What Is Your Primary Interest in Raising Worms?

equinoxequinoxMarch 19, 2014

What Is Your Primary Interest in Raising Worms?

As per a recent post by pskvorc.

Mine is so during a blizzard or ice storm I can dispose of my kitchen scraps without going outside.

Side note is vermicastings.

Interested in the decomposition with worms process.

It is interesting to see what kitchen scraps look like 5 or 8 weeks later.

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It started with a garden. I was growing tomatoes in heavy clay soil. I had several trees on the property to provide OM for composting. So I got on-line to learn what I could about keeping a compost bin. Back then the only good forum on composting was at a site called Old Growth. There was also a vermicomposting forum. I was intrigued.

After I had my worms for a while, I just found the whole thing fascinating. I no longer have the house, but hope to have another one soon. When I do, I will find a way to raise worms again. I want tomatoes.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 1:39AM
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I had always loved the idea of composting, but growing up my parents never let us keep a compost pile...
I go through a lot of wheat grass mats, and I keep lots of plants around... i figured I can look for a way to compost in apartments to be able to re-use what I have once used.,.. and it seemed vermicomposting was the answer!

Only after I was looking into it did I find out what a benefit it was to use the castings! Yahoo!
I put some castings (sadly, purchased ones) onto some of the soil I am using to grow a pallet.... lets see how it does!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:26AM
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sbryce, don't you have worms anymore?

About 28 years ago my then-hubby and I were at a large home and garden show. A booth on vermicomposting was set up and I was hugely intrigued. No worms for sale, just information. I sourced out some local worms (finding out years later that she dearly short-changes customers in amounts of worms they pay for).

This was before we had the internet, and it was large trial and error project. They were in the basement, and the fruit flies were upstairs. Hubby was not happy.

The marriage ultimately ended (not because of the worms, lol) and the worms had to go.

I missed the little guys, knowing what amounts of food they divert from the garbage. I tentatively asked my now-sweetie how he felt about worms in an apartment. Very easy-going fellow that he is, he said sure, figuring I knew what I was doing.

Success with worms, over the years, no fruit flies (just mites periodically, and I still hate the little buggers). I had 4 bins at one time, and have downsized to one (hoping to have 2 at some point, which is my limit)

We have worms to limit the amount of garbage, and we also green bin. I use the castings in my houseplants, and our landlords have a garden and they let me have my basil and lovage in it. They'll get the castings as a thank-you. I've also Freecycled it in the past, and I've always had people wanting it.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:37AM
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Keeping worms in the apartment violated the lease. I kept it quiet until the fungus gnats and pseudoscorpions became hard to control. I decided I would let the worms go rather than risk getting evicted. Three people on Freecycle now raise my worms.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:07AM
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I started my affair with worms because I've always been into recycling and know chemo-heads using commercial artificial fertilizers and insect/weed/disease controls are destroying a whole lotta great biology in the soils (which is the intent of the manufacturers of all those poisons).....AND, because I'm the lousiest compost pile turner who ever lived.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:15AM
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Sbryce, I hosted some worm workshops when we lived a different apartment. I used the community room. A pair of guests were superintendents of a large building and I asked them if it would be okay for me to legally have worms. I kept it on the hush-hush as well. They said there is no way that a landlord could evict us for having them. No noise disturbance to the neighbours etc.

Where we are now, the landlords were in recently looking at the windows, and she saw the highly recognizable green worm bin. She laughed and said she tried raising worms one time, but it didn't work out and they died. So I felt instant relief that they know and that they don't care.

They'll be getting some worm poop for the garden.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 2:00PM
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boreal_wormer(Alta Canada)

Mostly to recycle and keep things out of the landfill. I'm an apartment dweller so it's nice to be able to compost at home. Previously I'd save my organic waste and donate it to friends compost piles. I give away my vermicompost.

As renhen says "Starve the Landfill...Feed the Earth"

Here is a link that might be useful: BorealWormer

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 3:00PM
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My primary interest in raising worms involves creating systems and experimenting with them. My carpet bins, worm cages, windrows, hay-bale systems, soon to be posted about worm ghetto and others along with tweaking feedstocks, bedding, airflow and moisture levels These things are fascinating to me.

