I'm brewing some horse manure for my worms. I'll use it instead of water as needed. ; )
I wuz wunderin' about the same thing. Namely, why use "just" water when you could use "enhanced" water. I was thinking of birch sap. High carbon content. About half the sugar of sugar maple.
The last batch of horse manure had been collected with some kind of big loader and had rocks and other debris. So I screened it and sorted out the perfect puckies and rocks. The result is the prettiest, fluffiest bedding you can imagine. I'm brewing the coarse stuff. I'll have "washed" compost for all obvious uses.
You are making horse poo tea for your worms?? I am sure they will absolutely love it. So would your garden.
I have used worm poo tea to inoculate new bedding, such as cardboard or straw. Add it to a bucket full of tea for the last hour. I usually strain my tea in a 5 gallon paint strainer sock. All the leftover tea strainings usually are returned to the bin. WORM CANDY!!!!!
Worms love horse manure, but It is hard to get wet again after it dries out! I have mixed up wheelbarrow loads like I was mixing cement. Get it nice and slushy, then add to a bottomless bin. That might be a little whacky..........
Dirty Water even the bedding loves. Well the weebeasties in the bedding. Or the ones that arrive via the Good Ship Dirty Water.
My Dirty Water is fish tank water.
Most bugs are 'good'... unless they're 'bad'. :) (What do you think I went to all that schooling for?)
My point is: There isn't much in terms of 'microbes' that can't add something useful to things we 'prepare'. As long as we do not inoculate with something "bad", there shouldn't be much chance of harm. HOWEVER...
I fully understand that there are "good" microbes that are "bad" for some things. In my mind, that's a matter of ecology. (Sadly, the scientific discipline of ecology is only REMOTELY associated with the term "ecology" so cavalierly bantered about today.)
Anyway, I take a relatively dim view of "mono-culture" and "sterility" except in VERY special circumstances like an operating room.or intensive care unit. Sometimes "biodiversity" takes an unexpected, and unpleasant, turn, but usually, what that turns into is a broadening of my understanding of 'things'.
"except in VERY special circumstances like an operating room" Lately I have been thinking about that one. Nature hates a vacuum and a microbe that gets an advantage will take over without the other microbe varieties to give it competition. How come we do not flood operating rooms with good microbes and make the environment conductive to them. Spray all the tools with good guys before using them. Somewhere there is a Chuckie brewing up these guys and experimenting with them.
Somewhere among these threads we might reflect on the practice of microwaving food for worms. Doesn't that kill all the microoganisms in it? I imagine that rotting the food in a glass jar with a lid, in a warm place, is better preparation than any kind of cooking ?
It is my understanding that the practice of freezing kitchen scraps before feeding them to worms is primarily to eliminate fly's eggs. In other words, kill 'things' that we don't want in our worm food. Freezing may not kill EVERYTHING in the kitchen waste, but it will kill more than just fly's eggs.
My point is: we use various methods to remove things we don't want. I don't have a 'problem' with microwaving kitchen scraps in the name of 'expediency'. I'm sure - and it has been argued here at this forum - that microwaving, even autoclaving, doesn't kill "everything".
I think I'll climb down off of this particular hobby horse before I get any further 'afield'. I probably should have just written the following:
I don't thing microwaving worm food is "bad" or even "not the best".
The problem with rotting material with no oxygen is bad things develop like acids or something. This can be overcome by doing something like bokashi. Probably then the material would have to sit under soil a bit before the worms would enjoy it.
I am ok with microwaving or freezing as expedient ways to handle food waste that gets waste material right out of the spouses way. It also busts the cell walls which starts the material along it's way. Putting the material into the bin should have it microbe covered quickly.
Yesterday I bought baby oat cereal for one of my bins.
Why? (Dare I ask)
Also why? (May I ask)
And yes, eq2....freezing aids us several ways including breaking down the foods faster. As to killing critters laid up within the lettuce leaves......why? (you're gonna put that salad into a worm bin teeming with critters hitching their wagon to the wormies' gravy train.)
True worming freedom comes when one finally gets over trying to keep EVERYTHING out of the bin except worms.
