Squash Vermicomposting

Way back in the fall I mentioned that I was going to be making a “squash decomposition” video. Well, I DID set up the experiment and take a bunch of photos, but alas I just didn’t have the time to make any more powerpoint videos at the time, so it (and other planned videos) got put on the backburner for the time being.

I came across the folder of all the images last week and decided once and for all to get the video put together. It did take awhile but I’m definitely glad I finally made it – I think it’s kinda fun! Hopefully it will help to make more people want to compost with worms. To some, 47 days may seem like a long time to compost a few pieces of squash, but do keep in mind the fact that fresh squash is actually quite hard and resistant, and there was also a lot of shredded cardboard in there that was processed as well.

At some point I want to post the actual photos somewhere on the website so you can see them up close and personal. There seemed to be some interesting things taking place. At one point it looked like my worms were trying to high-tail it out of the bin – I suspect that the decomposing squash was giving off some sort of unpleasant gas that was irritating the worms. Whatever it was, they seemed to settle down within a day or two.

As you’ll see I wasn’t able to capture every single day during the experiment. I went away for Thanksgiving (a trip that ended up being extended unexpectedly) and simply forgot at other times.

Anyway, hope you like it!

Next on the agenda is vermicompost harvesting. It goes hand in hand with a new project I’ve recently started so I’ll likely be able to get to that this week or next.

[tags]composting, compost, squash, decomposition, rotting, decay, vermicomposting, worm composting, red worms, red wigglers[/tags]

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Comments

  1. How many worms did you start with?

    Was it just egg cartons and squash or was there other VC on the bottom?

    Thanks!

  2. Now that is the power of nature. Great Post. Thanks Bentley I’m glad you put it together….next time how about some salsa music?

    • Bentley
    • March 31, 2008

    LoriAnn – that is an excellent question re: the starting materials in the bin – something I didn’t think to mention (but in hindsight I’m thinking I should have). It was in fact a thick layer of shredded cardboard + squash sitting on top of some vermicompost and partially decomposed bedding/food. I should have taken a picture before adding the cardboard.

    As for the number of worms, it is hard to say for sure. This was a bin I added a relatively small population of worms to and let grow up to it’s max capacity on it’s own (this is usually what I like doing with my worm bins rather than adding the recommended 1 lb/sq ft)

    Patti! Great to see you in these parts!
    🙂
    You are right – some fun music would have livened it up! I was thinking about it, but by the time I got it put together the thought of then searching around from the right song just didn’t seem all that appealing.
    Next time for sure though!
    8)

  3. Thanks! it is amazing how quickly they processed that!

    • Treasa Birchett
    • April 3, 2008

    great post. really enjoyed that

    • annamb
    • December 21, 2008

    Is the answer to longevity is the squash…?! Mine has been on the counter, with no ill effects, for some time?!

    • Bentley
    • January 6, 2009

    Hi Anna,
    Not sure I follow?
    Squash are incredibly resistant to decomposition when whole and injury-free, but if you cut them up and put them in a rich decomposer environment (like a worm bin) they will certainly break down more quickly.

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