My primary goal is to quickly reduce the waste of our horse without flies or the addition of water. It is possible here during a good rainy year. Tough now with our prolonged drought.

Less than 24 hours from butt to bin.Is how I do it. When things are going well, horse apples become un-recognizable in 10 days!

Side note: I have done the math, and you could pay for enough hay to sustain a horse by selling castings and worms. There might be enough leftover to cover the farrier
Without a large sifter and tractor, it would take some hard work.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:07PM
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I guess for me its the same as others on here , it started with a garden and items were doing ok just not great. So after seeing some vids on youtube why not give it a try, plus not push so much to the landfill. I also didnt realize how I was stripping the soil by shoving chemical fert. in the soil , feeding the roots but stripping the soil. So yes after a year of vermicomposting I now have enough to give to my plants. Plus I can also make some worm tea which may also help to keep some of the insects from eating up my plants, well at least I can give it a try.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 12:12AM
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The reason why I wanted to raise worms was because I like to juice a lot and also consume a lot of veggies and fruits (I try to get in 35 grams of fiber a day, naturally with no supplements). So I have a lot of waste between the juice pulp, cores, stems, and often times I buy with the intention I won't go out to eat but if I do go out, then I have too much produce and it goes bad. I just felt like I was wasting too much and read that composting is a good way to turn waste into gardening gold. I don't have a green thumb or garden so this was a whole new world for me. I went to a composting and gardening workshop and learned everything I needed to know. He also helped us pick the composting style right for us (worm vs. garden bin). Now I have been composing for a month and started my edible garden, anxiously awaiting for my first bit of tea or castings to feed my new garden. Still have a freezer full of juice pulp and vegetable trimmings I need to thaw and feed them, but I feel so much better about my waste, knowing it's not ending up in the garbage and has a use.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 6:57PM
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priswell(9 CA)

I'm with SelenaD-Composter. I juice, and it seemed such a waste to throw out all that organic material! It also made a great homeschooling project back when the kidlet was small, but over the years, a little more and a little more cycled through the compost pile until we put out our garbage far less often. My guess is that we reduced our garbage output to less than half of what it was.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 8:52PM
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To the "juicers": (those of a certain age will recognize a certain humor in that term), my wife gave me considerable grief when I started juicing, pointing out that a VERY nutritious component of the fruit was being "wasted". She was right. I started adding it to PLAIN yogurt. Served all kinds of 'good' purposes. Worms ain't getting that.

Now those "stems and seeds that you don't need" (another reference to a certain era), are a different kettle of fish... ;)


    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 11:04PM
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We juice as well, though not as often as we should.
The fluffy pulp naturally goes into soups, stews, meatloaf...endless possibilities!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 12:54PM
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I started raising worms to make money. Failed garden after failed garden led me to look into soil and fertilzer and came across worm castings at about $10 a pound. I thought, well I can't grow tomatoes, but I can sure as hell make dirt and try to sell it. Haven't made any money or really tried too hard, but last year's tomatoes were pretty good.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 9:34AM
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I'm one of the "wife" type, knowing that juicing is losing one of the best parts of eating fresh produce. I'd rather eat the whole thing. There are stems and cores and such that you just can't eat, and I was putting that in the city garbage. Then paying for compost for my plants. I finally made the connection.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 8:02PM
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I use the worms to harvest the castings. The castings I use to add biology to the container potting mix so the garden plants can thrive and produce.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 8:07PM
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Hello all! I am new to the vermicomposting world--I just received my critters on Thursday. :)

I have been engrossed by this forum ever since I found it, while trying not to neglect things like household chores and hygiene. Just kidding...mostly.

Anyway, what got me onto the idea of worms is a little book on a friend's bookshelf that I picked up called Let It Rot! The title intrigued me, and I read through most of it by the end of the day. I concluded that vermicomposting was the most sensible way of composting for me, so worms I would get.

