Thursday, April 23, 2009

First Harvest

I'm not sure how well you can see the worms all congregated in the corner of the bin, but that is about what it seemed like I had left in the worm bin after winter. My first peek in the bin on March 20th, the first day of spring, left me sad and full of regrets that I was not able to properly tend the bins before winter hit hard. I truly thought this was going to be the year I would have to consolidate all the worms into one bin and repopulate.

But I harvested my first pound of worms last night. And they were plentiful, fat, mating, and as I worked my way through the material there were lots of fresh cocoons. My bins are once again on the rebound and will be supplying me with a steady supply of worms and finished product.

With that being said, I have a DIYS worm bin to build. I will be filming and showing you just how easy it is to build your own worm bin.

Till next time,

Happy worming. What do you have planned for being green in the next year?


Monday, April 20, 2009

Moving Material

One aspect of a worm bin is what to do with the material after the worms have worked it and need fresh bedding. This is some of the most awesome stuff on earth! Seriously, if you are a gardener you will be in heaven when your bins get to the point that they need regular fresh bedding.

The container in this picture is one of the Large kiddie wadding pools you can pick up every year at KMart, or any such store. I have a number of them I have salvaged from the trash or yard sales. They are perfect for handling large quantities of material as they are not too deep and provide a good amount of surface area for drying the material.

This batch sat all winter and the bacteria and microbes continued to work the material until it was so fine it looked like soil. Mind you, I do not use any soil in my worm bins, not even the handful so many tell you to add to your bin when you start one out. I use manure so maybe I get enough soil mixed with the manure I don't need it, but my bins have never needed it.

I have a harvester that I put the material through that has an 1/8th inch screen on it and separates the finer castings material from the coarser compost. I estimate about 60 lbs. of castings came out of this batch (it would have been heavier but the material dried pretty good over the winter). I got 2 large, construction size wheelbarrow loads which I put on a bed I had prepared and that raised my bed up one landscape timber deep.

This is great stuff for the garden. Just one more reason to worm bin compost.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Worms, They Never Fail Me

It always makes me happy to work my worm bins, because the worms never cease to amaze me.

When I first went out to the worm bins this spring I truly thought that this was going to be the year that I was going to have to start over.

Fall was a very busy time for me and I really didn't have the time to work the bins, and indeed hadn't worked the bins properly all summer. They were just plain neglected. But I knew that if I expected them to make it through winter that I would have to get fresh bedding and food stock worked into my schedule. Then winter hit! Early and hard.

The year before my greenhouse collapsed from the weight of the snow. If it hadn't that year it most certainly would have this. We went to bed one night with zero snow on the ground and woke up to almost 3'. WOW! I kid you not, this is what we woke up to. I opened the front door and couldn't believe my eyes.

Needless to say, my work was to clear the driveway and I never got a path shoveled out to the worms. I had visions of mice happily setting up housekeeping, having late night parties, and generally carousing and creating havoc in my worm bins.

Once I did get out to the bins, the population was dismal to say the least. One bin looked like it might have a population that might recuperate before the spring season was over. One was totally void of worms (the one without heat) and the other two literally had a handful of worms that were congregating in the corners of the bin. One of those bins is represented in the picture above. I truly can not believe all the worms I have in this bin already.

Still have a couple of more days to work on the worms. Will be setting up my video area to film the making of a DIY worm bin. And I have worms to harvest. Life is good.

The Worm Lady

Update on the Worm Bin - 4/18/09

The bins are starting to look pretty good now. Feed is disappearing in a couple of days which is an excellent sign the population is growing and becoming active.

Food waste placed in the bin a couple of weeks ago heated up to the low 80's for a couple of days, but now is reading normal - that would be about 67.

Going to take out harvested material and turn the bin, add new bedding. Then the worms should really take off. The temperatures are still cold at night, but the bins are heated.

Will need to process some of the material I harvested last fall to make room for more material. Everything takes time.

Excited to get my hands in the worm bin with a healthy population of worms. They are so miraculous, they facinate me, even after 10 wonderful years!

The Worm Lady

Thursday, April 02, 2009

April Showers

Brings May Flowers!
I'm not sure this is what they meant when they coined that phrase, but this is what my world woke up to this morning.
Beautiful in it's appropriate season, but this is suppose to be Spring, right?
Anyway, I am excited to start bringing you new videos for the new season.
My first series will be on AACT or Actively Aerated Compost Tea.
There is a lot of mis-information circulating out there and other people just not understanding what it is that they are using when they use the liquid that comes from their worm bins.
Hopefully the series will clear up a lot of that.
The one thing we all must learn is that, "Life finds a way."
Even the most toxic, waste dumps eventually heal and new life starts. But how many lifetimes does it take, and do we really want to leave that for our children.
Composting properly, gardening and farming organically, and just treating the earth with respect will teach our children and show them we care about their inheritance.
We will expand our discussion this year. I hope you will stay with me and share your thoughts.
The Worm Lady
Handle your waste responsibly.
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