Small shoe tote worm bins

CCvacationApril 20, 2013

I've heard some on this forum talking vaguely about shoe tote worm bins, and am intrigued...

It seems a perfect bin size for little kids to be 'in charge of.' Could those who have tried this elaborate more on how they've set it up?

-how many worms to start
-aeration
-stackables for moving up, perhaps?
- drainage
- directions on what type of shoes should be stored in there

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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

I use a sterlite plastic bin, I would say 2 ft length, 1 ft width,1.5ft high.. I cut big rectangles in them and glue window screening for aeration.. Very quick, easy, and works like a charm.. I'm sure you could stack them,if you like. I use a spray bottle so there is no need for much drainage.. I believe the water that drains out is all the nutrients going down the drain, sure you can catch it but i don't think it's the same.. Just don't overwater... The medium just needs to be slightly moist, not wet.. I would start with a pound or two of worms.. I ordered from uncle jims worm farm and I was happy.. But maybe other places got a better deal,etc.. You at doing a great thing for your garden, kids, and the envornment! keep up the good work!

Good luck,
Joe

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:27PM
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CCvacation

' I cut big rectangles in them and glue window screening for aeration'

Where do you cut? The lid, top of sides or both?

(The kids would love to spray... And spray and spray and...)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 11:04PM
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equinoxequinox

The advantage of bins smaller than 18 gallons or even 5 gallons is it is much funner to move around a tote that weighs 8 or 10 pounds than one that weighs enough to hurt body parts.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 12:12AM
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gvozdika(8 OR)

Our worm bin started as a dipper wipes dispenser with about 90 worms and 2 dozens cocoons. Bought the worms from a pet shop where they are sold as food for reptiles. One container, said 45-50 worms on the label. I put a piece of paper on top of the dispenser and snapped the lid on leaving the small dispenser lid open. They stayed in that dispenser for about 3 months until it became full. We didn't feed them much, just watched what they liked to eat. Now one year later they are in a small rubbermaid container, suppose could be bigger but we have more worm castings from them than we can use already. For bedding I used brown paper, now after reading this forum I started using brown pizza boxes, seems works well. It was fun for the kids at the beginning, but now I'm the only one who takes care of them :)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 1:36AM
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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

' I cut big rectangles in them and glue window screening for aeration'
Where do you cut? The lid, top of sides or both?

(The kids would love to spray... And spray and spray and...)

I cut the top and four sides of the bin. I dont do anything to the bottem, however I'm very careful with waterings, with kids you might want a few drain holes.. Put don't forget to catch the drain water, that is top notch fertilizer! I try to provide as much aeration as possible. I had a picture, I would show you.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 1:27PM
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chuckiebtoo

As you can see, they are stackable.

As you maybe can see, they are sterilite 6 quart. What you can't see is that they cost a couple of bucks at many big box stores. I buy mine @ Big Lots, I think.

Chuckiebtoo

More pics, facts, stats, antecdotes, techniques, and inane blather later.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 3:12PM
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chuckiebtoo

Now you can see

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 3:14PM
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CCvacation

Bravo, bravo! Your eager audience awaits more worm wisdom, oh mighty Chuckiebtoo!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 3:43PM
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CCvacation

Raw Nature, are your screened sides covered with bedding inside? Or do you have it screened only on the top half of the container?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 3:45PM
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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

My chuckieboo, that compost is probably crying for air! Why don't you just put more conpost in one bin, instead of filling them a quarter full? I could only imagine unstacking all of those bins to water and put down more compost material.. Why not just have a bigger bin, with more material?

Ccvacation:

Yea the compost is literally up to the wire screening, it gets lots of aeration.. I suppose you dont have to, but I try and make as much aeration as possible.. I basically use the platic bins just as a support structure and window screening as the walls.. It gets maximum aeration andreally works great!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 12:53PM
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chuckiebtoo

Well, I guess I've been mistaken for all these last 16 years while vermicomposting particularly, and for all my life since learning in the 5th grade that the presence of O2 in any space is greatly enhanced by the absence of other space-depriving things like water (think lungs filling up with H2O when drowning), or worm bin bedding materials (think those most fundamental of stuffs like.....well, anything but air).

