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1,000 worms on their way....

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  elliephant on 3/2/2012, 3:27 pm

Love reading your updates. Sometime in the future I'm going to do this. Just keept reminding myself it doesn't have to be now.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  shannon1 on 3/3/2012, 4:08 am

@llama momma wrote:Thanks FbMom
I keep wanting to lift the lid and check on the little ones.
Those old maternal instincts you know... Towards worms?
Good grief. Happy to have residents at the Joshua Inn.
I discovered red wiglers in my TT must have had some eggs in the castings I used as part of the mel's mix. My brother saw me carefuly digging in the box with my hands and when I told him why. I didn't want to hurt my worms he busted out laughing and reminded of this seen in "7 years in Tibet" skip to time code 7:43 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9411GZEamQ

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  walshevak on 3/3/2012, 8:25 am

Momma

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/3/2012, 9:11 am

I discovered red wiglers in my TT must have had some eggs in the castings I used as part of the mel's mix.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  Josh on 3/3/2012, 9:42 am

Congratulations llama momma!

Sounds like your on your way to being a worm farmer! When I started my first worm bin, I couldn't stay out of the bin, I was always wondering what was going on in there!

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/3/2012, 9:45 am

Josh, you are the Worm King rock on

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 3/3/2012, 10:47 am

Nearly the end of day 2 and I gotta say this is too easy. They look fatter and are gathered around the little ball of rotting food so geez, this BB\'s happy face momma (like you said Walshevak) is pretty encouraged. Not one was even up on the walls trying to escape when the lid was opened this morning, they were all down in the bedding. Day 2, I like this.

Shannon congrats on your youngins! I read where the lighter colored eggs are the newer eggs. And later become darker then reddish when closer to hatching. Haven't found out how long it takes to hatch, sources on the internet only say when conditions are right... whatever that means!

Found out I can touch them gently with disposable gloves and they are not gross at all. Easier than handling a childs diaper. Only a wet newspaper smell. Josh I'm glad I am in good company when it comes to watching over our wormies! You got me into this kiddo with your worm bin video. You made it look so easy, you Worm King. okay

Also re: feeding them to the chickens. Two neighbors across the street have chickens, if I end up with too many worms I could maybe barter some good protein worms for eggs.... thinking

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  LeeAnne12 on 3/3/2012, 10:59 am

I am so glad to hear you say they are easy. I was talking to a local garden center trying to find compost and told him I was getting worms. He said they would die...that he tried it and that's what happened to his in a bin. How long are you letting the food rot before you put it in. Mine should arrive on Wednesday! Yay! I'm glad you are enjoying yours. Very Happy Oh, where can I see Josh's video?

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 3/3/2012, 11:06 am

LeeAnne, here it is, then scroll down to josh's video--

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t9113-home-made-worm-bins-vs-shop-brought-bins

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 3/3/2012, 11:28 am

About your rotting food question, the kitchen scraps are definately darker looking than when it was first put into the kitchen compost container. So maybe about 3-5 days old? But a few ounces buried inside of 6-8 inches of fluffy wet newspaper strips and there is no smell.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  walshevak on 3/3/2012, 12:35 pm

This may or may not have anything pertinent, but I didn't think my worms were eating what I put in the bin and the carrot tops sprouted so I took them out. I feel like all they had been living on was the bedding (I'm sure I'm overreacting, but I'm a momma.) So I was looking at worm sites and saw something about very fine peat for them and oatmeal which I don't have. And I know they are supposed to like finely crushed eggshells for grit. Now, peat I've got. After all I'm a square foot gardener. I took a cup full, the shells of two eggs and 1/2 cup of grits (what can I say, I'm a southerner) and put all into my blender with some water and turned it on high. It was pretty sloppy wet so I shredded up some dry paper and poured the mix on top. The rest of the bin was just moist. Two days later I checked and found the paper just damp and a whole herd of fat worms writhing happily in the mix. I think they liked it.

But for sure, no smell from some 2 week old veggie scraps.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  quiltbea on 3/3/2012, 2:17 pm

I don't wait for food to rot before feeding my worms. I just take the scraps from foods and put it in a sealed container and keep adding bits for only 2 or 3 days. Then when I think I have enuf, I add it to my worm condo. I DO chop up the larger bits into smaller ones but that's about it. I don't feed my worms rotten food.

If that person's worms died, he may have fed them mostly lettuce leaves. That happened to another worm farmer. A little lettuce along with other scraps is fine, but not just lettuce. Its too wet and for some reason kills the worms. They need variety just like we do. Add tea bags, used coffee grounds and their filters, egg cartons torn up, veggie leaves, chopped up fruit and veggies, new-mown grass, chopped up leaves from your garden, stale bread, egg shells crushed but not necessarily to a fine powder (they use them like cradles for their own eggs), shredded damp newspaper, but never meat, fish, or dairy products, onions, citrus. Root veggies are not their favorite either, so limit the potato peelings. I'm into my 3rd year with worms and just love those rich castings.



Here in Maine, I place my worm condo in the shade of trees during the late spring thru early fall but otherwise they live in my bathroom. I keep a plastic tablecoth nearby outdoors so when its going to rain, I can place it over the bin to keep the rain from entering thru the many air holes and drowning my worms. In the south you will have to bring them inside away from the heat. They don't survive well if it reaches 90*F so put them inside where its cooler. As much time as they spend in my bathroom, I've never had any odors from my condo.


