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Wiggler Hilton

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  llama momma on 11/24/2012, 5:09 am

@southern gardener wrote:Thanks for the info ML...I'm sure some of it is the liquid from the foods. The middle section where it is primarily castings was very moist and lots of worms. Do you find a lot of worms in this section of your worm bin? I'd have thought they'd be on top with the food?
I see the worms in the entire layer of castings, spread out over the bin. The rest are balled up right under and inside the wet newspaper packet of food placed on top of the castings. Sometimes I find a couple above the castings wiggling around the moist newspaper and cardboard. Above that layer is a good 8 inches of dry bedding. Side note, sometimes I push dry paper and cardb. down into the castings to get things a little dryer since I haved no drainage holes in the bin. I try to keep things on the dryer side but I think it's still dry-ish yet still sludge-like, if that makes sense.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Kelejan on 11/24/2012, 7:32 am

@southern gardener wrote:
@Kelejan wrote:southern gardener I would think that there are many worms in that section with the castings because there is still plenty of food for them to eat mixed in with the castings. I think that happens because of the setup with the Wiggler Hilton. Perhaps in a flow-through the worms keep rising to the top and the castings fall down below?
Next year I may try a flow-through to see how it compares with a WH.
RedWormComposting has done many experiments and I find them very interesting and food for thought.

Kelejan: What's a flow through bin? Mine has tiers that you can add as the castings fill up...maybe that's a flow through? It's super easy to use, and really kind of takes care of itself. It's a "Can O Worms" and the worms are about a year old if I remember correctly? Maybe even older. They sure are chubby!!
Basically a flow-through bin consists of one compartment, where the bedding and food are put in, the worms added, then food added as required and at the bottom the castings are srcaped out.
That means no tiers, everything flows through from top to bottom. in a slow-motion kind of way.
The ones I have seen are triangular in shape as castings take up less space than the food. They are made of fabric with a drawtring closure at the bottom. The one I am thinking of is called "The Worm Inn" and is illustrated on Christie Bentley's Red Worm Composting site, redwormcasting.com
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Boz on 11/25/2012, 6:39 pm

I have a small flow thru 2X2X2 bin made of wood.
http://vermicomposters.ning.com/photo/finished?context=album&albumId=2094123%3AAlbum%3A205232

The inside looks like this.
http://vermicomposters.ning.com/photo/vb-24-interor?context=album&albumId=2094123%3AAlbum%3A205232

There is lots of information on the operation at redworm composting site.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  llama momma on 11/25/2012, 8:00 pm

Boz,
Whoa, Very nice construction of your VB ! Those metal rods look like the electrical conduit we sfg's use for a trellis. (?) I wish I was comfortable with tools as your VB looks terrific. As many times as I have read about how the VB works, I still don't get how in the world you fill the bottom with cardboard etc, even with those rods -- and not have a whole giant mess of vermicastings etc one day fall through to the floor when things get very heavy! What am I misunderstanding?
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Kelejan on 11/25/2012, 8:58 pm

@llama momma wrote:Boz,
Whoa, Very nice construction of your VB ! Those metal rods look like the electrical conduit we sfg's use for a trellis. (?) I wish I was comfortable with tools as your VB looks terrific. As many times as I have read about how the VB works, I still don't get how in the world you fill the bottom with cardboard etc, even with those rods -- and not have a whole giant mess of vermicastings etc one day fall through to the floor when things get very heavy! What am I misunderstanding?
I think vermicastings just kind of cake on the bottom. Not like vermiculite which is all loose.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Boz on 11/25/2012, 10:16 pm

llama momma
Thanks for the compliment, believe me the bin does not look as good close up, but then it is a worm bin.
I started the bin Aug 15th. I laid down two layers of corrugated cardboard on the electrical conduit, then newspapers, egg cartons, toilet paper rolls etc. I stater with three thousand worms.

