Quality variance or 'Castings are castings are castings'?
I have seen this topic discussed here, several ways, more than a few times. I have a general idea but still unclear or uncertain about a few factors. My impression is that certain aspects (available versus time release nitrogen, for example) are difficult to test.
While many of you are "worm farmers" my relationship is more like "Dances with Worms". I no longer corral them into box but instead alow them to be "freerange". I just work along with them in helping to maintain several "piles" or "areas".
With my foundation in traditional "hot composting", I'm aware of and can't help but to think in terms of nitrogen & carbon levels, etc. I understand that castings should be thought of, not as fertilizer but rather as a neutral compost and that, if fed more N materials, the worms may use but not necessarily output more nitrogen. (Please correct me if I'm wrong about any of this, so far).
So then, in the end, is it true that "castings are castings are castings"?
For example, one group receives, among other things, all the choicest kitchen scraps (mostly high nitrogen materials): apples, pears, berries past their prime, potato peels, corn cobs, melon rinds, banana peels, etc. etc. . These worms seem happy, healthy, plentiful, active, and productive.
Another group resides under a pile of wood, old bark, pieces of rotting stump (all high carbon materials). The only nitrogen materials they receive is when a few stray leaves drop in or the lawn mower occasionally tosses them a few clippings. They appear as happy, healthy, plentiful, active, and (possibly even more) productive.
Having had a much more varied, balanced diet, at a gut level, I can't help but to think that castings from group one are of higher quality than that of group two. Is there truth to this or is it, instead, that the worms themselves in in group one may healthier than that of group two but the poops the same?
Is there, in any other way, NPK or otherwise, any significant difference in the resulting product or does it all come out the same in the end?