Things have basically been on “pause” on the Worm Inn Mega front for the past month and a half – but I’m happy to report that I am now back in action with my new favorite vermicomposting system.
In this post – the third and final installment in my “reboot” series (here are Part I and Part II if you missed them) – I’ll describe how I got the system going again, and let you know what approach I have planned this time around.
I also have an important announcement for all RWC Worm Inn customers!
Getting the Mega set up again was very simple and took virtually no time at all. As per usual, I started by tightening up the drawstrings at the bottom, and then adding a thick layer of shredded cardboard. I completed this “false bottom” by adding some layers of newsprint – folding them up the sides to help create a sort of container for the main worm habitat zone.
Next, I simply added leftover materials from the original system. I started with a lower layer of bedding (which had been serving as a cover material last time around) – and then added a thick layer of coarse habitat material, containing lots of unprocessed newsprint etc, along with lots of worms (mostly hatchlings and cocoons, but still quite a few adults).
At some point between then and now (it’s all a blur – lol) I also added some kitchen scraps, aged manure, and a cover layer of bedding. Nevertheless, when I got things going again the other day, it was pretty clear that the overall level of material had dropped (as you can see in the next pic, there is more of the newsprint false-bottom layer visible), and things were starting to get pretty dry.
Last time around, I demonstrated the perks of system “optimization”. I froze/thawed all wastes materials, chopped everything up really well – and always added “living material” (usually aged horse manure) with each feeding. Based on the densities of worms, and the speed at which they seemed to be processing everything, it was clearly an effective way to vermicompost!
BUT… I know that not everyone wants to take the extra time to do this with their own systems. A lot of people just want to toss in the wastes and basically leave it to the worms (and others critters) to do the rest. This isn’t an approach that works with all worm bins – especially not those of the smaller, enclosed, plastic variety! Luckily for us, it DOES work just fine when using a Worm Inn. As long as you’re adding plenty of bedding (and ideally some “living material”), you should be able to basically FILL the system – preferably over time, though – and not worry about overfeeding.
So, that’s what I am going to do this time. Some of the wastes will be frozen then thawed, but that’s mostly for the sake of being able to stockpile them a bit, and also to help avoid fruit fly infestation. I won’t be doing any chopping (beyond what was already done during food prep).
I added my first (“on the record”) batch of food earlier in the week. It worked to about 8 lb of mixed kitchen scraps (although there were a few things in there that could have been classified as “bedding”). All I did was dump it in, add some rock dust (to balance acidity a little), and cover with a layer of well-aged horse manure.
My aim will be to feed multiple times per week – but, bare minimum, at least once per week. Just like last time, I will be weighing all the foods that get added, but not the bedding etc materials.
Also, as mentioned in another recent post, I will be setting up a second Worm Inn Mega system very soon, and will only be using green wastes as food (as long as they are available anyway)!
Should be fun!
***IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR RWC WORM INN CUSTOMERS***
We now have a private Facebook group and email list for the RWC Worm Inn community! If you purchased a Worm Inn or Worm Inn Mega from the site at some point, and want to get involved, please send me an email with “RWC Worm Inn Group” somewhere in the subject line.
I think this is going to be a fantastic way for Worm Inn owners interact with (and help) each other – and a great way for me to keep everyone up to date on Worm Inn news!