Why? Popped into my head too. I think what we mean is why did you spend money on it. If you check the by rules there is a law No spending money on worm food or bedding. I think the lady just wanted to experiment with a bit of oats in her worm bin and did not have a source of free oats immediately available. Next time just tell us you tossed some oats in that somebody did not finish and we will feel way better. Or you found a box of outdated oats. Maybe she just wanted to use something for an experiment that could be measured the same and was consistent. Can't do that with oatmeal leftover due to the variability. Certainly other posters have talked about sprinkling a bit of oats or super worm food into their bins to fatten them up. Does that even work? If so why do we eat oats as part of a healthy breakfast? I can relate to the title. I felt a little whacko when I grabbed an oxen round which did wonders for my bin.
equinoxequinox said: "I felt a little whacko when I grabbed an oxen round which did wonders for my bin".
Pardon, yet I am little familiar with "oxen round'. Is it a new food property?
Thank you very much.
chuckiebtoo, now I see what you are talking about. Nuking microbes is a bad thing. I submit that once the aforementioned relatively innocent lettuce leaves are nuked they are more ripe than before for any bacterial infection which may be lurking about thus making them more ripe for rapid decomposition. But you are right, their natural bacterial composition which may be just right are now gone. Society has killed them. The freezing and nuking are for the purpose of not sanitizing but to quickly and efficiently break down the cell walls for rapid assimilation by long, skinny things after bacteria have their way. The activities of freezing and nuking are not for the benefit of vermicomposters but due to the hysterical needs of vermicomposters roommates. We would be just peachy keen with peaches rotting somewhere for the worms. Our roommates, cough, Martha, cough, think that is not a good idea and do not know a "good thing" when they see it.
pskvorc, Autoclaving, doesn't kill "everything" specifically does not kill prions on dental or surgical instruments. I am not afraid of Ebola. I am afraid of prions on dental and surgical instruments. The procedures for cleaning these items are in place. But how much better are they than the silverware cleaning at Cracker Barrel where I had to ask for new silverware seven times due to large obvious gross particles until they eventually gave me plastic. The same dishwasher was probably used to cook the food I ate. The waitresses were nice and I was nice. I called headquarters not to complain but to get their dishwasher equipment serviced. I specified how nice and helpful the waitresses were. I wanted to eat there but had to use plastic silverware for a few weeks. Tools to drill into people's bones are run through a dishwasher then autoclaved. Not good enough. OK not a dishwasher but still. Could I pay more to get first run tools and not used? There is a difference.
I'm all excited. Carlos, an oxen round was a euphemism for ummm. like a rabbit gift but much larger and shiny. I'd post a picture but it is long since gone. And back then people did not have a camera on every phone to take pictures of such things.
""baby oat cereal""
I was wondering if it was cereal of itsy bitsy tiny teeny young oats called baby oats or oat cereal for babies? If it's the latter maybe to make it easier for the worms to slurp it by not having any teeth (like human babies?) I know, worms eat the MO but I have seen a video of worms chomping on something.
Why,you ask. Because I could, I say.
In the past year I've read everything that googled up about vermicomposting. I could suggest that You Guys need to Get Out More . . . but I don't think that. As you know, all the exploring has led to more confusion than clarity. But solid guidance is compacting like castings to be tested next spring.
If you wandered in the miasma as I have, you would have seen through the fog that some experienced vermicomposters recommend oats (including some here) and amongst the advice, "baby oats" are (is) especially recommended. I didn't and don't know for sure what they meant. But it was on the brain's back burner, percolating,
(the notion, not the oats) so on a dark and rainy day I picked up some from the babies' stuff shelf. I sprinkled it on top of horse manure, put the layers of burlap back,
(which burlap, incidentally, is embroidered with wigglers ),
and checked one (1) day later. The springtails are all over it. Can't see the oats for the collembola. A goodly number of wigglers are on it and approaching. The worms came up through about 3 inches of unwormy horse manure to get to it. As did the springtails. I had tried previously oat flour, imagining it would compare; I had tried cooked oats (not even left over ) and uncooked oats. Haven't tried Scottish steel cut. Baby oats definitely won the worms love it competition.
This is Life !
(Ever watched that fat guy on a TV series called Cracker ? )
Baby oats at $3 & change is cheaper than a movie.