With the amount of cardboard I have as a base I may have to cut the cardboard out for the initial harvest. As kelejan said the vermicasting sticks together and may need some encouragement to fall, but should have very few worms.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  llama momma on 11/26/2012, 7:43 am

Thanks for explaining what the rods are made of.
I would truly love to see a video of the harvest. I read one person's account of harvesting from a VB nearly a year later. It was like you described, the person used a boxcutter to release the cardboard bottom and castings.

My castings from a plastic bin are sludgy after 5 months and the worms are crawling all through it.

Perhaps a big system like that is dryer on the bottom means the worms simply move up into a higher moist layer and maybe this worm/food layer sticks together when you harvest the pure dryer castings below? The open bottom must help dry the castings I suppose. See, I'm guessing how this works. I'm having trouble imagining only the castings fall out the bottom at harvest, and not everything else
above. :scratch: :scratch: But I love the idea of a large indoor system. Also read it smells like an outdoor foresty kind of compost too.

If anyone is interested, the VB24(inch) also comes in a 48 inch and 96 inch long indoor bed. Whoo, the VB24, actually 24" x 24", thats a lot of vermicompost potential to me. 24 inch by 8 ft long....imagine filling that with bedding, wow.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  llama momma on 11/26/2012, 10:00 am

Sorry to talk so much here.
I found part of my answer while reading up on this topic. In a brand new plastic worm bin we add worms near the bottom of the bin. In the VB system the container is nearly loaded to the very top with bedding so the worms and their existing castings from say an established plastic bin is added at the very top of the VB. The liquids then evaporate off in the very thick bedding below. If anyone out there has experience with a VB system please don't hesitate to chime in.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Kelejan on 9/8/2014, 4:42 pm

My Wiggler Hiltons have been outside since last winter and now it is time to bring them indoors as the night-time temperature forecasts are getting below 10c.
This time my one WH will not be in the living-room but the three WHs will be located in the space I have cleared in my utility room where the furnace is located.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  camprn on 10/27/2014, 12:22 pm

bump

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  llama momma on 10/29/2014, 12:06 pm

Hi Boz!

It has been quite some time since you wrote about your brand new VB24. 

Care to tell us how things are going?

I got something called a Bagster.  It is 8ft by 4ft and I swear this fall/winter I'm going to modify it to keep all the worms in this contraption. The Bagster  is actually a construction refuse bag, can support a ton of weight.  It's only 30 dollars.  I was drawn to it because of the fantastic ventilation it will provide, inexpensive, and its durability. Worms can't digest the Bagster material.  It's in the basement up on heavy duty pallets and cinder blocks,  awaiting my final design to attach a removable and weighted cover made from tulle and line the sides with a little bit of wire to reinforce the walls.      
According to my math What a Face  calculations, all nine of my Rubbermaid bins won't even take up 1/3 of the available space.  Lots of room for expansion. I should be able to get over 30 bins worth in one easy accessible worm farm.  I'll start a new thread with pictures as my little fall-winter project develops.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/30/2014, 3:41 am

Pics/links? This sounds like a major revelation.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Kelejan on 10/30/2014, 6:41 am

Wow! LLM, you are really upping your operation.  You should benefit from the increased scale.  Will follow you with great interest. Shocked
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  llama momma on 10/31/2014, 1:53 am

I should have it all set up by mid November. 
I'll put it in my old thread called 1,000 Worms on their Way.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Boz on 10/31/2014, 10:06 am

Hi everyone
My VB24, is a 24" X 24" X 24" wooden flow thru is almost full and continues to self harvest. It periodically drops some vermicompost into a tub. I get 5 to 10 gallon then it pauses before dropping some more. I still get more worms in the VC than I want. I am currently feeding it ten to fifteen pounds per week.


Llama Momma have you decided how you will harvest your "Whopper"? It might be big enough that you could use a migration scheme to harvest it. Tell us what your plans are.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  llama momma on 10/31/2014, 11:18 am

That's great news Boz!  Your results are fantastic.  I don't build things like you can, so I'm trying out this idea.