Last edited by quiltbea on 3/3/2012, 2:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  Josh on 3/3/2012, 2:25 pm

Just wanted to add that the worms love a overripe banana! I cut one in half and put the two pieces in the worm bin, the worms will eat the inside of the banana, they will mass up inside of the peel, really cool to see! Looks like a squirming monster or something when you pick it up and look inside

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 3/3/2012, 2:34 pm

I read that worms can sense anything that has the ability to sprout again, and will not eat it such as carrot tops. Also potato skins since it contains the eyes that could sprout . Agree that lettuce does not seem to sustain them. Someone on this forum said worms won't eat living vegetation and could thrive in the soil of an indoor potted plant.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  plantoid on 3/3/2012, 4:57 pm

I think the term rotting needs to be clarified .

For I doubt that rotting food as most of us understand it would do the red worms much good.

But fresh greens etc slowly starting to decay is quite a different matter and the red worms feed on that sort of stuff before it goes too far rotten .

comments please.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 3/3/2012, 6:13 pm

Hi Plantoid,

Pre composted worm food is suppose to be exactly what worms want. Yes you can put in fresh food but my understanding is they cannot process it till it is broken down. They eat primarily the bacteria, fungi, etc. and your fuzzy veggies leftovers in the fridge are great. Here is one interesting article, there are more online sources.

http://wormdiaries.organic-raised-bed-gardening.com/2011/07/12/why-pre-compost-worm-food/

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  plantoid on 3/3/2012, 6:29 pm

I think we have aimed at & hit the same thing ...perhaps I should have added they eat the bacteria forming on the starting to decay food.

There is no half rotten stuff/ old veg stuff in our fridge .....it's all eaten long before that stage occurs .Wink

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  Josh on 3/3/2012, 6:42 pm

And if I'm not mistaken because they eat that bacteria, fungi and stuff like that, that's why the worm bin doesn't smell bad, and they are actually helping the decomposing of the scraps.

And if you put something fresh or big pieces, it takes longer to start the decomposing processes, and if you chop it up into smaller pieces or put it in the blender then it will break down faster. I take potato peels and put in the blender, then mix it in some shredded newspaper and in a day or two they are all over it. If I put them in without chopping them or blending them first, they sometimes start growing.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  plantoid on 3/3/2012, 7:21 pm

Josh ,

Do you make a sandwich of the blended veg between a couple of squares of newspaper either side or are you just mixing it with the shredded paper to soak up & control the moisture quicker ?

My wormery ( in its infancy with a few worms & eggs visable ) is getting the blended fresh veg in thin sandwiches of newspaper with a sprinkle in between the sandwiches of grow bag compost to keep things reasonably dry

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 3/3/2012, 7:45 pm

Imho, a blender adds work and clean up that personally I'm not willing to mess with. Nature doesn't blend it for them. Online sources suggest that blending food makes a very wet situation that needs to be dried up. Guess the article was leaning towards putting in enough pre-composted food so the worms can quickly dispose of it without the wetness issue and smell. In the end whatever works so long as the worms are producing castings and cocoons.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  LeeAnne12 on 3/3/2012, 8:33 pm

Llama Momma and Josh, thanks for the info. Now, for more questions...I have some bananas that were going to the compost pile and they are black on the outside. Will these work? Also, when you put bananas in there, should you add other things, too, so they won't be chowing down on just banana? Are the stems on broccoli ok to feed them? ...and finally, how small are you chopping the food? I'm assuming you are chopping it up before you put it in the kitchen composter.

Thanks!

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 3/3/2012, 9:04 pm

I have a skype call coming in from japan so I can't answer right now. : ( Hope someone else comes along soon! Sorry!

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  quiltbea on 3/3/2012, 9:49 pm

I never use a blender for my foodstuffs. Tried it once and they get too wet and mushy. I just chop mine small with a sharp knife on the cutting board and put them in the bin with a little water added. I keep a layer of damp shredded newspaper across the top of my worm condo. I keep a small garden fork on the lid and when I have to add food, I just lift the edge and tuck the new food in. The fork also serves as a guide. I liken the top of my condo to a clock face. The handle is always pointed to the 'time' on the clock where I last fed them. If I tucked the food in where 2 o'clock was 2 days ago, today I would add them in at 4 or 5 o'clock, slowly moving around the 'clock' at each feeding so the new feed is very close to the last food.

As for the banana, I would add it even if its brown in spots inside as long as it isn't just rotten. I don't add rotten foods because being inside, I don't want any odors escaping from rotten foods. Just chop up the inside and the skin and add it for the worms. Chop up the broccoli stems small. If any are too hard and large and you can't chop them to your liking, toss them in the compost bin. Your worms will eat and make lovely castings even if fed larger pieces. Mine do....


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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  LeeAnne12 on 3/3/2012, 10:59 pm

Thank you, Quiltbea. I think I'll save the broccoli for the compost pile and find some other goodies for the worms first meal. :-)

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 3/3/2012, 11:23 pm

LeeAnne,
(My skype call was my son in Japan and whew! We just finished our typical weekly 2 hour gabfest. I am so glad QuiltBea posted Smile
Now I can "talk" to you again. I don't know if there is an exact answer to your questions but yesterday I added little chunks of very black banana skins and they are literally all over it. I'm not chopping up a whole lot. Just reaching into the kitchen compost container and lifting out a small mixture of goodies with a disposable gloved hand of course! : ) Have to remember my worms are brand new, I've had them just 2-1/2 days so I am feeding very lightly till they fully adjust over the next couple weeks. They can always consume the newspaper bedding too.
I read another tip today that said to try different things and if it is not gone in a few days then take it away. From all the websites I'm reading it really sounds like this is all so very easy. Put things in there and if it's not gone in several days, take it out. Let the worms tell you what they like. Tomorrow I am going to try a little moistened old fashion oatmeal. I like the idea of plant based protein for them. A couple of tablespoons and see what happens. Few days later will try some old unsalted nuts that I'll put in my coffee grinder. It is suppose to be good for them too. Stay tuned.

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