juicer pulp as food?

dinahsgardenSeptember 20, 2007


I am in the planning stage for our first worm composting system. I am looking at designs, and will start on the cheap, with a rubbermaid container system. My question pertains to using the fruit and vegetable fiber / pulp that is extracted when juicing. It seems a shame to throw that out, I was hoping this would provide suitable nutrition to our soon to be new worm friends. I expect that they will need additional liquid, and will save cooking liquids and left over coffee for their misting fluid. Do you think the pulp will be a good addition to their diet? They would also get the whole fruit and veggie scraps and cooked veggie leftovers - the pulp would be intermittent. Looking forward to your input!

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Use it but don't put it in a bin in a big lump. I use half a bin. I put pinches of it all over that half of the bin then cover. I did use the lump once but it drew mites. Start out small and see what happens.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 6:57PM
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the pulp will be great for the worms!
Spreading it out is a good idea.

You may not need to mist or add as much liquid to the bin as you might think. Always stick your hand in and check the moisture before adding much liquid. You want the bedding to only be as moist as a wrung out sponge. Even if the very top of the bedding is dry, it is likely that the bedding under is moist and possible that the bedding in the bottom of the bin is sodden.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 7:03PM
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Thank you! I can't wait to get started on this!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 7:23PM
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I give my worms the pulp from when I juice vegies. I do mostly carrots, and I scatter it around the bedding. Before my bin I always felt SO guilty dumping the pulp, not now!!
When I do mild fruit, such as apple, its ok for the bin, but I don't add any of the sweeter fruit pulp, such as pinnapple, I don't want to encourage fruit flies!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 9:12PM
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If you want to use pulp from sweet fruit you might be able to without getting fruit flys as long as you bury the pulp under bedding. Dig a little hole or trench dump some pulp in and cover it back over.

Test it on a small scale before using lots to see how it goes.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 8:59AM
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Great suggestions! We plan to make our bin this weekend, put aside some food to start getting "yummy" and order the worms!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 6:06PM
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gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)

Be conservative with it because of the moisture it will add to the bin. Plastic bins have a tendency to get too wet, and can get stinky when too wet with lots of nitrogen material. You might try wrapping the pulp in a sheet of newspaper when you put it in the bin, to absorb the moisture.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 2:59AM
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splitsec002(z9 CA)

I use pulp almost daily because my parents juice everyday! I currently have 3 bins because my first bin couldn't handle all the scraps my family produces. Anyway the pulp is GREAT. I usually dig a trench the length of the bin and dump it in that trench. Then I fill back with the stuff that I moved to make the trench. I usually split it into 3 parts for the trench and the worms love this stuff. No water problems here, I actually use a spray bottle sometimes because the tops of the bin is a little dry.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 3:33AM
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newoahuwormer(11 - Hawaii)

I juice too! And mostly carrots. I mix the pulp with torn up coffee filters (used) and whatever else I am saving. Depending on your juicer the pulp can be very dry (supposed to be that way) or on the damp side but I find that the pulp absorbs liquids from the other scraps.
My worms LOVED the pulp and I had a population explosion. Pineapple (I'm in Hawaii) is a bit too acidic but they love apples, papaya (not the seeds - it will make your worms temporarily sterile until you get rid of the seeds), all melons and ground up eggshells!

I also use the carrot pulp for baking and fillers in meatloaf, spaghetti. . .not just for my worms!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 3:36PM
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Juice pulp is probably great for you worms but be a bit careful with lemons. I read in "Worms Eat my Garbage" that the chemical Limonene, found in lemons is toxic to worms. I do put lemon and orange peels into my bin but i try to spread them out so that the concentration of lemon juice is low.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 10:33PM
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Just tried this out and made a BIG mistake.

I have a base plastic bin with bedding and a second bin that sits inside with holes so worms can get in/out. I put a bunch of juice pulp in the feeder bin and came back a day later and it was literally cooking itself! It's July here but I think the pulp was hot composting too which made it worse. The worms were all squeezed onto the cooler side of the bin. It was a close call. I'm gonna let the pulp sit for a few days before adding it next time and also add less.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 11:23PM
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Juicer pulp is my main worm food. I collected them from a juice place nearby, store them in 3 gal. containers (with lid) at the side of the house so they're a few months old when fed to the worms. Mostly carrots, apples and beets.
It still takes about 24 hrs. until the worms are wallowing in the pulp (I "glob" feed). I do not use the liquid that sometimes collected at the bottom. It has a very strong acid or fermenting smell to it. I also use a lot of powdered egg shells mixed in.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 11:55AM
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It makes sense to "use a lot of powdered egg shells mixed in." I think the liquid is vinegar the pulp made. I am making vinegar using apple pulp.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 6:57PM
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eq2: Oh, I didn't think about apple vinegar. No wonder when some got on worms, they twisted and turned, writhing to no end so I quickly doused fresh water on them and all was well. (I think)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:10PM
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Powdered eggshells is an oxymoron in the real world. Best I've ever been able to do with them: little flake-sized pieces (that're OK at that size).

BTW, the eggshells' purpose is to give the worms some grit to both be able to scrape the cocoons off their bodies and to grind up food in their poorly-designed food processing systems after going thru their toothless mouths.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:12PM
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It is probably you are 100% right on all of the points in your recent post. I'll just add either my 2 cents worth or toss a bit of popcorn or eventually vermicompostable non salted peanut shells from the the peanut gallery.