My migration scheme... Well this is how I think it will go - First, barely fill the left side or about 1/3 of the Bagster when I dump all 9 containers in there.  Then put up some type of barrier to encourage stragglers to stay put instead of roaming around to the dry empty side where death would occur.  Later on remove barrier to allow migration to fresh bedding and food in the next section.  Harvest the original section and either use it up/sell it off/ or store for later use into old empty Rub. bins with food for remaining stragglers and hatch out capsules. Throw those worms back into the Bagster. 
I'm wondering if I'm going to be very happy with the results or overwhelmed with the craziness I've gotten myself into.  Keeping my fingers crossed to make this a fun project for the garden and make a little fun-money from it too either selling VC or worms.   

I appreciate any comments, ideas, maybe you or someone can see problems I haven't thought of.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Boz on 10/31/2014, 12:23 pm

Creating a barrier could be difficult, how about putting a Compact Florescent bulb in the room and leave it on all the time. They draw very little current so it would not cost much.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Kelejan on 10/31/2014, 1:18 pm

LLM, your bagster is 8'x4'. How deep is it? I can envision you falling into when harvesting it if too deep. Very Happy
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  llama momma on 10/31/2014, 5:47 pm

Boz,
Thank you. Your light suggestion is a great idea. If I were to try the barrier option I think it was Bentley's idea who said his worms won't cross a line of vicks vapo rub.  I also noticed that my worms won't cross over the sticky side of duck tape either. ( pill bugs try but get stuck).  So there are a couple of options to play around with.

Kelejan,
The Bagster is a maximum of 30 inches deep. I can roll it up or down to whatever height is comfortable to reach down to the bottom or across. I will probably just fold it in half to about 15 inches or so.  The length of 8 ft. is so roomy, whew, also the 4 foot width is a familiar 2 ft reach from the sides just like SF gardening.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  llama momma on 10/31/2014, 8:30 pm

@Kelejan wrote:LLM, your bagster is 8'x4'. How deep is it? I can envision you falling into when harvesting it if too deep. Very Happy
Haah, that's funny.  If that happens I'll be sure  to pm a picture to you.  What a Face
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Kelejan on 11/1/2014, 3:14 am

@llama momma wrote:
@Kelejan wrote:LLM, your bagster is 8'x4'. How deep is it? I can envision you falling into when harvesting it if too deep. Very Happy
Haah, that's funny.  If that happens I'll be sure  to pm a picture to you.  What a Face

You know it will not happen. Spoilsport. Very Happy
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Kelejan on 3/26/2015, 6:50 pm

I still have my three Wiggler Hiltons and they are doing well, giving me a steady supply of castings.
The rest of my reds are in the outdoor composter and thrive there.  Once a year in spring I sift through it all and start a new pile and the worms go straight back in.
I no longer bother to turn it, as I find most of the worms are in the area where there is good compost below them, the zone where they mostly live, and the zone of decomposting food that is added on a regular basis.

I am taking part in a little experiment, and it is a little experiment, of two baby worms in a yoghurt tube.  Started in January and my two babies started at one inch and 3/4 inch long. Now one is four inches and the second is 3 inches and they are now almost grown up with citellum and soon will lay eggs.  This should go on for some months, as we count the number of worms that are produced.  At the end one should have a good idea of how much worms increase in number. Several others are doing it, perhaps LLM is, and the info will collated and published, I hope. I only have the one tub but others have more and put them in differed places at different temperatures to see if there is any difference.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  llama momma on 3/27/2015, 2:36 pm

Kelejan,

Ah yes, Bentley's Tiny Tub experiment. Glad you are getting nice results.  My good intentions fell through.  Even had three tiny tubs put aside Shocked
Been completely sidetracked with tackling outdoor flower garden make-over, spring cleaning, painting window boxes, baking and freezing food before out of town visitors arrive and stay for my son's wedding in a few weeks.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  TinySpock on 3/27/2015, 4:13 pm

@Kelejan wrote:LLM, your bagster is 8'x4'. How deep is it? I can envision you falling into when harvesting it if too deep. Very Happy

Wiggler Hilton - that's funny, too!  You guys are really hilarious!
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/27/2015, 8:26 pm

LLM - you KNOW if you fall in, the rest of us will want to see a pic too!!! Twisted Evil
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

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