Where to buy more pumice for Worm Factory

Karen365December 1, 2012

I brought my Worm Factory in for the winter, but first removed almost all the material except for the worm, and started over with new bedding so I wouldn't bring insects into the house. But my new mix has no pumice, and I have been unable to locate any in stores. I could buy a huge amount for like $75 or more online, but don't want to do that. Anyone have any ideas on where to buy a small amount, like a couple of cups' worth? Thanks.

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Will wonders never cease. Small amounts of pumice, about a cups worth, I imagine could be obtained by purchasing very inexpensively, two pumice stones from a local drug store. The stones would be in the foot care area and called pumice stones. Pumice stones are commonly used to smooth rough feet. The stones could be rubbed against one another to produce pumice dust, or sand or grit.

I would produce a photo of my vermicomposting troop but would ask that viewers cast aside their gaze as my worms no doubt have very rough areas as I have never provided them with the appropriate pumice scrubbing materials.

It is my guess that 99.97 percent of worms in the world have ugly, rough patches due to not having pumice.

I am glad of the edit button as this might be an example of a post I might think about and edit in a bit.

Karen365 please tell me you wrote to the sellers of the Worm Factory and asked if you could purchase the special worm pumice powder distribution disk they sell in a two pack for $17.25. The world wide shortage the last 4 months of pumice may be holding up their distribution system.

I have no idea why I am still able to post on this board. It obviously has no over-site what so ever.

Karen365: Please tell me you are not looking to purchase, spend money on, pumice or grit for the gizzards of the worms. 50% of vermicomposters provide no grit. 50% of vermicomposters provide garden dirt, driveway sand, crushed eggs shells, crushed seashells. Special, designer pumice is provide only to a very few special vermicompost worms.

Glad to meet you. :-) How did you separate your worms from the bedding and clean them for the indoor bin. That is a topic nobody has ever posted about that I can recall. But many people I bet want to bring their crazy, feed it everything, outdoor bin indoors after cleaning out the bad guys and the bad materials into brand new bedding and fresh food.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 10:56PM
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To summarize what equinoxequinox said:

You don't need to provide your worms with pumice. There is no real benefit to the worms.

Some people like to provide some grit for their worms. A small amount of fine sand or ground eggshell will serve that purpose.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:17AM
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equinoxequinox: Stop teasing newbies, lol.
Besides, if you have a dog as a pet, you try to keep him/her clean when inside the house. So, same thing with pet worms. With 1st time pets, one tries hard to avoid any mistake that might kill it.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 9:25PM
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dowbright(z6 in Missouri)


You keep me in laughter.

Thanks. I need it tonight. Bad news on pseudo-husband's cancer. But we'll get by. Sorry to be morbid. I too am glad of the edit button. I imagine I'll need it for this one tomorrow. ;D

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 11:15PM
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dowbright: The lure of vermicomposting is it is a tiny world in which we can attempt to control everything. Despite all that may be going on in the real world, our vermicompost bin world is one where before we go to sleep at night, or while in waiting rooms, we can think about what is happening in and how the elements are interacting with each other. It is a nice place to escape to for a little bit.

On the pseudo-husband it has been my experience that the most life I have seen, I mean people really working hard to live life, working it, and succeeding is strangely in the rooms with chairs of people receiving medication for cancer treatments. They chat. They chat. They talk. They share. They are kind. They ask after one another. They mean it. They think about one another. They share tiny gifts. They share tiny stories. They share tiny bits of their life with each other. They are so kind to one another. Sometimes there is a selection of knitted hats they give away for free. Sometimes a bowl of yarn and knitting needles and crochet hooks. Instead of the game telephone where everyone adds a bit to the story... people knit a bit onto what the person before them knitted. Some knit. Some purl. Some keep a perfect stitch. Some make a mistake and keep on going. Some drop stitches. Others pick them up. Some knit up all the yarn there. Some bring left over balls of yarn from home. Some buy yarn on sale at the store for the bowl. Some take a hat or two of crazy color. Some go home and knit 15 hats of crazy color and give them to the nurses for their hand out kits. I have never been a place more alive and happy with people determined to live the mystery amount of life they have than in a place treating cancer. The patients actually reach out and help one another. If this is the second time around then you can both be a guide post for others who this is all brand new to.