Most containers with a hole in them will be sated with air in lieu of other less oxygenated substances wherever less oxygenated substances aren't, and since composting worms are top feeders, (that area in the bin where the bedding materials cease to be and is replaced by air in pretty much the same general area where the worm food is met by the worms), unless one plugs up the holes in the bin and pulls a vaccuum on it, which is unlikely.

That said, one of my primary objects in supervising the worms' production of pure, FINELY FINISHED, quality VC, is controlling the introduction of "stuff" into the bin that will impede the timely and uniform consistency of the VC harvested at any point in time.

Otherwise, at any time, you've got some amounts of VermiCASTINGS, (not to be confused with vermiCOMPOST), and lots of decomposing materials at various stages of decomp (VermiCOMPOST) which, in essence, negates much of the remarkable ability of those magic-makers to do what we want them to do.

VermiCASTINGS are what wormfood becomes when is passes thru the worms....and THAT'S the truly unmatched magic part of VC.

But, like I always say, vermicompost is, however we get it produced, still better than compost pile-style compost.

Chuckiebtoo

BTW, This post is, as almost all of mine tend to be, intended to be somewhat whimsical because we ARE talking about, and practicing something that most "normal" human beings at worst are disgusted by, and at best try their best to ignore and disbelieve until they become believers, and addicted.

After addiction, they usually become earth-friendlier in all aspects of their footprint on the planet. Not bad teachers, those worms.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 4:33PM
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CCvacation

Edited

This post was edited by CCvacation on Sun, Apr 28, 13 at 13:31

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:34PM
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chuckiebtoo

"Umm... Other then taking offense at another's viewpoint, Chuck, are you saying that..."

Well, no offense was taken at anyone's viewpoint.....just providing observations I've learned while not suffocating one single worm in an extremely educational couple of decades of study of this tool for a better way of doing things.

Umm, your questions' responses:

1. what restrictive airflow?

2. the diff's in airflow quantities is immeasurable in worm bins with relation to vermicastings quality.

3. No, I am a guy WHO is appreciative of the qualities composting worms present to those of us WHO wanna do these things without chemicals.

I can spray worm tea, or spread VC all over my property every day of the year without having to lock up the pets and children for a period of time, or make certain that chemical residues don't run off into the sewer systems and into the water supplies of the people in my neighborhood who probably neglect those warnings on all those insecticides and pesticides and fertilizers and chemical products that are, of course designed to cause the user of them to buy another of their chemical products to rectify the damage the previous chemo treatment wreaked upon their weed infestation or lawngrass shortcomings.

You're "baited breath" tease lured me right into the "taking offense trap", huh?

I had kinda forgotten the often tempestuous undercurrent of forum activity, which was my main reason for getting away from it before, so I'll return to my inactive status now.

Keep worming!

Chuckiebtoo

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 9:44PM
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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

Chuck, my friend, I am a lot like you and I appreciate your concern for the environment! I did not take any of your posts offensively at all, they were informative! I appreciate it! I was merely asking Questions to understand the logic behind your setup.. I know understand. It seems like you are very successful..

Hey, you guys won't believe what I did with my first worm casting harvest.. I out it in an air tight container like an idiot, the next few days I opened it up and it went anaerobic(stunk) and any worms were dried to dust ! I went so hard to make my bin aerated and here i go placing the final product in an airtight bucket, I'm not going to make that mistake again!

Chuck, you mentioned that the vermicompost was better than normal traditional compost pile.. I don't know how true that is, but they do have different benefits, depending on how you compost.. But I wouldn't say one is superior over the other.. Charles Wilber, the man who grew 30 foot world record tomatoes, said the key to his succes was his traditions pile hot compost.. Interesting..

