Worm Inn Journal – 09-29-09

Worm Inn Pro

In my last Worm Inn Journal entry I mentioned my plans to start up a Worm Inn Pro once my new wooden stand was available for use (as you may recall, I had set up a system for a customer prior to pick-up).

The other system made it safely to the customer late last week, so I decided it was definitely time to get the new system going this morning without any further procrastination! As you can see, I settled on the ‘Camo’ design for this test system. What can I say? That pattern just gets me revved up and ready for VERMICOMPOSTING!

I won’t bother getting into all the steps I took to set up the system, since I’ve outlined my basic methods for setting up a Worm Inn in a couple of posts now (the one linked to above being the most recent).

There is ONE important distinction worth mentioning however. This time around, rather than leaving the food waste and cardboard to sit for a period of time before adding a batch of worms, I have instead opted to simply add some of the material I refer to as ‘compost ecosystem’ right off the bat – and won’t actually add any concentrations of worms at all.

I offer the compost ecosystem material for sale up here (in Canada) as an inexpensive alternative to buying concentrated bags of worms. As such, this will be a valuable test to see how long it takes for a thriving population of Red Worms to develop from this material. There are plenty of babies worms and cocoons – along with other ‘critters’ – in the mix so there will certainly still be a decent amount of waste processing going on (in fact it should be really interesting to see how quickly waste materials DO breakdown prior to the development of a large population of Red Worms).

I added quite a lot of food waste mixed with cardboard today (along with two bags of ecosystem mix), so I will likely let the system sit for a week or two before thinking about adding anything else. Once it IS up and rolling with a lot more worms I do want to really put the system to the test in order to estimate how much waste I can realistically process on a weekly basis – and how much vermicompost can be produced.

Should be a lot of fun!

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    • Drew
    • September 30, 2009


    I want to start by saying I really appreciate your website. Not only do you provide great information, your enthusiasm is contagious. In part because of your site, I’ve recently started vermicomposting after a 1 yr. break. I’m also planning to trench compost once I have more worms.

    You mention using a ‘compost ecosystem’ to start your new Worm Inn. I purchased something like this from a local source (SF Bay area) and started up 2 stackable worm bins. Both bins pretty much immediately started processing food (small amounts) and are doing great 2 weeks later.

    Here is the description of the ‘compost ecosystem’ I purchased:
    “Vermi Start-up Kit: 5-7 lbs of bedding, 1 lb. worms (1000+) worm eggs and microorganisms.”

    The bedding is basically the compost the worms were being raised in. It’s hard to say if there were a full pound of worms in there, but the ecosystem I took home was closer to 8-9 lbs and definitely full of cocoons along with worms of all sizes. I used a single “kit” to start 2 worm bins and it still seemed to work fairly well. My amateur opinion is that these ‘compost ecosystems’ are a better way to start a new worm bin. I’ll be interested to hear your observations in the coming weeks.


    • Bentley
    • October 2, 2009

    Thanks Drew 8)
    That is really interesting re: the ecosystem mix you bought. I haven’t heard of anyone else selling the stuff (although they SHOULD in my humble opinion). 8 or 9 pounds of the stuff PLUS a heap of worms certainly sounds like a fair amount (can see why you are off to the races!) – my ecosystem mix is mainly just the leftover habitat, although there would still be some adults (along with the babies and cocoons). I’m still confident that it won’t take too long to get going though!

    I agree with you about the ecosystem mix being a better way to get started. For one thing you are letting the worm population grow naturally on its own (not forcing a high concentration of worms to adapt to a new habitat). It also provides any worms that are in the mix with more quality habitat they are used to living in (and of course introduces a bunch of other beneficial critters into the system). It is less stressful for the worms since they are not really handled, nor are they crowded.

    Research has also shown that worm raised in a given habitat do much better in it that adults introduced into that habitat.

    There are obviously still plenty of situations where it will make more sense to go with concentrated batches of worms – but for anyone wanting to ease themselves into vermicomposting, and not pay so much to get started, I think the ecosystem is a good option.

  1. Just curious what is/are the difference/s between the worm inn and the worm inn pro?

    • Bentley
    • February 22, 2012

    It seems you’ve found an older post!
    While there USED to be a regular Worm Inn and a “Pro” version – all Worm Inns now offer the pro features (and the older model is no longer sold).

  2. Oh Ok was curious cuz I’ve only seen the worm inn never heard of the pro before. And yes digging deep you have a wealth of information on your site will take a while to catch up on all of it. Thanks.

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