Be first to reach out to the others in the waiting room. Do you maybe have a person to drive you both to the appointments. Ask around. This service makes a huge difference. They may not be on time. The drivers are sometimes from other countries. They all have very interesting life stories to share. Make friends. Gift wrap candy bars. Keep 6 in your pocket book. EVERYBODY loves chocolate.

Reach out and talk to waiting room friends about your kitchen scrap eating vermicompost worms that feed your garden and flowers. Sometimes people want to think about anything but why they are there. Sometimes not. A vermicomposter certainly has a story of interest to keep their blood pressure low. Maybe keep a few quarter pounders of vermi on you at all times in a plastic container with air holes to give some away.

Everybody should have a little world they can control and think about the interactions of to help them fall asleep each night.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 1:34AM
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dowbright(z6 in Missouri)

I'd better learn to knit. I'll start tomorrow. :)

You have given me a great gift tonight. I will read it often and sometimes repeatedly.

Thank you.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 1:45AM
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dowbright(z6 in Missouri)

"The lure of vermicomposting is it is a tiny world in which we can attempt to control everything. Despite all that may be going on in the real world, our vermicompost bin world is one where before we go to sleep at night, or while in waiting rooms, we can think about what is happening in and how the elements are interacting with each other. It is a nice place to escape to for a little bit."

This is poetry.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 1:49AM
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Not to worry because somebody there will NEED to teach somebody to knit. Maybe bring needles and a bit of yarn and ask if anybody KNOWS how to knit because you want to knit a special hat. Then they can go home with a story to talk about how they taught this crazy lady how to knit and she gave them real live worms. That crazy lady.

To keep this on topic google "knit worm" then click on images. You will see lots of knit worms.

A new way to vermicompost.

That is all I have to say.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 2:16AM
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Getting back to the original topic; Equinox, when you asked Karen how she cleaned up and separated out the worms from the castings, you just didn't read it right. She didn't write 'Worms' but rather 'Worm'. With one worm it's easy to do separation and cleanup. And yes, I use powdered eggshell for grit.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 7:48AM
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I am not sure if worms need grit. I am not sure if powdered eggs shells equals grit. I am not sure if pulverizing egg shell is safe to breath. i have eggs shells. They seem to belong in my worm bin or compost. I break then up so when using vermnicompost eggshells are not half inch chunks.

sbryce perhaps you could summarize what Shaul said. I'm confused.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 4:51AM
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Knitting and vermicomposting are two of my main hobbies in the winter. I learned to knit from youtube. Never knew cemo wards did things like this because I have several hat quantities of rather nice wool I have no use of.

Anyway pulverizing egg shells to airborn dust will be hazardous and precautions should be taken. For a while I had been collecting the shells and crushed with a rolling pin then dusted them over the garden before the winter mulch went down. Now they unceremoniously go into the worm bin with the rest of it.

A few times I have added a dusting of calcium sulfate (ground up drywall or plaster powder) to my bins. From my reading it seems like all gardens are at least somewhat lacking in calcium.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 1:28PM
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Let me summarize what I said. The worms, not having teeth but gizzards, need help in grinding whatever food particles they ingest. Thus they need grit. Now, some people add soil or sand. I used to add fine sand and found after doing so, that the level of the bin would drop, dramatically. Nowadays, I use eggshells which I first dry in the oven. (Usually, after something has baked and the oven been turned off, there is still enough residual heat inside to dry the eggshells). I then grind them to a powder in my blender. Kept in a large salt shaker, I dust the bin every week or so. This I believe, helps to balance the Ph in the bin as well as to add to the quality of the future soil amendment/fertilizer. Though I haven't done so in the past, I really should be wearing some sort of dust mask and will be doing so in the future.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 4:29PM
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dowbright(z6 in Missouri)