It has been raining relentlessly for several days here too. And when I got out from the small stationary store at the corner mall, I passed a cafe that has a counter style seating along the front window facing out. One of the patron has this really wonderful looking banana peel on his plate I was really tempted to get in and ask for it. But thought nah, that would be too much. I'm still dreaming about it though.
Just can't seem to remember that rule: "check the by rules there is a law No spending money on worm food or bedding".
Personally, not living in a country where Halloween is celebrated as a national holiday and not having access to dozens (if not hundreds) of free pumpkins afterwards, I am not averse to actually (Gasp!) 'buying it'. When I see it 'on sale' and at a low-enough price to warrant the expense, I will buy 5 or more kilos, cut it into manageable pieces and then freeze the lot (against leaner times). The wormsies love it and it's good for them.
As for 'Baby Oats', I've concocted my own 'Worm Chow'. I can't say for sure that the worms are any bigger because of it, but it does seem to disappear quite quickly (and that's saying a lot for something which is essentially dry and not molded-over).
If a household does not have enough kitchen waste to keep the little guys and gals well fed then I guess purchasing on sale is the next best thing.
I've been doing this for only a year plus.
So I have more to learn.
Experimenting with what the worms like to eat is part of the learning.
My freezers have 3 sections: my food, dog food & worm food.
My hands get cold finding my food.
"When I see it 'on sale' and at a low-enough price to warrant the expense, I will buy 5 or more kilos, cut it into manageable pieces and then freeze the lot (against leaner times)".
Kilos? Is that a fruit or veggie? Any relation to mangos? Pintos? If it's anyway cantaloupe-ish, where can I find some?
btw...Halloween is considered a national holiday by retailers of candy and costumes. Kids consider it the juvenile version of TGIF and happy hour, and parents tolerate it with the same enthusiasm as when attending a funeral.
Equinox; You misunderstood me. My household produces enough food waste (and then some) to keep my wormsies happy and well fed; but since it has been mentioned many times in the past (on this forum), how pumpkin is an especially good food for worms, I am not above buying it occasionally.
CB2; In my corner of the world we run on the Metric system (No pounds or ounces here). 1 kilogram (or kilo) =2.2 pounds (lbs.) 5 kilos = 11 lbs.
So yes, you can buy 5 kilos of Mangoes or 5 kilos of Pintos, but you can't buy 5 kilos.
And lastly, Halloween may mean different things to different people, but to Wormers it means a Free source of a great food additive (which I don't have access to, except through buying).
I was being either facetious or snarky depending upon however the reader feels at the time. Hopefully you were feeling great.
My familiarity with kilos made me well aware of the metric system in the olden days before worming was my main passion.
Now, fondness for 2 liter coca-cola is my main connection with metrics.
All that said, I will say that my opposition with buying foodstuffs explicitly for worms has to do with my overall determination to do my little part in making the earth bit I tend to better than it was before I began the tending.
That 40% of ALL food produced in the US winds up as garbage each year, and that ridiculous numbers of humans stay hungry all the time every day is enough for me using ALL energies to use wastes to nurture the maintenance crews of Earth (that being worms).
From the day after Halloween thru the Thanksgiving holidays enough pumpkins are thrown away to feed more people than I can even imagine.
A tip: if those of you who can access a number of pumpkins want to improve a plot of ground, or a raised bed, or an un-loamy piece of wasted ground.....bury chopped pumpkin in that area. It will attract worms, and other composting critters, and turn that wasted piece of ground into arable, wonderful soil.
Sounds weird, don't it? It ain't weird, it's scientific. Biological. Magical.
Thank you for clarifying for me. I feel better now. Posters enthusiasm for pumpkin and watermelon rind is due to its availability as a waste product in this specific society. Although I would stop at the side of the road for the evening's before smashed pumpkin, bless those wanton evil children, or volunteer to bring watermelon to a potluck, saving the rind for my wormie breathen. I probably have purchased a pumpkin or two for stated decorative effects while knowing in the back ground the real reason is they would eventually turn lovely and rot into a tasty treat. Pumpkin is a tasty side dish. Would carving one and displaying it with a candle as a glowing head be so strange? Here we are exposed to and participate in celebrations of many cultures. Our second graders learn about Day of the Dead and do many activities related to. It just seems a boring existence for a pumpkin to be a pumpkin one day and worm food the next without any other events. Pumpkins are a long storing food source. Certainly the ones that rot early should go to a good use. Yes pumpkin is great but I think a better or first use of pumpkin is to feed people and the scrapes or jack-o'-lanterns should go to feeding animals or worms or a compost bin. We are only using pumpkins because they are what we have. They are in no way any better than kitchen scraps. They may be a bit sweeter but it is a bit like giving candy to children. One does not get better kids by feeding them candy. But seeing as how you were able to procure some I would definitely use it as a treat or even as a method to gather up some worms for a project of your choice.
