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Newbie question

Posted by AustinBill none (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 13, 13 at 17:10

I notice that a lot of posters on here freeze their food scraps before feeding them to the worms. Why?

Also, most literature says to place feed in different parts of the bin on each feeding (change feeding place). Why?

What's the pumice in the bedding do?

Thanks in advance.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Newbie question

Read this http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/verm/msg0622450221416.html?6

And this Re: pumice
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/verm/msg1218385130975.html?18

Here is a link that might be useful: feeding

This post was edited by iLoveLawn on Thu, Jun 13, 13 at 17:25


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RE: Newbie question

Freezing first makes the food break down quicker. Some say it kills fruit-fly eggs... IDK.

Pocket feeding, or feeding in a different place each time reduces the chance that you will overfeed one area. If the food heats up or is not worm-ready, the worms move to another safe area. Spread the wealth!

I have never used pumice or bought anything else to put in my worm bin. I assume the pumice is for grit to help in worm digestion. A handful of dirt is cheaper.

Good luck, Pete


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RE: Newbie question

Freezing breaks the cell walls. This is especially handy for things like turnips which would normally never think about breaking down in a bin.

So as not to overwhelm the bin with rotting food thus causing smells that make marriage impossible. Possibly it is a way to insure only a tiny bit, as much as can fit into a pocket, is added to the bin at one time. Also, it could be a way to entertain the vermicomposter so as to not have them out and about picking up load of pumpkins to put into their Rubbermaid bin.

Pumice would be used for grit for the worms. Other substances could qualify too. Some feel worms need this. Some feel worms do not need this. I feel they do not need grit. However, one poster here said they added grit and the food disappeared faster. That sounded convincing to me. I do not know that a side by side official test of grit vs no grit has been done.


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RE: Newbie question

How about a hand full of sand? What do you all think?


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RE: Newbie question

A handful of sand would provide plenty of grit for an average home worm bin.


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RE: Newbie question

I think that pumice in the bedding is a three fold deal. First it is a marketing deal based in a bit of fact. The hope is you will get sucked in and buy more. The second and third part is more positive. The pumice and or some alternative agregate helps to break up the mass of the bedding enhancing aireation. As that breaks down and or provides grit that further serves the purpose of digestion. Use what you have available oyster shell, eggshell, leaf litter you name it it will work. I only hope equinox and some of these other wormers agree. Good Luck to you Bill


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RE: Newbie question

When I see someone who is in the market to buy grit, I can make them an offer they can't refuse.

Almost anything not worm poop.

Chuckiebtoo


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RE: Newbie question

One person on this board reported seeing a marked difference in his bin after adding grit. I believe him, just can not remember who. Despite many vermicomposting books and zillions of online articles suggesting to use grit this practice does not appear to be based upon any research that I know of. If there is, someone is sure to put the facts on the table and correct this. I seem to remember this boards previous worm expert, I forget her name now, she has moved on to other things, posted worms do not need grit in her work with worms. Since reading that I have cringed every time someone online writes... "since worms have crops". There would appear to be no harm in adding free grit. I think it would be beneficial to add rock dust to the bin that one was going to add to their garden anyway, not for worm crops but so the dust can be incorporated into the vermicastings and magic can happen. petrock1963 I can agree that I would like to see a layer of biochar in a worm bin but I have no research it is beneficial. Luckily there are no bin police, yet, and we can each put anything we want into our bins.


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RE: Newbie question

When I first started and read all the "gospel's" out there, and almost memorized Worms Eat My Garbage, and did every thing by the book(s), and added crushed eggshells to the bins, I did very well with the worms and bins.

Then other info filtered into my set ways and I started experimenting. One test: bins with crushed eggshells and some without. Result: no difference.

Almost all those comparison tests have resulted in similar results,,,mainly because the wormies are EXTREMELY tolerant of all the things we do to, and for, them. They adapt to almost any conditions except overheating.

Most of the gospels about excess moisture are really for our benefit. The experts want to make it more pleasant/less yucky for us...not the worms.

They thrive in "wrung out sponge" wetness, but also in "dripping wet sponge", and "barely moist dampness sponge", and so on.

Damn, they are cooperative.

If they try to make a break for it herd-like, you have a major problem. Otherwise, they tend to accept what you dole out because they really, really like it in there.

Chuckiebtoo


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RE: Newbie question

I sometimes freeze food to avoid having to walk 12 feet to the garage (it's late, I need a snack, I biked 40 miles today and I'm tired ..... that line of thinking), especially when the countertop bin is rreeeeaaalllyyy full. It also helps break down some foods, but one more plus: it can keep my kids out of the freezer.... You never know when what appears to be frozen deliciousness turns out to be way past its prime worm grub!


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