The Mystery Mega Man


Two Megas, one “regular” Worm Inn, LOTS of other systems – believe it or not, our “Mystery Man” still has 3 MORE Megas yet to set up!


Back at the end of August, someone got in touch with me (via my Canadian business) asking if I could sell him 4 Worm Inn Megas. Needless to say, this made me sit up and take notice pretty quickly!

It’s not every day someone is THAT serious about vermicomposting (and yes, it makes my life easier when revenue is a ‘flowin’! lol)!

What hilarious is that I failed to put two and two together…failed to realize that he was the same person who had ordered a Mega from me already (via Red Worm Composting – he lived close to the border and just picked it up in the States)! He was happy to clue me in, and – upon request – to share some information about WHAT ON EARTH HE WAS DOING!
😆

He even said “yes”, when I begged him to let me write about it here.

On one condition…total anonymity.

As I learned, this gentleman is even more serious about vermicoposting than I had already assumed. Apart from the 5 Megas (3 still needed to be set up when the above photo was taken) he bought from me, he has a regular Worm Inn and a whole slew of other bins and beds.

Here is what he shared with me

I am strictly a hobbyist, I don’t sell worms, and I give away the castings to a few seniors who use them in their potted plants and flower beds… These Seniors encouraged me in the early days by supplying me with their scraps and eggshells…

I also have also use castings to barter with tradesmen…

I’m in the process of transitioning my “Worm-A-Terium” (AKA a corner of my Basement) from several Rubbermaids, 2 large flow-throughs and 2 large Mortar pans (Harvesting much too tedious) to Megas … I currently have a WI in service along with a Mega… I’m in the process of inoculating one of my new Megas that will replace 2 or 3 RM and once I completely harvest my 2 flow-throughs and the 2 Mortar pans, I will decide on the remaining 3 Megas…

I’m very fortunate to have an agreement with a large multinational box store for as much of their produce that has pass their best before dates.. I use large freezer bags to package the chopped/blended fruit & veggies while they spend an average of 3 weeks in the freezer… I feed every 6 days, and I use 12 to 14 bags per feeding at an average of 2.5 lbs. per bag… I thaw the required amount of bags, mix in unused coffee grounds (UCG),egg shells, shredded leaves, wood shavings, several scoops of living material, a scoop of powdered milk and finally a “large” pinch of rock dust… I completely mix everything and usually let it sit for 24 hours or so by then most of the excess moisture has been absorbed with a wet slurry left to feed… I top feed, I cover one half of the bin with the slurry and then add a generous amount of damp bedding… I alternate sides every time I feed this way the boys have 12 days to process the food… Works very well for me…

I have an endless supply of UCG, eggshells, wood shavings, shredded leaves, corrugated cardboard, and newsprint … I use a DIY trommel with a 1/8” screen, what goes through the screen I consider castings, and what doesn’t go through the screen I consider unfinished worm food and will be mixed in with future feedings (Living material…???) I keep the castings in a large plastic garbage can… I drop in melon rind every now and then,it helps with moisture, feeds the microbes, and more important the melon attracts the new hatchlings…!

I’m retired, so time is not a problem…

One word…WOW!

I am definitely hoping to obtain more information and pictures (hopefully one of the trommel) from our man of mystery as he gets more of the Megas set up!

In the meantime…on behalf of ALL “Worm-Heads”, I’d like to publicly thank him for sharing and (undoubtedly) inspiring!
😎


***UPDATE***

Not long after getting this post up, I received an email from “Mystery Mega Man” containing some very recent images.

As you can see, he now has 4 of his 5 Megas up and running (along with the 1 regular Worm Inn)!

Now that’s some super SERIOUS basement vermi-processing power!


