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Do not open til Christmas

Posted by pjames 8/LA (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 17, 10 at 0:27

I started another bin filled with chopped cardboard innoculated with casting tea that I was aerating. I put 50 cocoons of E. hortensis (euro night crawlers) on a piece of paper towel about an inch down into the bedding. I have no intention to open the bin until the holidays to either feed or add water ( I think the cardboard is sufficiently wet).

What prompted this was 2 thoughts. The first was an experiment described on Redworm composting where they looked to see how a set of cocoons would hatch and grow. I just figured to take it a little longer.

The second thing was there is often a person on here who would like to get started with worms but does not want to buy and ship in a pound or more of worms. I have often thought how it would be easy to simply mail 50 to 100 cocoons wrapped in a paper towel in a regular envelope to get the person started. The hard part is for the person to have the PATIENCE to sit and wait while the worms hatched and grew.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Do not open til Christmas

I wanna look now! I couldn't do the waiting game. Should be interesting though, please keep us updated.

RE: Do not open til Christmas

I would check the moisture. Don't want the little guys to hatch out and dry up.

RE: Do not open til Christmas

I had cocoons left after doing the acid wash experiment and wanted to make sure they were OK. I took a tinted plastic pill bottle and some paper towel and put the cocoons between the towel and the pill bottle, then just added water. Same as when trying to start bean seeds for a science project. Those cocoons hatched and I ended up adding them to the worm box. I just wanted to make sure the vinegar wash did not mess them up. I think shipping cocoons in a stamped envelope makes more sense than shipping live worms. I would probably use a bubble wrap lined envelope for the cocoons safety though. And I would supply the new vermi-herder with plenty of info to read while waiting for their herd to develop. Just some ideas I had while reading your post.

RE: Do not open til Christmas

Bubblewrap filled 'photo' envelopes would surely be the best bet especially when mail is mechanically sorted. I'm not sure how much letters are compressed.

One of the reasons I am doing this is also to show just how minimalistic a successful worm bin can be. You see people overthinking their setup, worrying about making sure they have just the 'right' balance of food before they drop their worms in. (I certainly understand this if you are buying pounds of worms for $30 or so) I personally feel that worms thrive if left alone as long as some very basic needs are met, sufficient ventilation, moisture and something minimal to eat (like just wet cardboard.) The key is to be patient and let the bin establish.

I was also looking at a way to help new people get started with a super minimal cash outlay.

RE: Do not open til Christmas

That particular bin had to be abandoned. I was re-arranging a stack of bins and decided to look inside. The top of the bedding looked just right but when I stuck my nose in and took a whiff, I knew I had trouble. Sure enough,it had gone anerobic. I looked through it as I dumped it into my compost heap but did not see any worms, just a slimy, stinky mess.

Another bin that I started the same way seems to be doing least it smells ok.

RE: Do not open til Christmas

I'm sorry your bin went bad. :(

RE: Do not open til Christmas

Well at least you know where that wall is now.
Pushing it to the limit in extreme vermicomposting.
In vermicomposting I always learn the most from my biggest non sucesses. So much so that they don't bother me just give me more ideas to try. And it is not like the material was lost. It was the outdoor bin's gain.

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