Making Microbes – Part II

Making a Microbial Soup

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about brewing your own microbial soup as a food source for your worms. As mentioned, it is relatively easy to breed your own population of assorted microorganisms simply by adding organic matter to a bucket of water then providing some aeration.

Shortly after writing that post I actually learned the hard way that using smelly (anaerobic) liquid is generally NOT a good idea, as it can contain bi-products (like alcohol) that are harmful or even fatal for your worms. Luckily my mistake didn’t cost me too dearly (only a few dead worms), but it was definitely a valuable learning experience.

Anyway, I’ve decided to make some more microbe water – properly this time – so I can test it out and see what the worms think of it. I’ve added a handful of grass clippings to a bucket of rain water, along with an air stone (connected via tubing to an aquarium air pump). Within a few days I should have myself a yummy concoction.

As mentioned in my previous (microbe water) post, I want to soak cardboard with this liquid and add it to one of my worm bins, along with some cardboard that has been soaking in plain water. It will be interesting to see if there is a major difference in worm colonization rates.

Should be fun!

[tags]microbes, microorganisms, microbial, protozoans, worm food, worm bin, worm composting, vermicomposting[/tags]

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    • Kami
    • August 5, 2008

    Hey Bentley,

    When I make vermicompost tea, I throw the castings back into the bin. The worms seem to love them as almost immediately they show up.

    I am guessing the microbes are enhanced by the molasses in the tea. Anyway, maybe a good solution is simply to put some vermi tea in your bin instead of waiting until the microbes colonize in the organic material. Or, put some vermicompost in the bucket when you add the organic material.

    • Bentley
    • August 6, 2008

    That’s an interesting idea, Kami
    My impression of it is that the beneficial microbes found in finished vermicompost are not really a food source for the worms – after all, they can’t live in their own poop forever, right?
    I’m trying to culture some of the big juicy protozoans you can pretty well see with your naked eye scooting around in pond water.
    Maybe some partially finished vermicompost, plus some molasses might not be bad to try though. Thanks for the suggestions! Maybe I can include that as a third treatment and see how it compares.


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