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vermicomposting?

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vermicomposting?

Post  dstubbs on 7/17/2010, 7:07 pm

I'm thinking about trying vermicomposting and wondering if anyone has any advice about or experience with vermicomposting gadgets like the Worm Factory or Can o' Worms or similar. I know it's technically possible to do this in a regular Rubbermaid bin, but this will have to be kept inside my house so odor and appearance are important considerations. I don't want fruitflies or anything oozing or dripping from it! It would be for composting food and paper waste from our family of three, to make compost and compost tea for my SFG.
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Re: vermicomposting?

Post  camprn on 7/17/2010, 9:46 pm

Click here for an extensive thread on the subject. There is an excellent tutorial for building your own 'Wiggler Hilton".
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Re: vermicomposting?

Post  quiltbea on 7/17/2010, 9:48 pm

I have CanOWorms and love it. No odor. I keep it in my bathroom all winter. In the spring I put it out under the trees in the shade until fall rolls around. They can handle up to about 90* quite well by all burrowing in the center where its cooler.

Here it is in my bathroom. The little spout drips out the excess fluids from the wet paper and foodstuffs, for which I have a container below with holes in it.

The pink bits are the worms. I feed them table scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, shredded newspaper, egg cartons, crushed egg shells, but nothing meat or poulty or dairy and no bones. Just chop them up small and bury them under an edge. Each couple of days add more and bury the scraps a little further around the circle. Think of the bed as a clock. Bury feed at 1 oclock, then 3 oclock, then 5 oclock, etc and keep going round and round.

This is the 28# bucket of rich castings I got last Sept after 5 months. Its rich and the best fertilizer you can get without much work at all. The worms do it all.

Here it is this month under the shade of the trees. I use the little rake/hoe thing to move the bedding up and out of the way when I add more scraps.
If they run out of scraps, they'll eat the paper. You have to keep the whole thing slightly damp for them. They regulate their numbers depending on available food so the more you feed them, the more worms, the more compost.
The CanOWorms has 3 levels so you can get lots of compost if you feel them a lot. In our family we don't have much leftovers in the veggies so I'm happy with one level being maintained.

This is the bucket of castings I got this spring.
I usually put a cup of castings in an old pitcher and fill with 8 cups water. Mix it up. Immediately water my plants for their fertilizer 'fix' and that's it. The fact that some of the castings spill out with the water is a bonus to the plants. Sometimes I take some of the castings and work in in around a plant I think needs an extra boost, like my melons last week.
You won't be sorry if you get a worm condo/farm.
They are busy workers and they don't smell, even when the lid is off the top.
If you buy this thing, they'll include a pamphlet with worm care instructions and what you can and cannot feed them.

I started with 500 red wigglers last spring and this spring I counted 2053 as I was removing the compost.
You won't be sorry if you start worm farming.
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Vermicomposting

Post  Garden Angel on 7/17/2010, 9:57 pm

I've been checking out this site vermifactory.com

Thanks quiltbea for the pix and info.
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Re: vermicomposting?

Post  dstubbs on 7/20/2010, 9:37 pm

Well, I guess I'm officially a gardener now, as I just dropped a couple of hundred $ on a worm composter, worms, and seaweed fertilizer. Who would have imagined that a few months ago? I guess the cost savings intentions of starting SFG have just gone completely out the window, but at least I'll have an excellent idea what my veggies will be grown in and I can hopefully keep it all organic.

I took the plunge and ordered a Worm Factory, mainly because it was available here in the Maritimes (through Vessey's). The other model that seemed appealing i the reviews was the Can o Worms, which seems to be almost the same thing except round instead of square, and a bit more expensive, from what I can see.

My worms are on backorder, so I'm not sure how soon I'll be able to get the Factory up and running. I'm a wee bit squeamish about the whole idea, but after reading some articles and talking to people here in the forum, it seems like a good idea. I imagine my 2 year old will find it fascinating.

Wish me luck!
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Re: vermicomposting?

Post  quiltbea on 7/20/2010, 11:25 pm

Your initial investment will eventually pay for itself.
The worms are clean and do lots of good work for gardeners.
You'll get healthier crops with their help and you'll be recycling your scraps.
And having an SFG is a lot easier to care for than the usual row gardens.
I think you'll be pleased in the near future.
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Re: vermicomposting?

Post  dstubbs on 7/21/2010, 7:18 am

Let's hope so, quiltbea. My SFG attempts so far have been rather unsuccessful.
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Re: vermicomposting?

Post  dstubbs on 7/25/2010, 6:08 pm

My new worm composter arrived in the mail this weekend. My worms are backordered, but I'm looking forward to getting started as soon as they arrive.
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Re: vermicomposting?

Post  Megan on 7/25/2010, 6:10 pm

Best of luck with that! I want to try a worm tube next year.
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Re: vermicomposting?

Post  dstubbs on 7/26/2010, 7:59 pm

Thanks! Got the Worm Factory assembled and the bedding material prepped and in place tonight -- just waiting for my worms to arrive in the mail so I can get started!
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Re: vermicomposting?

Post  janefss2002 on 7/26/2010, 9:52 pm

dstubbs, we have been using a Worm Factory since March. Just yesterday we started a Worm Factory 360 with the worms from our first started tray. We can add more from our original Worm Factory as needed. In other words, our 1 pound of red wiggler worms have multiplied and we need to split them. We like having them to complement our trash can composting. We keep them in our laundry room. They do a good job.
Good luck and resist worrying over them Smile

Jane
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Re: vermicomposting?

Post  dstubbs on 8/12/2010, 7:49 am

My worms arrived yesterday. So far so good -- I'll let you know how it goes.
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Re: vermicomposting?

Post  camprn on 8/12/2010, 8:05 am

Hooray! I want worms! Maybe this fall I will get some for the cellar.
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