unanticipated worm bin

mwudanDecember 4, 2009

so i was visiting a friend in upstate NY when she told me she noticed that her (hot) compost bin in the backyard had some worms in it. it was one of those barrel type bins with ventilation up top, and she had inherited it from a previous tenant. well i took a look, and holy moly it was chock full of red wigglers. my friend had noticed some worms when collecting the finished compost at the bottom, but never took the time to think much of it. she had never added 'bedding' or taken the time to check moisture levels, C/N ratio, etc. just been dumping kitchen scraps in there for the past year, and collecting compost from the door at the bottom. lucky duck.

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Same here. I was visiting a friend who just moved in to her new digs and the landlady has an Earth Machine in the backyard. It was anaerobic because she is a vegetarian and has lots of fruit and veggie waste and trimmings, and I didn't see a shred of newspaper or any paper product or dry leaves. The inside of that composter is a slimy, stinky yuck. The worms seem to thrive, lots and lots of them and FAT. So there is pure 100% worm food (including onions, cabage) and worms only. All that food and moisture didn't kill the worms.
And here I am, caring and tending to my worms in the bins, make sure the bins don't get anaerobic and they are only half that fat.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 12:59AM
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plumiebear(z9? CA)

I recently made the same discovery in my compost bin. I've harvested over 2 lbs. of red wigglers. They are now happily squirming away in their own flow through bin. I'll leave the worms remaining in the regular compost bin alone for 2-3 months before harvesting again.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 12:35PM
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I used to see the same thing when I had an outdoor compost heap. Feed them and they will come.

On a similar note, my grandparents lived on a ranch next to a river. My grandmother made "mush" (= hot cereal) for breakfast *every* morning. If there was any mush left over, she would bury it under a stone next to the veg garden. Whenever we wanted to go fishing, we would dig under that stone to find the fattest worms to use for bait.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 2:12PM
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