Receipt for pumpkin fries:
Make homemade french fries but use pumpkin instead of potato.
(about 900% better if breaded with Zatarains Fish Fri).
Eat just like french fries.
If you're an addictive type, don't eat this because you'll never like ordinary french fries again.
This post was edited by chuckiebtoo on Mon, Nov 3, 14 at 9:48
I am very sorry too, to live in a country that does not celebrate halloween hence no pumpkins for the worms.
And no coffee shop will keep their used grounds. Not even the Starbucks.
It does suck big time.
On top of that if you dare to ask you're looked at silently with disdain and shrugged at.
But yesterday my neighbor who has a whole field of zucchinis told us that he would plow the field today so if we wanted any zukes remaining on the wines well help yourselves.
While the other neighbors spent hours picking zukes, I spent the day picking the tops of plants, and made a huge heap of tender leaves, flowers, little zukes, and buried it under some horse poop.
A gourmet heap for my worms ! Beats halloween !
I, too, saved the baby squashes & flowers (from my garden) for worms. That's part of what's filling the freezer. The plants, maybe a dozen plants of 4+ varieties are under carpet & tarp a la Pete -- with a few worms of mixed (Hey ! EQ ) provenance i.e., heritage, or origin.
Defying the no- till religion, ( because I don't understand it & my experiment with it was unsatisfactory ) I up turned the garden.
It is Loaded with very big worms -- at depths of one or two shovels. I want to move the soil around to offset the soil's adaptation to the plants that were there.
CB HEAR! HEAR ! Keeping food out of landfill and restoring the soil is what we are up to. Thank the internet that we can celebrate these practices worldwide. I'm just beginning to "see" how we are geographically distant yet close .
OFF Topic: Preparing bed with VC & biochar for Hana jaidin tree peony
Here is a link that might be useful: peony picture
"how we are geographically distant yet close"
Yes, fortunately I found you guys here and on the compost forum, because I was feeling really alone (and slightly nuts) with my passion for worms, horse poop, and rotting stuff ;-)
I feed my dogs a lot of eggs, so that I can build nice nests for worms in 6 eggs boxes, with the eggshells nicely rebuilt after being filled with a diversity of worm treats, and little pieces of salad around the eggshells. Then I dip the boxes in water and put it under the worms piles.
Isn't that neat for worms ?
Only you guys can answer yes.
Fact is, I've been indulging into this madness for months and it's the very 1st time I word it ;-)
The worms love those 5 stars mc mansions, they curl in the egg shells and I'm sure there's a lot of x rated action in there ;-)
Yes, I guess I'm crazy, but nevermind, no consequences whatsoever for anyone, just joy for me and worms, and vitamins from raw eggs everyday for dogs !
I have done many whacko wormy things, but you Francoise have me beaten. Coming out of the closet like that, wow that takes guts. And the playboy mansion of deviled egg shells and crates... I would love to see a pic. Very nice!
Here is some acrobatic worms dangling from a lovely red hall-runner carpet, which covers a wormbed topped with 4" of fresh horse manure. The manure has been on the bed for 4 days. Happy wormin'!
Congrats for giving me another reason to believe le French operate on a separate wave-length other than just because Jerry Lewis is the all-time favorite actor there.
Feeling a bit dizzy from the whole matrix effect. Stunned by the international effect and wondering if next there will be soon be an inter global or inter stellar effect. Think terraforming of a planetary body (planet or moon) or planetary ecosynthesis is were we can help best. These zucchini flowers remind me a bit of a cross between a movie soylent green vs pod people. The Twilight Zone actually has a few different worm episodes.
Wow! What a response. I finally feel vindicated.
