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The Burlap Effect

Posted by jim08204 (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 24, 10 at 13:52

Special thanks to Mendopete for mentioning the use of burlap in bins. I cut a piece, folded it to make 4 layers and laid it on top of my bins. I then added a layer of composted cow manure, fruits and veggies and soaked it with ACVT. Not only do the worms seem to enjoy playing in the burlap, it makes harvesting very easy, as I just lift the burlap up and out and let them all slide off into a tray. - Jim


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The Burlap Effect

I think the The Burlap Effect is caused by the combination of air, moisture, and surface area (in the burlap) for microbes. The stuff does sound magical.


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RE: The Burlap Effect

Jim, welcome to th burlap fan club. It will always have a place in my woem systems.


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RE: The Burlap Effect

HI All; I done an experiment in breeding worms using burlap to get cocoons that were easy to harvest. Make 12-15 layers folded and stapled and cut one edge so it can be like pages of a book. wet/dampen burlap and put 50 worms in each page and feed with oatmealuncooked just sprinkled lightly with egg shell powder mixed with oatmeal spritz with plant mister. After 8-10 days harvest cocoons. I fed every other day or so. when ever oatmeal was gone.

Here is a link that might be useful: breeding worms in burlap


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RE: The Burlap Effect

Where do you get burlap? I found a price of $219.00 for a 12 inch by 12 ft. roll. Seems rather expensive.

Dave Nelson


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RE: The Burlap Effect

No, no, no. The reason things are packed in burlap is because it is or should be cheap, cheap, cheap. 50#'s of potatoes should be in them. That must be some kind of exclusive designer burlap. But then again even cheese cloth I have seen has been expen$ive. Nothing to do with vermicomposting should be $$$. Designer worms? Cool brands of vermicastings?

Not to do with this post but along the same thought process as far as the peat vs coco fiber debate please include the cost and carbon foot print of shipping. Then tell me about the moral issues when the real facts are known.


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RE: The Burlap Effect

Dave, I love using burlap with worms, but I would not consider that price! Find a coffee-maker and hit 'em up. I get organic coffee-bean bags free by the dozen. They are about 12 square-foot of material each. I began using them because they are free, and they replaced old carpet that was rapidly decomposing. I also cover all my compost piles in burlap when they cool down. It is very useful gardening material.
Pete


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RE: The Burlap Effect

My local fleet/farm store has used coffee bean bags for under one dollar each and they are big bags. Check out sporting goods stores there is burlap material used to construct hunting blinds. This burlap is printed with camo patterns and comes in a roll about 3-4 foot by 25 foot for about 20 dollars, and while it cost more than used coffee bean bags It surly Is cheaper than Dave found. Keep hunting!

Curt equinox; I agree


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RE: The Burlap Effect

I regularly buy bean coffee and snacks at a free trade coffee store. They have lots of burlap bags for sale but I think they ask about $3.75 per bag. I hope I can remember to ask next time I go there.

Dave Nelson


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RE: The Burlap Effect

Hi All; You can find burlap at any good garden center. The one I use sells 25,50,100,200,500 foot rolls 3' wide. I don't use muck just to experiment with for the most part.


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RE: The Burlap Effect

lkittle- I like that book idea!

I got mine on Ebay. It's made by Dewitt.

- Jim


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RE: The Burlap Effect

Hi All; I just thought that with the other thread about cocoon harvesting and shipping to friends the burlap might help with some of the seperating out of the cocoons. It also gives a way to see the little buggers more quickly. I got the idea from C Morgans little books the books make a good little infromation liberary. I have all of his books for a referance liberary.


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RE: The Burlap Effect

How long do you leave the burlap with the "goodies" in it for the worms to migrate up into it? I'd like to try it, but I'm wondering how long it would need to sit there for most of the worms to migrate into it.

Deanna


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RE: The Burlap Effect

Deanna, I do not add food to the burlap. I just soak it and lay down on top of the bed. I put food under it. Yesterday I soaked a new bag in AVCT for about 10 minutes, let it drip for a minute, and placed over the top of my older burlap. Today it looked like a pin cushion with worms dangling out of the weave. I usually see mature worms in the material until the cocoons start hatching. This occurs when the material is falling apart.
Pete


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RE: The Burlap Effect

Deanna- I use manure and food on top and the worms are in it the next day. I did two harvests this way. The burlap showed wear on the second, but it looks like I was able to remove about 1/2 the worms out of the bin. - Jim


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RE: The Burlap Effect

I used to use burlap regularly to harvest.
Lay the burlap on top of the new bin. Spread inch or so of vc and worms on top of the burlap under a light and they naturally migrate through into the new bin. Have a coffee or do some housework, come back, scoop the castings into your storage container, spread out some more dirt with worms, and leave them alone again.

The burlap doesn't last long, so I now use an orange bag that large bags of carrots and onions comes in. Works the same easy way for harvesting, and lasts longer.


