Worm Inn Journal-11-08-10

Worm Inn

It has been ages since my last Worm Inn Journal update (see “Worm Inn Journal-08-27-10“), and I’m just generally aiming to get things back to “normal” on the blog now that my two “babies” (Spencer and “Da Book”) are here!

As you may recall, I set up my current Worm Inn back at the beginning of August (see “Worm Inn Journal-08-02-10“), using the sad little worms from my “Worm Cocoon Hatching Experiment“.

Initially (for the first two and a half months or so), the system sat out in my backyard where it ended up getting invaded by fruit flies (with all the dying tomatoes lying around in my yard I ended up with a huge fruit fly population explosion). Once I started noticing that we were getting some heavy frosts I decided to bring the Inn inside, rather than take my chances during the unpredictable weather of late fall. I was a bit concerned re: the possibility of ending up with a serious indoor fruit fly population, but as I discovered, a fungus gnat population had taken over where the fruit flies left off.

What’s interesting is that the addition of a fair amount of “compost ecosystem” material (primarily added to help compensate for a large quantity of wet food waste I put in the system) – then simply letting everything sit for awhile – seems to have resulted in a significant reduction in gnat numbers. We shall see though – I’ll likely be adding more food wastes and moisture in coming weeks so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a gnat “comeback”!

I didn’t dig around too much today, so I can’t say for sure how the worm population is doing. My hunch is that the worms are doing well (as you can see, I did find some healthy looking wigglers), but I think they are mostly hanging out in the lower reaches of the Inn where there is a higher moisture content.

Red Worm

Speaking of moisture, I’ve decided to set up a handy-dandy automatic Worm Inn watering system, using a little drip bottle contraption (see “Worm Bin IV“).

It only releases 1 or 2 drops of water every 30 seconds (just an estimate), but I think it’s going to be a great hands-free way to keep everything nice and moist without having liquid running out of the bottom. As you can see in the first picture, I have put some layers of newsprint on top of the main composting zone. I’ve been finding that this is a good way help retain and distribute moisture (rather than getting poured down in one location, it soaks the newsprint and is then gradually released into the materials down below).

Anyway, that’s basically all for now. I will certainly keep everyone posted (and on a more regular basis than I have been).

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    • Ted
    • November 8, 2010

    Sort of like an IV drip. I wonder if you could replace the water at times, with a pureed veg drip. Just run the puree through one of the bags that your worms arrived in, or cheese cloth. Place it in your drip bottle and you have a way to help break it down quicker. A type of Veggie Bar I guess.

    • Tom Crabill
    • November 9, 2010

    “..they are mostly hanging out in the lower reaches of the Inn where there is a higher moisture content.”

    I thought my Worm Inn population had died off. When I emptied the Inn I discovered that most of the worms in the very bottom.

    • Tom Crabill
    • November 9, 2010

    Pouring water on egg cartons is a great way to water a bin. I cover my food and bedding with egg cartons. To water, I pour aged tap water into the indentations, and this provides a more even release of water. But of course a drip is better.

  1. TED – Great idea, and I think I will actually try something like that. When I originally wrote the “Worm IV” post I was trying out a liquid yeast solution (may try that again as well). Only downside is that it will likely crust up the screen lid on the Worm Inn.
    TOM – Glad to know you found a bunch of your worms down in the bottom! Love the egg carton watering idea!

    • Kator
    • November 9, 2010

    Larry appropriately identified that as an IAV system. Yup .. definately an IAV!

    • Anna
    • November 9, 2010

    Haha, Bentley. I think I may have a few of those “worm IV” bottles lying around the house. Now I know what to do with them :).

    • Liz
    • November 9, 2010

    Oh my word, never in a million years would I think to see an SNS feeder on a worm composting site. I am a wormie myself but also a board certified lactation consultant. I am literally in tears from laughing right now.
    I am impressed for the repurposing you did!

    • Kayla
    • November 10, 2010

    LMAO! That is totally a Medela SNS! I seriously laughed out loud when I saw that.
    I have 2 of them around here somewhere. Hmmm……

    • Bentley
    • November 10, 2010

    Yep, you’ve got it – the Medela Super Ninja Slow-Drip (SNS) system for hydrating and feeding your worm composting system!

    • Sharon
    • November 18, 2010

    Just a quick question about the sales paper in the top of the Worm Inn at the top of the page. I thought colored inks in sales papers were not good for worms. I have been tossing them. It’s really hard to find newspaper print without any colored ink on them nowadays.

    • Bentley
    • November 23, 2010

    Hi Sharon – sorry for the delay! That is a very keen observation, and I was actually waiting for someone to say something about it!
    Here’s my confession – I tend to be lazy at times, and thus don’t worry about colored inks from time to time. In my mind, as long as you are not using LOTS of colored paper and cardboard you should be fine.
    I actually don’t really like using newspaper all that much at all – partially because (as you point out) there is so much color, and partially because it tends to mat down, impeding air flow

    • cody
    • January 5, 2011

    We need an update bently 😉

    -peace cody 😀

  2. Just bought a Worm Inn. I have the RM system. The WF system and now I will have a flow through system that I did not have to make. I will need to get it ready for worms like I did the other systems? Let the bedding rest for at least a week?

  3. What does SNS mean? Sense? Lol sorry i’m not really good with slang terms yet.

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