I just bought some wormcastings and when I opened the bag, it looked like ashes.
A gray like powder.
Is this normal and what does your home grown casting look like?
Were they real dry? Most castings should look like coffee grounds when moist. Mine do look a little gray when dry.
Probably gone dry but I believe that a lot of the beneficial bacteria go dormant and get reactivated with moisture. Kind of like when Bokashi Bran is inoculated with EM and then dried out before it is sold.
Here's what my worm castings look like (before screening).
If it really looks like ash, I wonder if you got sent partially-completed hot compost instead of worm castings? When hot compost is really cooking at 150 degrees or so, it produces stuff that looks very much like wood stove ash.
I am wondering if the person used 100% newspaper for bedding? I have read that the castings come out gray when that's all the bedding is composed of.
Mine have turned gray when they dried out.
Dry worm castings may have a grayish tinge, but should still be in pieces somewhat larger than a grain of sand. A gray POWDER that looks like ashes (as captaindirt described) doesn't sound like any worm castings I've ever seen.
Captaindirt, do you still have the castings? Post a picture? imgur.com is a really easy way to post a photo without registering for an account or anything.
Here is a link that might be useful: http://imgur.com/