Worming is easy?

suburbangardenMD(7)January 17, 2012

So, as I have been considering a third bin for the basement ( apparently the healthier you eat, the more organic waste you end up with ), I have started watching youtube videos, reading the forums, soaking up some more vermicomposting info.

It seems to me that vermicomposting is just about the easiest thing every family could do, to 1) reduce landfill waste and 2) create a fantastic soil amendment for their vegetable, flower, or container garden.

I see a whole lot of thought, and concern into, how to feed, how much to feed, when to feed, etc. For the last year, I have just saved up a gallon freezer bag at a time of vegetable and fruit scraps, waste produce that went bad before we got to it, coffee grounds, and when I filled a bag with a variety of material, in it went. It was covered with a few inches of shredded newspaper and I left the bin alone for a week. It worked into a weekly routine. Sure, I had a wet bin once, so I added drain holes, didn't feed enough as the population exploded, so I fed more, but the issues have been small. Is vermicomposting really this simple? Or have I been extremely lucky?

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PeterK2

I'd say it's pretty much that simple. If you notice most of posts about feeding, bedding, quantities etc are all the same. It's just mostly reposted when a new wormer comes in asking questions or when someone doesn't follow the basics and has an issue. Lots of the posts to questions/treads just are solutions or reminders to get back there. Like your wet bin, you could have started a thread, but just drilled some drain holes instead.

Some threads can get more detailed for special cases, like how to get a loaf of bread through your system. Don't know how you'd describe not just tossing it in whole. Lucky, following some basic rules, good sense or a bit of all three :)

And yep it's a great thing any family could do, and kids seem to love it.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 9:12PM
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mr_yan

I'll agree this has a rather shallow learning curve. That said traditional composting is supposedly simple too and I fail at that. And just look at all the books on the subject of composting.

Right now I'm using this as a means to satisfy my gardening need as we're below zero Fahrenheit outside. I hope to ramp up enough to get rid of most of my garden waste via worm bins as I go forward.

If I'm not doing something with the garden I'm knitting and sometimes when I'm knitting I'm still doing garden layouts in my head.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 11:11PM
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suburbangardenMD(7)

Yeah, I don't know if I am proud or disturbed that my 5 and 3 year old, ask "is that for the worms?".

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 11:34PM
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equinoxequinox

Freezing your kitchen scraps gave you a great advantage (it does use a bit of energy) but when you add that to "covered with a few inches of shredded newspaper" note the "few inches" you provided what many beginning vermicomposters do not. Enough Bedding. Those two techniques charmed your worms. Enough Bedding might be better described as More Than Enough Bedding than one might suppose is needed.

"a rather shallow learning curve." No wonder I excel at this. :-)

"I'm using this as a means to satisfy my gardening need as we're below zero Fahrenheit outside." Yes! Yes! It is like we get to sneak into the garden early.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 2:19AM
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sbryce_gw

Worming is as much an art as it is a science. Once you understand the art of it, it really is easy.

Until it comes time to harvest.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 6:06PM
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patrick1969

There isn't much science in my neck of the woods. Just worms :)
And worms are easy... but can be killed if you really mess up.

Here is a link that might be useful: My bucket system

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 7:56PM
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kathmcd7

My nine year old niece wants to do her science project this year on the worms and vermicomposting. I'm so proud! :)
Kath

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 10:22PM
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suburbangardenMD(7)

In all honesty, I can get caught up to. I followed the KISS rule so far, but there are times...like tonight, when I can't help thinking..."I need to make sure the worms are fed tomorrow! Its been to long!".

I decided to stretch the feeding time, to eliminate as much unprocessed food in the bin as possible before harvesting some castings and worms for a third bin.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 10:55PM
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equinoxequinox

"I decided to stretch the feeding time, to eliminate as much unprocessed food in the bin as possible before harvesting some castings and worms for a third bin." Yes that is a good time to harvest when additions have been sparce recently. It is dryer and the worms finish up the less tasty additions.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 11:57PM
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equinoxequinox

"I decided to stretch the feeding time, to eliminate as much unprocessed food in the bin as possible before harvesting some castings and worms for a third bin." Yes that is a good time to harvest when additions have been sparce recently. It is dryer and the worms finish up the less tasty additions.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 11:58PM
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equinoxequinox

"I decided to stretch the feeding time, to eliminate as much unprocessed food in the bin as possible before harvesting some castings and worms for a third bin." Yes that is a good time to harvest when additions have been sparce recently. It is dryer and the worms finish up the less tasty additions.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 12:01AM
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morgan_3

I'm just about finished with a five gallon bucket of carrots which were culled from our crop last September. The residual in the bucket is mushy and easy to process in the blender without much water. My next bucket will be several very large zucchini/pumpkin crosses which were discarded because no one wanted to eat them...their loss. After a day inside my 45F garage, I will take a sharp shovel and chop them up inside the bucket, add some aquarium gravel siphoned water, and place a lid over the top. In a couple of days these hybrids will be ready to add to the daily kitchen scraps for worm food blending. Isn't it interesting how food breaks down after being frozen versus taking it directly from the kitchen. I'm glad worms aren't as picky about what they eat as my family.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 1:26AM
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suburbangardenMD(7)

The freezer does do interesting things to the scraps. I have a few bags of scraps stockpiled in the basement freezer ready to be used. Thats where my need for a third bin comes into play.

morgan_3...Why do you put the food in buckets with gravel before adding it to the bins? I would guess its to breakdown the scraps prior to introducing them to the bin. I hadn't heard of this yet, is it a common practice? And if I am correct that you are just trying to start the process of decomposition, whats the gravel for, and does that also end up in the bin?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 7:48AM
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patrick1969

I read it that he cleaned the fish tank gravel layer, not that he added gravel. If you have an under gravel filter, which many tropical tanks have, then the fish waste gets caught in the gravel. Cleaning the tank and changing water involves suctioning the waste from the gravel layer, so it's aquarium waste water being added.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 9:08AM
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suburbangardenMD(7)

Yeah, thought there was a comma in there. That makes more sense!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 12:05PM
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equinoxequinox

People with fish tanks to filter have for years been dealing with the same topics we are dealing with. Surface area for wee beasties or interactions to happen. Example: A broccoli stem whole and an egg carton whole equals no interaction. Broccoli frozen and blenderized with egg carton bits equals lots of surface area for wee beasties to do their job for us and our worms. I do not blenderize or freeze but I understand the value of doing so.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 1:56AM
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