Actually, we usually buy Pumpkin for our own consumption and the most I get out of it are the peels. Occasionally a chunk will be forgotten at the back of the fridge and found rotten, in which case the worms get a treat, but at $1.50/lb. it's not something we buy all the time. That's Right, you heard right, the average price for Pumpkin (in Israel) is around $1.50/lb. (sometimes less, depending on location). What does it cost in your part of the world?.
But then,am I right that the pumpkins for the JOL are a different kind from the ones for cooking? JOL pumpkins contain more water and mostly to achieve a bigger size rather than "substance" to fill our stomach?
No, the pumpkins for JOL's are one & the same. Grocery chains in my area sell pumpkins after Halloween for about fifty cents or a dollar EACH. But I get mine free from people around my neighborhood in exchange for me telling them why my yard looks so damned much better than theirs.
I tell them their pumpkins make my worms produce product that replaces the poisons they put on their weeds.
Come on, Jerry Lewis ? He's so Has-Been ! No, it's Woody Allen who makes the news every year when he releases his movie ! Hollywood Ending is for real ! Don't you know we're a bunch of intellectual wannabes ?
You're lucky to get asked. I'm frowned upon, looked at from top to toes with a nose in the air attitude from neighbors, and shrugged at.
Then I share my crops and those are accepted with a smirk. Perhaps they throw them in the trash for fear of bacteria ?
Why do I share ? Because if my worms keep quiet, my dogs don't, and I couldn't care less about them running around and barking. So I'm sort of buying peace with my crops from arrogant neighbors.
Although one I can't stand got chemical butternuts from the worst supermarket (french wallmart) because I couldn't offer him my nice organic ones. It bugged me to support chemical agriculture with my hard earned euros but it would have bugged me even more to imagine this cocky jerk eating my butternut ;-)
An egg box ready to go ;-)
It's on an American trunk that was offered to my grand dad whose communist family flew from Franco's Spain and took refuge in the South of France. My grand dad worked for an American guy during WWII and when the boss went back to Ohio he offered the trunk. My grand ma who's now 102 and still reading the news with no glasses and climbing her stairs has given me the trunk. If I inherited her genetics, I'm on this forum for another half century ;-)
My communist grand dad used to say : Blue collars workers of the world, get together !
Let's change it into : Worms and wormers of the universe, let's get together !
The trunk isn't your worm bin ( I hope )
Where does the egg box go ?
If you have described your worm hotels, I've missed 'em.
A handsome trunk and very appetizing offering for the worms.
Goodie filled egg shells. Dyno eggs.
Finally got a pumpkin from nice young people :-)
Now buried under manure, I'll have a look at it next week end.
I also buried some burlap like Mendopete. Manure under and above it.
I hope those will get overcrowded so as to make some photos and send them to my daughters who protest and reply to stop sending disgusting stuff ;-)
as tamara wrote once: (why? )
Does one bump both up & down ?
Francoise: Picture of worm hotel ?
Whacko wormer reports to enlighten dark days requested.
Days start getting longer. Whew.
What does the gardener do when she can't garden ?
She looks in the house for dirt.
"Bump" is used to move a post back to the top of the list. Since posts stay at the top of the list until they get replies, "Bump" can also move posts off the top of the list if nobody is replying.
RE: How long have you vermicomposted and what have you learned ?
Posted by vidyut none (My Page) on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 3:16
I am learning that there is more to read than do once the bin is ready and I'm waiting for the earthworms to grow... just to keep me out of their bin...
Discovering in myself the unexpected tendency to become a worm bin pest, and have to seriously tell myself to not touch it more than once in 24 hours.
Pictured is paper unpeeled from Trader Joe Pumpkin Bread Pudding.
Photo is about 15 hours later.
I think what I learned, is how to remove springtails.
There are twice as many under the paper where the breadpudding crumb is.
Also possibly of interest is the "sprinkling" of castings on the paper.
The dark burlap on the left covered the paper. The burlap has a population of young worms and cocoons.
One could think of this board as what we do to amuse ourselves when we are not actively vermicomposting.
One could think of this board as what our worms do to amuse themselves (by reading our posts) when They are not actively vermicomposting.
This post was edited by shaul on Sun, Dec 28, 14 at 0:01