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Comments

  1. Hey Mystery Mega Man: Thanks for sharing your worm story — as Bentley said, it IS inspiring (and caused more than a little jealousy on my part)! I, too, am recently retired and have set up my first Mega Inn. Like you, I don’t mind spending the time to putter around my extended-family of wormies. (It could be considered slightly rude on our parts to keep family in the basement, but I have heard no complaints from Social Services so far….)

    Question #1: You state that you use 12 to 14 bags of chopped fruits/vegetables per feeding (at 2.5 lbs per bag) plus the UCG, egg shells, wood shavings, etc……What would you guess is the average weight of this prepared meal that you serve each Mega Inn?

    Question #2: Have you noticed any serious “warming” of the habitat in the days following this feeding (though it is smart of you to feed alternate sides of each bin every other feeding)?

    Question #3: When you harvest the mostly-processed part of the compost from the bottom of a Mega Inn, do you find that few worms come down with it, because the worms continue to migrate upward to the top of the bin where your feeding zone is? I certainly haven’t found that to be the case with my multi-tray worm system (that will remain nameless).

    Question #4: When you were talking about coffee grounds (UCG), did you really mean “UNUSED coffee grounds”?

    While the castings are waiting in storage for their ultimate application, I never thought to feed the microbes and attract the hatchlings with the much-coveted melon rind — that sounds like a great idea.

    One last thought: I was surprised to learn that all your red worms have turned out to be boys. That is so interesting because all MY red worms have turned out to be girls…..

    • John Duffy
    • October 19, 2014

    That is incredible! This is every worm head’s dream

    • Triple "M"
    • October 21, 2014

    Mary Mary

    “It could be considered slightly rude…”
    Au contraire Ms.M. I consider my basement as the best possible place for conscientious self motivated unsupervised hard working employees to immerse themselves in the task at hand and not have phones ringing, door bells chiming and mind insulting soaps in the background not to mention constant light changing and temperature fluctuating …etc Gee after rereading this response, I may move in with the “Boys”

    Question #1
    This is strictly a guest on my part but if I absolutely had to answer the question I would suggest at least 6 lbs. per WI/M per week, I should mention I’m in the process of increasing the feeding cycle from every 6 days to probably every 3 days, this will only apply to my WI’s

    Question #2:
    The main reason I only cover half of the surface of my bins when I feed, is to give the “boys” room to run should the temp become uncomfortable its not unusable to have a 10 to 15 degrees difference from one side to the other in my bins… This is where the other critters in the bins shine, most of them are very temperature tolerant so they move rite in and start chomping away on the new food, and make it very palatable for when the “boys” venture in… I’m presently trying out a different method of preparing the WF and maybe turn down the heat a bit… More about this at a later time …

    Question #3
    The worms tell me when I should stop disrupting their routine, by appearing in the VC…When worm appear… I disappear… I cinch up the bag, and life goes on… It usually take up to a week for the bottom of the WI to refill up again freeing up space on top to keep on feeding…

    Question #4
    Touch screens are great till you touch them…!!! Same with auto correct… lol That should have read USED…

    It’s my belief that the quality of casting is predetermined by its makeup visible and invisible… The benefits of adding melon rind are multiple… You feed, you help moister, you find new hatch lings(The future of your operation) and older worms who managed to get through the 1/8 screen and you can also see most of the inhabitant that make the difference in my opinion between casting and very good castings…

    Can you imagine what would append should my Guys get together with your Girls…!

    Ms.M. Your comments/questions are very appreciated Thank you…

    J.D. Happy to give you pause to stargaze … lol

  2. FABULOUS CONVERSATIONS!!! My very prolific squirm of Guys and Gals WISH they could move in with EITHER of you 😉

    I call my worm heard “my squirmy kids” and joke with my neighbors that I have them all named.

    Thank you both for the excellent info. and BENTLY !!! THANK YOU FOR SHARING!!!!

