Worm Factory 360 | 2-14-12

I checked on my WF-360 system today to see how things are coming along. It seems the worms have once again done well with the food materials I added last time. Given the (larger) quantity, I’m thinking the freezing definitely helped.

Still plenty of recognizable food materials in there, but I could easily get away with adding some more food if I wanted to. Me being me – I’ve decided to just let the worms continue munching away on what’s there.

Lots of worms hanging from the bottom of the second tray when I lifted it up, and lots more down in the first tray. If I do decide to harvest some vermicompost this month, I’m sure I’ll be needing to separate plenty of worms from it as well.

The material in the first tray is looking quite nice, though – so it probably won’t be long before I do harvest. Hopefully by holding off on feeding this week I’ll encourage the worms to work on some of that unprocessed bedding.

Still no worms down in the reservoir, so I’m happy about that!

IMPORTANT: Remember, today (Feb 14) is the deadline for submitting your entry for the February Worm Factory 360 contest – the draw will be tomorrow. As mentioned previously, this is actually the LAST chance (at least for now) to win one of these bins! All you have to do is fill out a short (Nature’s Footprint) survey on the Red Worm Composting contest page.

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    • thuan
    • February 14, 2012

    Do you have to wait until all the bedding are eaten or is this what you considered “rough” vermicasting and OK to use in garden? Or better question would be: At the stage that you see in the above picture, how long would it take for the worm to completely process the bedding?

    • Rich Yarger
    • February 15, 2012

    This is beginning to appeal to me, more and more with every update. I am really happy with my VermiTrench (check it yesterday and I have a ton of worms in there from the 2lbs I started with), but between this and the Worm Inn – well, I can see more worm habitats coming in the near future!

    Great stuff as always B! Keep up the great work!

    • bob costello
    • February 15, 2012

    Bentley, i’m alittle confused. On one of your streamers you state that people kill their worms by overfeading them. How then does seem you feed them a fairly large amount of food, and they are thriving?

    • Bentley
    • February 15, 2012

    THUAN – You could certainly use this in your garden, but yeah it won’t be quite as potent as material that’s been processed (and likely re-processed) for a longer period. Just the fact that there is so much cardboard in general, probably means it won’t be quite as nice as something like a finished manure vermicompost.
    I’ll be sure to test it out and let everyone know, though!
    RICH – Congrats on the success with your trench! I agree that it’s fun to try different set-ups – educational as well!
    BOB – I don’t blame you for being confused. The term “over-feeding” is pretty hard to nail down at the best of times. What exactly does it mean?! Unfortunately there is no simple answer. One thing I should point out here, though, is that as you become a lot more experienced as a vermicomposter, you start to develop a certain “feel” for what a given system can handle. It’s VERY important to look at how I arrived at adding that “fairly large amount of food” – it certainly wasn’t the first thing I did. I started by adding small amounts and watching what the worms did with it. When they showed they could handle more, I added more.

    Where newcomers often get in trouble is attempting to add food (often materials that haven’t even been optimized at all) based on some sort of formula (eg “I have 1 lb of worms so they should be able to eat 1/2 lb of food per day”), or just on the assumption that the worms can handle whatever they throw at them.

    Hope this helps to clarify.

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