Worm Inn Mega – 03-05-14

Yesterday I decided it was time to shoot another Worm Inn Mega video. Let me apologize in advance for the length of it and the shaky filming. In hindsight, it probably would have made more sense just to take pictures and then create a slideshow video instead.

Anyway, apart from talking about how the system is coming along (among other things), my aim was to perform my first harvest of vermicompost. I’ve been really curious to see how the material in the bottom of the system is looking. It’s been months since I first set it up, and the level of material has kinda been getting up close to the top! (lol)

OK – so I’ve been feeling a wee bit impatient! As touched on in the video, I really wasn’t super concerned about potentially finding worms in the material (which I did).

One important topic I covered was the (small amount of) mold growth on the lower outside walls of the system. I definitely wanted to bring this up since this is something that’s been discussed here before (see comments section of “Worm Inn Mega vs VermBin24“). This can happen from time to time if you are adding lots of food and/or water (I am adding a fair amount of both), and the surrounding environment has a fairly high level of humidity (especially if low air flow). The fact that my system is sitting in the corner of a room in my basement certainly doesn’t help.

As touched on, if you see growth like this, getting rid it should be very easy with a damp rag (maybe a bit of vinegar for good measure). Definitely don’t use any harsh chemicals!

After I wrapped up the video I continued to remove material from the bottom of the Mega, and ended up with a mixing tray full of rich (but pretty coarse) vermicompost. It was quite moist, but had a really nice earthy smell to it. I will likely leave it to sit in the tray to dry out for a little while before starting to screen (as I’ve been doing with the VB48 vermicompost).

I plan to do at least one more major harvest before leaving the system alone (as far as harvesting goes) for a while. As mentioned in the video, I would like to switch over to a wooden stand for my Mega, and obviously it’s going to make sense to get the weight as low as possible before attempting to do so.

On that note, I am happy to announce that Blake Ketchum (who will be a two-Mega owner very soon) kindly offered to provide some plans for the nice (yet easy-to-build) wooden stand she built for her first system. This resource will be made available for all RWC Worm Inn Mega owners soon.

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Comments

    • John W.
    • March 5, 2014

    Two in one day???
    Seeing this video kind of makes me want one, but I just don’t make enough waste to justify the cost. I have the regular worm inn, and I can’t feel it up. I do have two worm bins that are just horse manure and I could put some in the worm inn, but I feel like it gets so much aeration that the manure would dry out quicker than the worms could use it.

    • Bentley
    • March 5, 2014

    LoL – the other post went up yesterday. Didn’t have an image at the top so perhaps easy to miss.

    Aged horse manure plus fairly regular watering (if it seemed like it was drying out) in a Mega would produce LOTS of fantastic vermicompost! The population of worms would expand according to the resources available.

    Not trying to convince you here, John! Just sayin…
    😎

    • Paul from Winnipeg
    • March 5, 2014

    Gobs of worms! Can’t wait til my system has that kind of density. Looks great Bentley. I’ve been adding citrus to my inn too without any ill effects. I think it makes the smell of the compost kinda nice while they’re still fresh. Using brown cardboard that’s been run through a paper shredder and shredded leaves for high carbon. Much effort saved.

    • Peter
    • March 5, 2014

    One thing I’ve noticed with the bottom mold (which I haven’t gotten, but I had dampness around the rope and the bunched fabric at the base at times) is that after a good harvest, the room created and the resulting extra airflow down at the base dries things out nicely.

    So if it was a concern, maybe more regular harvesting could also help. Removes some of that compact VC pressed up solidly against the sides.

    • John W.
    • March 6, 2014

    If I could have you do one experiment it would be compare the quality/quantity of vermicompost and more importantly to me how many worms you end up with if you compared ONE worm inn mega with TWO regular worm inns.
    I am just wondering since they would be the same cubic yards of compost and the price would only be a little more if you bought two regular inns.
    I think it might be better two have two smaller ones because you would have more service area but the real kicker would be that you could alternate which one you feed. So even if you feed them heavily there would be a small break between each feeding and that seems like it would help keep there from being to much moisture.
    The amount of worms would be the real measure for me because I sell a lot of worms each month and having two smaller systems would also let me alternate which one I harvest from.
    Just thinking of this makes me wish I had a second worm inn instead of my “commercial” rubber bins!

    Is it sad that I don’t even use the compost so I don’t really care about the quality of it? I do sell it sometimes and give it away, but after a while if I have to much of it, I use it to level my yard. 🙂 I feel like that is compost cussing to post how I use it 🙂

  1. The compost that I have been getting form my Worm Inn Mega is fantastic. I feed my worms bokashi compost from kitchen scraps. I use paper and cardboard scraps from my business and junk mail as bedding.

    The compost has been very fine, more than 95% passing 1/4″ screen, and friable, not soupy, not too dry. Just perfect stuff.

    With my second system, I will be experimenting with dog waste mixed with shredded deciduous leaves for carbon. No worms in there yet, since it’s too cold.

    Thanks, Bentley!

    • Bentley
    • March 13, 2014

    PAUL – would love to know what sort of monster shredder you are using to shred up cardboard!
    —-
    PETER – Excellent points! There was definitely more tendency for mold growth in the folds – once I loosened for first harvest, this surface was more exposed to air flow (so I’ll likely see less growth moving forward).
    —-
    JOHN W – Cool idea! My hunch is that you are correct – the increased surface area of the two standard Inns would likely support a larger total population, and there would be perks to having two separate systems. That said, two Inns would also take up a fair bit more room than a Mega, and the $170 price tag vs ~$137 (or less with discounts) is a pretty big difference in my humble opinion.
    —-
    BLAKE – thanks for sharing that info (and once again for your stand plans!!). That’s great! Impressive that you have already had a harvest of nice material, given how recently you started your first Mega. I totally forgot about the plans for the dog waste Mega! Please keep me posted on that (and if you are ok with it, I’d love to share the results on the blog).

    • Cleo
    • March 13, 2014

    Is it possible to purchase a Mega Worm Inn in Canada?…

    • Chris
    • March 15, 2014

    Regarding what you wrote about taking pictures and creating a slideshow video instead, I just wanted to say I’m rather glad you posted the video as it is. It’s good to actually see things being done sometimes rather than still pictures.

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