I have always liked the idea of growing my own veggies, but every time I try something goes awry. (Currently there are lots of holes in my little seedlings I just planted, but I am opposed to using pesticides on my veggie garden.) The more I read about worms, the more I thought that they might just be the key to me having a garden and not killing it. Plus, they make pretty cute little squirmy pets.

We just moved into a place by the beach here in Melbourne, Australia, and I got my worms a week later.

All this to say, worms are awesome and I'm so excited to join in on this crazy little world of wormin'. HOPEFULLY I will be able to grow and eat awesome veggies as a result of their beautiful poop. Happy worming!


    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:43PM
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Before I ever starting vermicomposting I was into making a lot of banana/apple smoothies almost daily so you can imagine how that could start me into the worming. Plus I started looking into how I could benefit soil which would enrich my plant production. I already was doing a lot of cuttings and seedlings so it just naturally eventually led me into vermiculture too.

I have already noticed a difference in how my cuttings are acting with using a little vermicast as opposed to previously not using it. Before I would notice after a few days my plants would droop and they would either need water or a little plant food. Now with the castings in the pots that I over winter the plants dont seem to droop at all,, I also give them a seaweed drench occasionally.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 11:57PM
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sonshine_07, possibly many of us are here due to the book. The book gave us a start and a direction. Since then we have been trying to refine the compass heading. We hope our direction pleases her.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 12:40AM
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Equinox, I also keep seeing references to Worms Eat My Garbage. That one is definitely on my reading list, although I suspect most of what I find in there I have already found (or can find) on here. What a rich resource this site is. Many thanks to those of you who have contributed countless hours over the years to make this place what it is!

Happy worming,

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 1:18AM
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I am experimenting with ways to make urban apartment dwelling more sustainable. That's the broad goal.

The more immediate goal is to reduce my contribution to the complex's dumpster, and try to mitigate the fact that fresh produce sometimes goes bad more quickly than it can be consumed in a household of one.

I plan to give away the VC, tea, and even worms when I have some to spare, and generally spread the squirmy love - like have a pint-sized worm jar on my desk at work, and offer to share with people who have kids or scout troops or such. Whatever doors open, those tend to be the ones I walk through :)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 9:14PM
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Starting out -- my primary interest was keeping roses healthy.
The roses are hanging in there while I've become fascinated with keeping worms happy. The conversations/controversy about tea, extract, castings, and garden fertilizer led to the tomato test. Now that biochar is available I/we have another ingredient for our recipe for tasty, healthy gardens.

It has been slim pickings for the worms as winter ends -- not much kitchen scraps. I planted too much squash KNOWING that I can use it for the worms next winter.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 8:31PM
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I got started attending a vermicomposting class. I didn't know exactly what vermicomposting was, but I had three little kids at the time and the class was taking place on my birthday, so a trip out of the house was my gift to myself! I had no idea what it would start! Fast forward, twenty years later and I've had two bins going for quite a while (one, the original 3x 6 foot "cedar coffin" purchased at the class) in the garage and another Rubbermaid bin that winters in the mud room and outside in the summer. I love to spend time with my worms, enjoy harvesting, love that it takes care of all nasty kitchen scraps, and all plants in the garden (and inside) really respond to the castings.
Additionally, I like success, and love that I have arrived at that worming sweet spot (thanks for the egg carton advice, Equinox!) with years of healthy bins full of worms. I also like sharing worms to help others get going with vermicomposting.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 9:47PM
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My primary reason for raising worms is as floor cleaners. Instead of cleaning the floor I wait for it to rain. When the Barometer drops they escape the bin, streaming across the floor, eating everything in their path. Result: Nice clean floor.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 11:14PM
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That made me laugh a little, Shaul, hah! Good one.

My original reasoning was that I loved to eat fruit, kept throwing away the cores and tops. Thought hey, why not put them to better use? Plus, I wanted pets but had a really bad track record with fish.. needed something with a little less maintenance.

Now that we're starting a garden, I want to raise them for the compost as well! I think it'll be fun.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 11:31AM
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