Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Red Worm Composting

Red Worm Composting

My red worm composter.
Worms crawling around. This photo was taken at night. During the day they are in hiding.

Worm Urine - this will make for some great worm tea. This drips from the top container, and is captured and held in the bottom. The wire mesh fits in this container perfect and separates the two. The worm tea will be used in my NFT gutter system for lettuce and other greens. Im running low on nutrients and Im broke, so the next best thing - free, all natural nutrients - worm tea :)
Food Scraps for Worms.


My Bin needs to be harvested and I need to add more bedding. The worm's environment looks a little too moist.  I will harvest this compost this weekend and setup a fresh, new home for the worms.

For great worm composting facts, please visit:  
http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/easywormbin.htm
http://www.redwormcomposting.com/getting-started/ 
http://www.ourvitalearth.com


The information below was copied from the site above. This is the waste you can add to the composting system:

Acceptable Waste to add to the bin-
  • Vegetable & fruit waste (citrus fruit should be added in moderation when using smaller bins)
  • Starchy materials – bread, pasta, rice, potatoes – all in moderation (beginners may want to avoid these altogether initially)
  • Aged animal manures (careful with rabbit and poultry – need lots of bedding to balance)
  • Shredded newspaper, used paper towels (common sense applies here), cardboard (great idea to add these carbon rich materials at the same time you add any wet food waste)
  • Egg shells (best if ground up and in moderation)
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea bags
DONT Add to the bin -
  • Human/pet waste
  • Non biodegradable materials
  • Dairy/meat
  • Oils/grease
  • Harsh chemicals
Updated - 8/6/2010
"There are over 4000 species of earthworms but only 3 are considered composting worms. The common names for these three are the "Red Wiggler", "Blue Wiggler" and the "Tiger Worm". Eisendia Fetida is the proper name for the "Red Wiggler" and this worm is more familiar to us in the States."
       - from www.ourvitalearth.com

I also used a food supplement for the worms that I added every other feeding. It provides the grit and helps with digestion. Its made from volcanic rock and other trace minerals. It last for quite a while. http://www.ourvitalearth.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=20

    3 comments:

    1. Question, I have a worm box and in this hot, hot weather, they seem to have disappeared in the boxes. I keep the box in my garage and out of the sun and keep it moist. Do you think the heat can kill them?

      ReplyDelete
    2. I have mine outside, under the roof overhang. Its been getting over 100 degrees every day and the worms seem to be doing alright. Do you have good air circulation in the garage? That might be the problem, but heat itself shouldnt be. When I bought the worms, they told me they can take a good amount of heat, just so they arent exposed to the sun and have a fairly moist environment.

      What type of worms do you have? I bought these from http://www.ourvitalearth.com. "There are over 4000 species of earthworms but only 3 are considered composting worms. The common names for these three are the "Red Wiggler", "Blue Wiggler" and the "Tiger Worm". Eisendia Fetida is the proper name for the "Red Wiggler" and this worm is more familiar to us in the States." - from www.ourvitalearth.com


      Our Vital Earth is located about 20 mins from my house. They are a older husband and wife company and very nice people. They stayed about an hour after close so that I could pick up the worms after work. A pound was 45$ I believe, but I probably have about 5+ pounds of them now.

      I also used a food supplement for the worms that I added every other feeding. It provides the grit and helps with digestion. Its made from volcanic rock and other trace minerals. It last for quite a while. http://www.ourvitalearth.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=20

      Im out of this supplement, so I need to order some. I've been using sand until Im able to make a run out there.

      Im going to harvest the casting this weekend and sort the worms. I will check the health of them then and I should have another posting this weekend of the composting harvest and setting up the new bins. Hopefully I can get 2 more bins going if I have enough worms.

      ReplyDelete
    3. Really good information:
      http://www.ourvitalearth.com/about/about-worms.htm

      ReplyDelete