(Worm bin) Experimentation

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Have I mentioned how much I absolutely LOVE and feel a little bit cheered up whenever I see a whole mass of my vermicomposting worms in the places where I’d placed food and used cardboard or shredded newspaper to cover it?

No?

Well, I do.

I recently decided to try out some version of flow-through composting, and bought two small baskets with large enough holes. I propped one on top of the other using small little bricks so that there’s about a 3 to 4cm gap between the two bases of the baskets. Then I transferred a handful of worm casting to the top basket, spreading the casting out along the length. Also transferred quite a bit of worms into the basket, and then added chopped up veggie scraps and cardboard shreds over the food.

To the small gap left in the bin, I compiled all the worms there, and also added food scraps and newspaper shreds.

Today (and a few of the days), when I went to disturb the bin and basket with a chopstick to aerate the casting (so it doesn’t become anaerobic and stink), I saw the worms of both sections all huddled and intertwined in crazy masses beneath the food and paper. I just went squeeee. =D It means that I’m doing stuff right, since the worms are attracted to the sections where I placed the rotting food, and not to the empty sections.

One thing which scared me – well, more like startled, really – today was that I opened my bin, and a huge adult black soldier fly flew out. Since my bin’s airholes are way too tiny for the adults to get in to lay their eggs, and I’d also stretched a pantyhose over the lid, the conclusion I have was that the larva was already present when I bought the castings from two different suppliers.

But since neither the larvae nor the adults hurt the worms nor the bin’s ecosystem, and the larvae actually helps to compost food faster and their poop provides food for the worms, I let it go.

I LOVELOVELOVE! my worms and worm bin. =D

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(Worm bin) New system

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I used to have a small worm bin system. I had to get used to keeping worms and learning about them. I also had to hide the system and worms from my family, especially from my dad, since he has an extreme phobia of worms, for no reason.

I soon grew tired of having used cheap and low quality containers for my worms, especially since their worm poo and worm tea seem to really have helped the health and quality of my plants quite a bit. After using worm tea/poo and Envizyme’s Gondwana fertilizer alternately, I’ve seen an 80 to 90% reduction in pests on my plants. There used to be a lot of scales; now, I see the occasional one which I leave alone.

So, I think my wormies deserve better. And I also want to encourage them to reproduce and fill up the new bin, so that I can recycle green waste a lot more and also use the castings for my plants.

Left container has PVC pipes holding the right one up; it's to collect leachate; the right container will house the worms

I used the leg portion of a pantyhose to pull over the lid and airholes to discourage any more adventurous worms

The worms, their casting, two halves of an egg shell, and crumbled old soil in their new home

My old bin system

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