Thanks for your input,
Joe

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 12:59AM
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CCvacation

Then I misread you entirely, chuck, as you misread me. I did not intend to use humor to cut you down, but to continue the discussion on a light tone. Obviously, I failed. My apologies, as you ARE an extremely articulate guy who likes the amazing functions and byproducts of these little worms, and that's what I'm interested in as well.

Thank you for answering my question about airflow. I'll keep the humor limited to forums that people know me in.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 2:26AM
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mendopete

Chuckiebtoo say it's not true. Your return to this forum has been the best thing that has happened here since I started wormin'! Without a doubt, your infusion of knowledge and willingness to take the time and effort to share it with us is priceless. Not to patronize, but anyone who can successfully raise worms and harvest castings in little plastic boxes deserves MEGA-KUDOS!!!!!

I am an outdoor vermicomposter all the way. What I do is EASY with my resources (horse) and climate (wet mild winter and cool foggy summer). I tried a plastic bin once and found it quite a bit more difficult, so I tossed them in my first worm cage.

I have learned to be very careful about not using too much of my sarcastic humor when posting. Sometimes it loses something in translation.

This post was edited by mendopete on Tue, Apr 23, 13 at 20:48

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 12:03PM
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lkittle(6)

CB2 How is Lauren and the rest of the family. Are you still doing the tea/worm thing at the market.

larry

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 1:24PM
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chuckiebtoo

OK, OK, as a worm farmer working into my 2nd century of it, I've built up quite a large amount of wiggle-room chits for extracting one's self from unfortunate little glitches like this, and I'll use one now.

CCvacation and I have already talked about stuff like misinterpretations that too often can rear up off the written word, and Raw Nature, I hope, can and will know that all that applies to his stuff.....and everyone else's.

And don't change a thing, ya'll.

Raw Nature:

The thing that Vermicompost has that traditional compost pile-style composts lack is Vermicastings. Everthing that passes thru worms becomes inert in that all "bad stuff" in what they eat that is detrimental to plants is destroyed.

So when you use VC and/or AVCT, the plants and soils are not only enriched, but also protected from diseases, and infections not possible without vermicastings.

And when AVCT is brewed, all those good critters multiply by inordinate and unbelievable amounts.

Chuckiebtoo

BTW, this pic is of an emerging hatchling.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 1:35PM
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chuckiebtoo

Hey, ikittle....long time no "see"!!

Yeah, I go down there sometimes when visiting Lauren and my daughter and son-in-law. Also spend a lot of time while there at their garden center in my little corner organic area/worm education & recruitment department.

How about yourself....still wormin', I know!

Hang around here if you aren't already. Looks like there are some discussions to be had.

Chuckiebtoo

By the way, I've tweaked much of the ways I practice this little wondercraft. But I still use the Wonderstick as much as ever.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 2:07PM
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lkittle(6)

Hey CB2 ; I see that in the pics you have down sized the bins to the Duffer size for conveience. much easied to handle for you.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 4:17PM
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chuckiebtoo

Yeah, Iman, but I also downsized from that to shoebox sized Sterilite's. Pic earlier in this thread. Actually I still use all sizes, as well as cardboard boxes sometimes, and pumpkins after Halloween, and anything that I wonder about.

Couple of years ago I gave some kids in the family (thru the parents) fully functional, but real tiny worm bins in cardboard dozen-egg cartons (with instructions to put those inside larger containers).

Chuckiebtoo

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 4:47PM
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lkittle(6)

Hey CB2; Yes I still am feeding the little squirmers and caring for them. This winter was tough on both of us (me and wormies). Heating the worm house was very expensive so that makes the resulting vermi compost costly (but all things good seems to cost more these days). Anyway I'm still checking in on all the old sites.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 7:10AM
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