Just before the holidays, George Mingin and I had a small (Worm Farming Alliance) test launch for our new worm growing guide. Even though the guide is an “early first edition”, the response was amazing. More than a few members seemed eager to start implementing George’s growing methods right away.
One such person was Scott Neitzke, who sent me an email not long after that to let me know about a new worm growing set-up he had built for himself.
Here is what he had to say (with images):
Hi Bentley, I mentioned I was starting a project based off of your and George’s project. My goal is make a heated box that contains 2 18-gallon Rubbermaid roughnecks that can be kept at a near constancy of 77 F (25 C) the way George does with his Red Word breeding.
I came up with this box utilizing a light bulb. The box was first set up in a barn with our temperatures of 50 F (10 C) high, 30 F (-1.1 C) low. I could not keep the box consistent with light bulbs ranging from 23 watt to 60 watt.
I brought the box inside the house where temperatures are a low of 62 and a high of 67 (16.7 – 19.4 C). I got the box to stabilize at 78 F (25.6 C) degrees with a 29 watt light bulb. I do plan on getting the box back out into the barn after I makeshift a homemade heating pad the the Rubbermaid roughnecks can sit upon inside the box. My first 3 week test will be inside the house where I plan on counting cocoons at the end of 3 weeks. My bedding material is composted and aged horse manure, shredded cardboard, and dried fall leaves. They have a small feeding of watermelon with a dusting of ground oyster shell. I will let you know my findings.
I really love this idea – and I wonder how well it might work in colder spots if it was insulated, and if two bulbs were used instead of just one?
Scott sent me a follow-up to share some additional thoughts:
The one concern I have with this is that I have tile floors in the house and concrete floors in the barn. The temperature at the floor level is reporting 64 F (17.8 C). I don’t think it would be a fire hazard, but whoever tries this on carpeted floors need to be warned. I know we could put an elevated floor in the box made of drywall to absorb the heat which would add further costs. The box I made is out of one (1) piece of plywood to keep costs down. I have $51 invested for this unit (light fixture, plug, electrical box, angle aluminum and screws. Plus the $7.49 for each Rubbermaid roughneck. I had the Rubbermaids for other experiments, so I better add that into the cost.
This is a REALLY great point! Please DO exercise caution with a set-up like this – especially if you ramp things up with additional bulbs (insulation etc), and do set it on top of carpet (really – it should be up on some sort of heat resistant base if at all possible).
I definitely appreciate Scott sharing his new set-up with us, and look forward to his future updates!