Worm Inn Journal – 10-06-09

It has been a week or so since my last Worm Inn journal update, so I just wanted to write a quick post to let everyone know how things are progressing with the system.

As you may recall, I only added a couple bags of ‘compost ecosystem’ material (and pretty low-grade stuff at that) to my Worm Inn when setting it up – in other words, I am basically starting with very few adult worms. As such, I had originally planned to go easy on the system for the first little while just to make sure I didn’t create a nasty disaster zone.

Given how well things have been going however, I’ve decided to start pushing the limits a bit! As I’ve discovered, with a nice open system like this it is much easier to get away with ‘overfeeding’. While there are still some of the risks involved, such as fruit fly (or other critter) invasion, I am starting to realize that as long as I mix food with lots of bedding there really isn’t any limit to the amount of material that can be added (until the Worm Inn is completely full of material, that is). It’s just like storing food scraps in an aerated scrap holder – the materials certainly start to rot and break down, but because there is enough air flow and all the excess moisture is being soaked up (or evaporates), it never turns into a stinky mess.

I dug around in the material today and there seems to be quite a few small worms happily munching away on the food added thus far. Not too surprisingly, some other ecosystem critters are doing very well also – but unlike what often happens in an enclosed plastic system, I’m not being overrun by any one particular organism. There seems to be a nice balance.

Last week I added a big heap of carrot tops (foliage cut from carrots I harvested) as a slow release food source and a means of helping to keep everything moist down below. Today I added another big bowl full of juicer pulp (along with other cut up fruit/veg waste), and some cardboard. I also watered the system down a bit just to make sure that conditions continue to stay nice and moist for the worms.

I will now continue to add lots of food scraps, likely on a daily basis. I think I may even start weighing everything just to get a sense for the amount of material that is going in.

I’ll be aiming to provide updates at least once a week!
Stay tuned

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    • Andrew
    • October 8, 2009

    “I will now continue to add lots of food scraps, likely on a daily basis.”

    Ok, Bentley, you’ve inspired me to ramp up feeding to my new DIY flow through bin. (described here: http://vermicomposters.ning.com/profiles/blogs/flow-through-bin-variation) One major difference is that my FT was populated with “wild” worms (1500-2000?) from my regular compost bin. They’re probably descendants of red worms from an old wormery years ago, but that’s just a guess. Even though I’m probably starting out with more worms, I’m going to play it safer and only feed half the bin each day. The surface area is 22″ x 14″, so I’ll feed a 1-1.5″ layer of pre-composted food every day on a 11″ x 14″ section. That’s about a gallon ice cream container’s worth of material. Just to get things jump started, I added a sprinkling of steer manure with today’s batch.

    BTW, what is the capacity of the Worm Inn Pro? 40 gal? It dwarfs the bin you have below it, but I can’t read the label on the bin. Is it an 18 gal. bin?

    • don
    • October 8, 2009


    http://vermicomposters.ning.com/profiles/blogs/flow-through-bin-variation is the correct URL for Andrew’s post. Remove the trailing “)” character.

    • Andrew
    • October 8, 2009

    Thanks, Don. Next time I’ll have to remember to put a space before the “)”.

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