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I havested my fall worm compost today!

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I havested my fall worm compost today!

Post  quiltbea on 10/21/2011, 8:55 pm

It turned out to be such a lovely day today, in the 60s and sunny, that I changed my routine and harvested worm compost instead of making a quilted tote bag. I know I won't be getting many more nice days and this is a job I have to do outside in the yard where I can spread out and get things washed and cleaned. I have a 3-story Can-O-Worms setup which I love. It stays in my bathroom most of the year and under the shade of cool trees in the summer. I only use one story of the condo for living quarters and then make up a clean condo for the next batch of compost farming.



With a pair of latex gloves on for protection, I scooped out the worms and their compost, where I found many clusters of several dozen red wigglers together.



At my age, nearly 70, and with a bad back, I needed a better way to sort so I upended a bucket and scooped compost and worms together on the bottom surface. Worms were picked out and placed in their clean condo quarters with damp newspaper and some finished compost for the organisms that aid in keeping the bed healthy and free from odors. In the photo you can see my camera straps hanging down. Sorry, I didn't notice til I downloaded the pix.



The finished compost went into a 28# bucket and the worms in the new bed to the right with the damp newspaper (you can just see it in the photo). I also trransferred some of the finished compost to the new bed for its micro-organisms that keep the bed healthy and odor-free. When I was thru, I had a full 28# bucket full to the brim for my garden and over 3000 healthy red wigglers to make new compost for me in their clean bedding.
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Re: I havested my fall worm compost today!

Post  madnicmom on 10/22/2011, 1:10 am

Congrats! How long did it take to harvest the compost? I ask cause I need to do the same and I'm dreading it! LOL
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Re: I havested my fall worm compost today!

Post  ishootaction on 10/22/2011, 1:58 am

Nice job cheers
I just started my 1st one. Yours looks great. I hope I will get there some day. thanks
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Re: I havested my fall worm compost today!

Post  quiltbea on 10/22/2011, 10:49 am

madnicmom.....I didn't time it, but I'd say around 2 hours. I painstakingly picked out every worm, large and small. When I started to get tired, I wasn't as diligent. Many of the worms got shifted into the compost bucket but that's ok, they'll go into the garden beds this weekend to boost my soil. I found several balls of them in the bottom basement of their condo where there isn't any food, just the richest of wet compost. This area is where the water drains and from here thru the spout into a container outside. For some reason they were congregating there in droves.
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Re: I havested my fall worm compost today!

Post  Josh on 10/22/2011, 3:13 pm

Looks great quitlbea!

When I'm trying to get the worms to move to one place so I can harvest my worm castings, I take an over ripe banana, cut in into two pieces, and put it in the the worm bin, the worms love rotten banana, and they will all gather on the inside of the banana peel, eating all the banana, and filling the peel up with a mass of worms, looks really cool too seeing all those worms massed up inside of the peel that has turned black!
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Re: I havested my fall worm compost today!

Post  boffer on 10/22/2011, 3:36 pm

I compost on the ground and have found that earthworms love corn cobs. That's how I get worms into my TTs: When worms infiltrate the inside of the cob, I just bury it into a TT box.
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Re: I havested my fall worm compost today!

Post  quiltbea on 10/23/2011, 11:12 am

I know that garden worms love dried brown leaves. If you bury a few handsful in your beds here and there, they will come and hold court thru the winter making lovely rich soil by spring. The red wigglers in my condo love used coffee grinds.

Personal note: I harvest my compost at one sitting because I don't want to have to wait for my worms to move up into the next floor on their own. I need it done quickly. I harvest on a good, clear, slightly warm day so I can scrub and scour and store away the old bed for another season.
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Re: I havested my fall worm compost today!

Post  quiltbea on 10/23/2011, 6:50 pm

In re-reading my post, it appears that I put away my worm condo for the winter. Sorreeeeee! I just put away one floor of the condo, the one I just emptied. I scrub and scour it and store in the garage til needed when I harvest my next batch.

The newly bedded floor of the condo is clean and besides its clean bedding, I've added fresh food, and all my wigglers that I transferred from the other floor.



The cleaned condo rests in my bathroom for the winter, away from excess cold. There's no odor.
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