shaul, that's a good use for that leftover heat! I, on the other hand, am so lazy that I just drop them in a big jar that I leave lidless. There's no scent at all. and they dry on their own after a few days. Is it laziness or just easy living? You decide. ;)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 4:50PM
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I have found that putting egg shells in the oven even with left over heat make the egg shell britle and easier to break down/crush/blend.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 7:41PM
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""I am not sure if worms need grit.""

They do.

"" I am not sure if powdered eggs shells equals grit.""

It does.

"" I am not sure if pulverizing egg shell is safe to breath.""

Me neither, but I would be VERY surprised even SHOCKED if a **tiny** amount would cause any problems for a healthy human.
I've seen this (myth?) time and time again, but no one thus far has been able to give me a viable reference. Usually, someone will point to some googled pseudo-scientific web site like www.Bettysallnaturaleggshells.com

Course, I have been very surprised and shocked in the past, so I fully admit I may be wrong, here. Reference, anyone?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 9:34PM
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Alohas Karen365,
You will find an Excellent Pumice for your worm farm here at:
http://www.petmountain.com/show_product/11442-510853/?utm_source=pricegrabber&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=11442-521072 You can probably find it in many pet stores as well as I do... I also use Ground dry Egg shell, and we also crush up plain old dry wall as well, all are good and help the worms in digestion.. Next year when you go to put Your worms down for the winter Try using about 1/4 of the old bed material mixed with your new bedding which you should let age about a month before you transfer them and you wont lose as many as you did this year and you will be keepeing some of your worms eggs if you do so...
Aloha Oi with Blessings,


Hawaiian Worm Farms LLC

Hawaiianworms (at) Gmail (dot)com



    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 7:18AM
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It's a big job but I've finally started. I have a large outdoor bin that is 2 yrs in the making and practically solid worm and quite wet. I scoop out bunches and place in kinda large flat containers so it can start to dry out. Then I slowly pick through and Han pick every one I see while also brushing slight top layers away. The worms travel to bottom to avoid light and in the end there's a pile of worms. Sometimes I sit with a magnifier light and long nosed tweezers a pick out all the capsules I see. That can be addicting. I have a need to save every worm possible, long live the worm

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 10:15AM
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There are tons of pumice, loose pumice, available on eBay. Just search 'pumice'.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 4:26PM
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wriggler: Time is your friend here. After making the pile either make several more piles or do something fun for 15 minutes. Then when you begin brushing off the top of the pile it should be devoid of worms. Also setting the worm pile on something where the harvest of vermicompost can be brushed off right into a waiting container helps make the job easier. I sometimes sit on on 5 gallon pail upturned. Place a second pail in front of me. Then a piece of cardboard holds the pile of worm rich vermicompost. Every 15 minutes I brush a layer of vermicompost off the cardboard into the bin. The cardboard half covers the pail so it is easily captured. Possibly an inch each time is removed. Others will probably chime in with inventive and easy methods they have worked out.

Most of us age our harvested vermicompost. Why? Possibly because most is used in the spring. It helps finish it. Plus all the eggs hatch and the babies are harvest the same as the adults. This is before they are old enough to have laid eggs.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 12:58AM
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I have friends who buy the ready to eat salads in those clear plastic containers, appr. 7x12". I use these containers when harvesting. So, instead of dumping the stuff on a tarp or cardboard, I fill the containers and let them sit and the rest is pretty much the same. I find that this way I don't mess up my deck so much and didn't take up as much space as using a tarp, as I can stack the plastic containers cross-wise.. Of course the tarp depends on how much stuff you have to sort

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 2:05PM
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