulled back the tarp, STEAM was coming up through the bin! There was about 12 pairs of worms mating on the damp sides of the bin. The temps were ranging from 72 – 80 degrees F.

So I knew I wasn’t “cooking” the worms (as some people might think). The moist air condenses on the top and sides and returns it to the bin. I have been doing this for 3 days. The worms love it! When you look at the video, notice the silver post in the middle. The top of that board is 16 inches from the bottom. Kind of makes you wonder where 429 pounds of trash goes.

‘Mark from Kansas’ is an avid vermicomposter from…well…Kansas, and contributing author here at Red Worm Composting. When he is not tending to his OSCR worm bin, Mark also enjoys spending time with his wife Letty (who also doubles as his trusty vermicomposting assistant) and picking petunias (ok, Bentley just made that last bit up).

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    • Kim from Milwaukee
    • December 22, 2009

    Very cool, Mark!!! Looks like your wormies are enjoying their wormie heaven! Thanks for sharing this, it makes my brain churn with ideas….

  1. Kim,
    And what may those ideas be?

    • Kuan
    • December 23, 2009

    Good heaven!!! The worms are literally every where in the bin. Keep them warm and moist because we are having a cold snap coming through Wichita in the next few days!!!

    Have a good holiday.


  2. Kuan,
    No worries here down in Cowley. How is your bin doing?

    • Kuan
    • December 23, 2009

    Hey Mark,
    Doing great. Those little workers are chomping away. Fed 2 more pumpkins and 2 lbs of food scraps to them last night. The reptile heater is working well. The bottom is caking up due to the heat but I’m sure I can poke them loose come Spring.

    Love your bin, especially those squirmy worms. 429 lbs of food – WOW!! I check out the site on a daily basis to see if you have any update!!

    Stay warm. I think Cowley has rain and here in Wichita has some fog and drizzle today. Snow starting overnite.


    • John H. from Orlando
    • December 24, 2009

    Your referenced “steam” in your video and it got me wondering how you could have low temperatures and still have steam. I then realized that with the colder temperatures (compared to Florida) you are experiencing evaporation fog (also called steam fog). I knew what you meant but I wonder how many newbies seeing this video on You Tube might get confused and think that your OSCR is some sort of thermophilic composting system (that generates “steam”) and that worms thrive in this environment. I would suggest clarification in future videos to avoid this possible confusion. Other than that, I really enjoy your videos – keep them coming.

  3. John,
    You are correct! Steam is not the right word, heck if it were steam like I incorrectly spoke, It would have looked like a clam bake in my garage!
    Really I think fog is a better way to describe it. You should have been here though, it is something to see. I get a lot of mating pairs on the sides.
    The mood is set under the sultry heat of the bin, the lights dimmed to a sunset orange and there in the distance, love is heard over the sounds of Barry White…. oops sorry, I was getting carried away, my wife is looking hotter than she usually does.

    Thanks for helping clear things up.

    • ProgressivePete
    • December 29, 2009

    What is a chamber fan?

    • Klara Le Vine
    • December 31, 2009

    ah, so worms also contribute to the marriage bed – something new I hadn’t thought of :>)

  4. Wow, now I want to be a worm composter.

    Would this type of great compost help my hard-pan clay garden or what!!! I can’t seem to get anything to grow up here Mark (Knox Co, MO)…except a couple of years ago, when the Noah’s Ark rains weren’t so prevalent….

    currently I’m trying the lasagna method (a row that I dump my kitchen scraps onto), but that’s slow goin…. it’s about 13 degrees this morning, I believe…

    love your video of the mood settin worm love 🙂

  5. Hi Pete,
    In the bottom of my bin there is a harvest chamber. This is where the vermicompost falls. There is a 4 inch fan I mounted on the side of the bin. I put it there to cool the bin in the summer not thinking it would do anything in the winter. When the fan is on, it pushes fresh outside air up through the bin.

  6. Thatcher,
    Believe it or not, We used our finished Vermicompost on a flower bed that was mostly gravel, another bed was mostly sand, the results were amazing after we top dressed the plants with what use to be our trash.

    Be patient with your bin. Vermicomposting doesn’t work at video game speed. If you have any problems or questions, don’t wait and send a comment.

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