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RE: The Burlap Effect

I was going to mention the good use of burlap again for new worm farmers to catch up but thought bumping this thread would be better.
I'd like to add: maybe another reason why worms like burlap so much to leave their cocoons in, the holes between the weave aided them to shed their cocoons. When it's time to shed a cocoon, just reverse their gear and voila!


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RE: The Burlap Effect

Ohh I like this. Especially the idea of using burlap for harvesting. I am HOPING to harvest in a month or so. I will ask my favorite coffee shop if they have burlap to spare.

I have an old shopping bag on top of my bin now that is burlap-esque but the worms don't seem to take much notice of it. As far as putting it IN the bin, it sounds like some have used it as a cover and some used it as a lining...I wonder where worms like to leave their cocoons most--at the top, bottom, or middle?


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RE: The Burlap Effect

Burlap is not easy to find in my neck of the woods. I saw one at lowes and they wanted $17 for it , what is it made of gold.


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RE: The Burlap Effect

Still a BIG fan of burlap. Great for breeding, harvesting, adding structure to your bin, or just keeping in moisture. My use has evolved, as the coffee bean sacks are first inoculated with fish prior to use in the bins ;)

I get mine from a coffee roaster/supplier, not a coffee house. My source goes through double-digit bags every day. Unless a coffee house roasts their own beans, they would not likely have sacks available.

Burlap is great and worms love it, but I would not spend much $ for it.


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RE: The Burlap Effect

This thread is genius. I'm so glad I found this forum!


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RE: The Burlap Effect

Just want to track thread.

Paul


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RE: The Burlap Effect

mendopete is right about the source for burlap.
Starbucks will NOT have them unless you go to where they are roasted.
There are several coffee houses here around town that do their own roasting. I have to compete with farmers and produce markets for them. Farmers use them to cover their crop against frost and markets use them to cover their products overnight. Once in a while I managed to get about 15 at a time.
However, I think the coffee farmers are switching and use synthetic/weaved plastic sacks instead. Bummer.
I am beginning to become a hoarder. What I don't do for worms, sigh.


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RE: The Burlap Effect

Good morning. It is 7:30 am Pacific time. I just want to ask EQ2 if getting burlap at a decent price is worth driving an hour -- each way. ; )
I'll try a little harder closer first, of course. If I make the drive, I could get a lifetime supply. (Craigslist)

Since no one reads all the posts, I'll double up: why do people put VC in bags to make tea ? I like straining it after it's bubbled . And I leave it bubbling for a week or longer cuz I have more VC than I need tea from. The result is that the plastic net that the airstone is in , plus the moving water, breaks down the VC to smooth silty mud. Seems that there isn't much left to put back in the bin if I've retrieved the cocoons. Once in a while a few worms are in the net that hatched and grew in the aging VC. TMI to explain my question why put VC in bags to brew ?


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RE: The Burlap Effect

For what it's worth, if I were to drive an hour one-way to buy ANYTHING, I'd probably get 'a lot' of it at one time in hopes of amortizing the cost of travel over many uses. (Your 'lifetime supply'.) BUT... one would have to have the "many uses" for that concept to be valid.

Not having made any VC tea myself, I can only speculate that the reason for putting the VC in a bag when 'brewing' VCT is to prevent 'agitation' of the contents of the VC.

Again speaking without first-hand experience, I'd think NOT bagging it would better produce the results EYE was after: maximum mixing of VC with all the EXTRA stuff people seem to insist on adding to "VC" tea to make it "good". Like sea weed extract, molasses, etc.

The whole VCT 'thing' smacks of voodoo to me. No offence meant to those that practice that form of voodoo. Clearly it has produced some positive results with respect to plant growth. I just suspect that much of the process is unnecessary to the desired end result, and is practiced more because "the experts said so" rather than "if I don't add component "X", it doesn't work as well".

I wonder what would happen in a double-blind experiment if "regular" compost (NOT worm compost) was fermented with molasses and kelp extract and used as "fertilzer".

I had that 'slap up side the head' by the person that presented the vermicomposting seminar I attended. When I mentioned all the hoops I was jumping through to get "compost", she cut to the point and said: "If it were me, I'd just put the goat manure directly on my garden." The realization of the simplicity of that was a little embarrassing to recognize and acknowledge.

Paul


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RE: The Burlap Effect

Burlap is quite useful in the garden as an organic weed blocker. I have built "lasagna style" garden beds in the fall and covered them all winter with the burlap. In the spring the bed was full of worms and dark rich compost. I would not drive 2 hours JUST for it, unless I got a truckload and could use it.

Regarding "regular" compost tea, it has been used for a long by gardeners. Manure teas are great, I have used them. It is probably done much more often than worm-poo tea.
We have a local garden center that always has "regular" compost tea brewing and available for free to customers. Just bring a few empty jugs and fill 'em up on the porch. They sell concentrated worm-poo tea with additions such as kelp, fish ect. for $20-30/gallon. Expensive Voo-doo


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RE: The Burlap Effect

barbararose21101 I imagine along the path to the free burlap are other places you need to go to occasionally decreasing the hour each way just for burlap.


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