  3. Hey again, Mystery Mega Man:

    I can see that I will need to keep my pencil lead a bit sharper when corresponding with you. I had thought that the complexities of raising my extended family of worms could help keep Alzheimer’s from the door for a bit longer, but my conversations with said worms are not always as unique or stimulating as one would imagine. I hope this doesn’t turn your head or anything, MMM, but I suspect that you might be more intelligent than my dear worms…..

    Regarding the appeal of your worms’ basement quarters: I feel your pain when it comes to ringing telephones and soap operas, or any TV in general. I have resolved the ringing telephone issue by limiting my worms to texting. It has been remarkably quiet since.

    I did enjoy your Mega Inn harvesting mantra: “When the worms appear, I disappear.” I might even be able to remember that!

    One issue that continues to baffle me is why one can all of a sudden be putting such large volumes of rotting delicacies into a Mega when up till now, it has been such a no-no in other worm bins. I realize that the Mega is larger so that worms can move around better, it has superior air flow, etc., but when I feel an area of mild heat somewhere in my Mega, I feel compelled to resolve it. (Bentley’s suggestion to insert a cold or frozen bottle of water has really helped sooth my maternal instincts.) I’m so afraid of giving the “girls” an undesirable “sauna”. So I am moving slowly in adding larger quantities of food. (This is kind of like realizing that large jets can actually fly — I understand the science of “lift” and such, but HOW can they actually get off the ground???)

    Now, as to your comment regarding the possibility of your Guys getting together with my Gals……MY DEAR SIR — you put me to the blush! I must now go sprinkle cold water on my poor young and impressionable girls . . .

    To Susan and her “squirmy kids” (great name, by the way): I, too, have told all my closest friends that I have named at least a few hundred of my wormies after each one of them. I think they should view it as an incredible honor!

    Later, friends!

    • Triple "M"
    • October 30, 2014

    M&M From New M…!

    I suspect that you might be more intelligent…

    Such a heavy load you’ve thrust upon my shoulders… I do thank you for the kind words, but please be aware my “Boys” don’t share your opinion and knowing them as I believe I do they would really appreciate the opportunity of expressing their feelings to you…!

    I also consider “Worm Herding” akin to a failsafe for stagnation of the Grey (gray) matter not to mention an intoxicating dictatorial sense when looking down on masses doing my bidding…!

    As for keeping your pencil sharp, I’m assuming your in a small town/village/ and the Engineering marvel of the 19th century as not made headlines as of yet, AKA The Ballpoint Pen…!

    I’m not certain I understand your need to “cool” your Girls down with cold showers… Unless they’re consistently breaking curfew… I top feed and only cover half the surface at a time, the temperature quite often climbs to the upper 90’s without a second of concern on my part, “cause” I know my “Boys” will have the good sense to cut and run to safety…! After all they’ve survived Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Ice Age, and last but really not least… Man and our incessant need to destroy everything in our paths in the name of beautification/improving… Now how’s this for a CV…?
    The Megas gives a whole new meaning to a bottomless pit…! All that fresh air/oxygen present through out the Mega help spawn hordes of ravenous critters who in turn allow the “Boys” feast just like people do when the food is free…!

    “my poor young and impressionable girls” . . . So you say…!!!
    Please refer to the above paragraph… Line 2

    Have a Happy…!

    PS: Bentley, I will take the $ 0.50 cents for the PR in pennies…!

    • Jason
    • April 19, 2015

    I have a few questions for Triple “M”:
    Where did you find 1/8 hardware cloth? The smallest I’vebeen able to find is a 1/4″ at TSC. Also, please show some pics and share info on how you built your trommel screener. Making one of these seems to be the next logical step for me. Although buying one, say used, would be a great idea too.

    What size are the casters on the base of the wood stands. I need to get some. I have one bin set up, one waiting to be set up now that it’s finally warm again. I’ve been considering setting up two more Megas and feeding them aged horse manure, as I have an insane excess here on the farm.

    Your set up looks sweet. I’m thoroughly impressed. Good on you.

    Kinest,
    J

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