Powdered egg shells are what we do not want to breath when someone uses a coffee grinder or spice grinder on the egg shells. Maybe grinders grind the shells into little flake size pieces. Maybe those grind the shells into breatheable dust. I do not know. Maybe blending egg shells in liquid or quickly crushing in newspaper with a rolling pin is best. I agree egg shells are good in a worm bin from dust size to whole and any size in between. Exceptions made for those who do not like how egg shells look in vermicompost.

I can agree the worms, similar to snakes, might need something with specific abilities to help with cocoon removal. I do not know what those specific things are or if egg shells have that.

I do not know if egg shells provide grit for worms to digest. I do not know if worms need grit to digest. Yes worms have a gizzard type digestion system. Chickens need grit. I am not sure worms need grit. One poster here seemed to have done a test and some type of grit addition seemed to have done something positive. Archives somewhere. I'm just not yet on board with worms needing grit or with egg shells being grit. I have egg shells and adding them to the bin, whole, crushed and blenderized is done at various times. Again, I hate to not yet view the facts as you do, CarlosDanger. And I am probably wrong and could be convinced by facts the other way. I just have not bumped into those yet.

I sort of disagree that worms have poorly-designed food processing systems. I do not think worms would be better off having ears, eyes, or teeth. All the better to hear, see and eat me with, my dear. I think worms fit into a system and in that system they are perfectly designed for their part in the system, poor digestion or not. Somebody, somewhere thought not having teeth was OK and called worms the "intestines of the earth". Maybe it is OK to not masticate ones food if one is an worm. Again I hate to disagree with you.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:24PM
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Why is it "oxymoron"?

1 tsp. contains approximately 800-1,000 mg. of calcium. - See more at: http://www.mamanatural.com/how-to-make-eggshell-calcium/#sthash.WD7SO2Nb.dpuf

For worms to be able to use egg shells to scrape cocoons off their body. I imagine a bin must contain quite bit off eggshells in the bedding. I also imagine that the sharp edges might cut them if too much. I believe some people add crushed (NOT powdered) eggshells to Hostas to deter snails. I wouldn't like walking on them either, lol. Hence my reason to find ways to powder egg shells, not just crush them. I have ordered on-line a hand cranked grain mill and curious if it will do the job.

Burlap is a very good aid for worms to shed cocoons. It also hold moisture very well and lets air through.

I have read cons and pros about egg-shells aiding the worms' gizzard function. I believed that in the beginning of my worm farming years and as such, was a parrot.
Yes, worms have no teeth and they wouldn't even try to consume stuff that's not worm ready, in other words slimy liquidy yuk. So, they still can cope with no grit. I think worms could be smart too, you know.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:07AM
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I must apologize for the wording of my eggshell post. Being of Argentina, the English forms in my head in Spanish and sometimes comes out in pig Latin.

Powdered eggshells is a thing I have never achieved. I have frozen, microwaved, and dried them before crushing, mashing, roller-pinning, hammering and mostly only achieve little pieces. Maybe a small amount of powder is there among the little pieces?

And yes, rough things other than shells are suitable for rubbing surfaces as well as grit material. Actually, anything to rub against.

Grit materials ARE utilized by vermi as aids for digestion. I can stand by that part of my post.

Sorry for the pig Latin, but I was mourning the loss of my homeland in the World Cup futbol finals.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:22AM
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Sorry for your loss of the Cup, Carlos.
In regards to EQ2's comment ""Chickens need grit."" I like to add, they have bigger mouth and are very greedy, can even swallow corn kernels whole. Our worms on the other hand have better table manners, lol.
I achieved powdering eggshells using a blender. After burning the motor of 2 blenders beyond repair, I understand how patience could save $$$. If only I engaged the blenders at short intervals and not fill too much at one time, they would have been OK.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:03PM
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Gracias, Otis.

The loss to many was too much. To me, one moment of remorse.

I am in agreement that vermi ingest food more easily than do many with systems with gizzards, but they do rely on that method (gizzardry?) somewhat.

Pre-processing by us helps the worms, and they appreciate it by speeding everything up.


This post was edited by CarlosDanger on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 19:51

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:13PM
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priswell(9 CA)

Another "Yes" for using juicing pulp for the worms. I've been doing that for years. Sometimes, I just pile it up on the top and let the worms handle it from below.

I always add a small handful of stove pellets to the bottom of the bag that I collect the pulp in to keep it from being too wet, and to add some carbon.

Regarding eggshells, I use a Vitamix to pulverize them. I end up with "some powdery, some gritty" consistency. I figure that the worms can handle it from there in any time frame that suits them.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 8:46PM
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We had a juicer for a period of time. The pulp was very light and fluffy and dry. What I didn't put into my soup, meatballs and meat loaves, the worms got. They love it.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 8:52PM
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Yep ANY vegi waste is great for worms. The trick is NOT to overfeed else your worm area will get over run with bacteria and become smelly or bugs/ flies will infect your worm area if the food is not eaten quick enough.

So start carefully and see how you go. You can always lacto ferment the rest of the waste using a Lacto EM (effective microorganism) mix EM1 which can be purchased or made easily.

And as others have said - spread thinly so not too many big clumps are left.

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic Farm Philippines

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:22PM
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I never juiced for myself before I started worming . I bought the juicer to use the pulp as worm food . Now I enjoy juicing for myself. I keep another container which I store my pulp in till I give some to the worms. I also sprinkle dried pulverized egg shells or sometimes cornmeal to the worms on the surface of bedding under any paper bedding and it never seems to last long. Because I dont accumulate enough garbage for juicing by myself my sister saves some of hers for me and its working pretty well. I usually dont juice for worms till I have enough to fill a container. Seems to work ok.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:01AM
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