BOM-6000 Update

As seems to be the case every year, I ended up completely neglecting ALL my worm composting systems over the holidays. Now that I am starting to get back into “real world” mode, I’ve been spending some time checking on things.

Neglecting enclosed plastic bin systems almost never causes issues – in fact, it can actually be really beneficial in a lot of cases! I’d say this was definitely the case with my BOM-6000 system.

As some of you may recall, this became my “cofee grounds vermicomposting” bin in the fall after emptying the contents of my wooden stacking system into it. I ended up cutting the (BOM coffee grounds) experiment short when it appeared that the worms were not responding favorably to a grounds-only (apart from egg shells and cardboard) diet, and started adding typical worm bin food scraps.

The last time I checked on the bin (may have been as long ago as October) it was getting a bit stinky due to the large quantity of frozen food waste I had recently added. Certainly no longer the case!

You can always gauge the degree of worm bin neglect by the amount of bedding material that’s been consumed by the worms. Needless to say, I found LOTS of paper-pulp worm castings when I opened up the bin today!

Interestingly enough, I couldn’t find any indication of the presence of coffee grounds in the bin, other than a zone of really dark castings down towards the bottom! Everything smelled wonderfully earthy when I dug around a bit, and I was happy to see that the moisture content is still at a reasonable level.

In an effort to get things back on track in this system, I added some fresh cardboard at the top then dumped in a decent amount of frozen food waste.

Once it thaws out I will likely add a fair amount of shredded cardboard over top.

OK – that’s it for this update. I’ll let everyone know what’s going on with my neglected Worm Inn and Winter Worm Windrow systems sometime soon!

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    • Susan Avery
    • January 7, 2011

    Bentley, I really appreciate all of the work you do to encourage vermicomposting. I Googled worms last Oct. and ended up on your site. WOW! I was hooked! Since I live off the grid in the snowy mountains of Montana, my guest room now has 2 bins of worms. One bin is my original bin and the other is an “experiment” ala Bentley. 6 weeks ago, I put 20 worms in a clear, 15-quart plastic box which I filled with the usual cardboard, etc. and coffee grounds (no other food until a couple of weeks ago). Didn’t count the worms, but there are far more than 20 in there now.

    I also took a page out of one of your posts where you put all of your bedding & food stuff in a trash can and mixed it all up and let it sit. I am now doing that on a very small scale. 2 weeks ago, I mixed up enough stuff for a week and let it sit for a week. When I added the mixture to the top of my bin and peeked in the next day (it’s sure hard not to peek and dig), I couldn’t believe how many worms there were chomping away!

    Looking forward to your next post.

    • Todd DeVore
    • January 7, 2011


    I haven’t found anywhere yet what is meant by a “BOM” bi…

    May be a dumb question….


    • Bentley
    • January 7, 2011

    Not dumb at all, Todd.
    It is “Bait-O-Matic”
    The Bait-O-Matic 6000 was the super-goofy name I gave to a plastic bin system with vents I created (and made a ridiculously goofy video about)

  1. I loved that video. Wait there more LOL

    • Frank
    • January 8, 2011

    Hi Todd,

    I didn’t know BOM either. Thanks for asking the question!

    Thanks for the answer, Bentley.


    • Paula from Illinois
    • January 8, 2011

    Susan I took a page from Bently’s test. I have a 5 gallon 1/2 full of rotting food waste covered with torn up egg cartons shredded news paper. I have feed them this and it’s like a buffet for them.

    • Larry D.
    • January 8, 2011

    I neglected some of my stuff as well.My mixing tubs never had a problem with any worms leaving during the summer while they were all stored outside in my worm tent.But putting them in my shed and cold weather,i found dead worms on the ground.Probably 500 worms?
    I do have eleven tubs though.But they are unheated.I think they get a little disoriented when they get cold.And literally lose some of their senses,and do unwise things! I never had light on these tubs since i started them.But hope to get a solar light for my shed for next winter.If summer comes and they decide they want to roam,i may have to do it sooner!

    • Gustavo
    • January 9, 2011

    In my country “BOM” means GOOD. I hope you keep the GOOD work haha

  2. In three months of doing vermicomposting I have 2 systems with another on the way. I also have 2 5 gallon bucket systems Im going to try a test on.
    Im thinking how many working systems I will have when I have been at this a year.
    Just when I think I have every thing I need some one post a new system they made and Im like oh I want that. 🙂

  3. I agree with you Bentley. Neglect can be good for your worm system. I tend to give too much attention to my words. I’d fiddle with my bins about 5-10 times a day. I can imagine them complaining to each other about their lack of privacy.

    I had this bin though with some unmentionable contents. As a consequence, I can’t really fiddle with it regularly. After about two months, I checked it out. My four worms multiplied into about 30+. I guess worms are more in the mood if they’re not being bothered all the time.

  4. Im getting better about not checking on the worms several times a day. Now I just peek once a day. They are eating like crazy. I put a few pieces of lettuce that had not rotted yet. found a few pieces still not touched. Now the pre rotted food they gobble that up. There favorite is cantalope that has some mold on it. Within a week maybe the end piece that i put in is nothing but a thin piece of skin.

    • Frank
    • January 11, 2011

    “There favorite is cantalope that has some mold on it. Within a week maybe the end piece that i put in is nothing but a thin piece of skin.”

    Yes my herd likes that too, and I have the “skins” to show it!


  5. I have heard from a couple of diffrent people that banana peels are not good for the worms. The skin has pesticides on it. I wait when I have added them to my bin I wait until they are black then put them in. I have not noticed any change in the worms. When my out door compost bin thaws out I want to dig out some pumpkin skins I put in there in October.

    • Susan Avery
    • January 25, 2011

    If you have questions about vermicomposting with coffee grounds, here’s an interesting study:

    Moist coffee grounds do heat up and your worms won’t like it. When I use coffee grounds, I mix them with moist bedding and/or vegie scraps and let them sit around until they’ve cooled down (mixing every now and then like you mix a compost pile). Usually it takes less than a week for this to happen.

    • Barend
    • February 8, 2011

    Hi Bentley,
    Found your web page today when I was searching for “Compost makers”. Also found a worm distributor not far from where I live. My new vegi garden is growing in size weekly and from what I read about worm tea things will certainly grow better. Amanzimtoti, my home town in Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa has a very nice tropical climate. Feel sorry for the folks writing to you about their winter problems.
    I have learned a lot today reading through questions and your answers. Will certainly communicate with you again when the worms start performing.

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