Vermicomposting, worm bin, composting with worms community and forums
As if there wasn't enough opportunities to be vermi addicted :P... hehe...
I have mine in the cellar. Here in New England, it's about 55 deg down there. I'm going to leave it there this summer, too; they did fine and reproduced well last summer. Plus I don't really have a shady spot to keep them outside. I have to contend with critters like skunks and rats getting into it. We're on the edge of a woody area, so we get critters. I do mine backwards; My top bin has 1/4" holes in the bottom, and when they get done with it, they go through the holes and drop down into the bottom bin. I discovered it by accident; most worm towers have their worms migrate up. My bottom bin has many many tiny 1/8" holes in the bottom that keeps them in. I have the same bins as yours. When they drop down, they land on the dry leaf bedding on top, and must slither down to get to the food. Evidently, landing on the dry leaves doesn't hurt them. I think if you have room, keeping them in the kitchen is good, but there is an adjustment period in learning to deal with the gnats and fruit flies. A bin is a sort of terrarium/wild area/game reserve for bugs, worms, and microbes, so if you like wild things, you'll like it IMO. Gnats and fruit flies are not harmful to humans, but they do fly around one's living area lol. Me, I like mine in the cellar. :) I got a big fly crop for a while there, then it died down after a time, a few months at most. Now I don't really have any, but you can get so many you get them in your hair, eyes, and ears when you open the bin. Seriously. It's more than worth it though, because the compost is potent!
Maybe i need to move the Bin in to the Garage. I grow a lot of Vegetable Seedlings near the kitchen so i don't want a gnat infestation lol, Aphids is a small problem I'm having now but not so bad. I already have a few gnats flying around from the potting soil oh they can annoy me sometimes lol. But i have a Idea about what your talking about because.. I have been juicing for awhile and the Pulp i save from the juicing i put them in a tote outside... And its Gnats GALORE! & it smells pretty bad lol! But once its done it will be Great Compost! :)
I bet you Vermi Pro's laugh at all the Newbee's who get in to Worm Composting :). We used to live in New England (Longmeadow, Springfield, MA) but now we live in California in Modesto.
I'm not a pro, I've only gotten one batch before the two I have going now, but you learn fast! I think I got my small batch of wild worms about 9-10 months ago in some bunny manure I picked up. So I probably started with 100 worms. Now, they eat roughly a pound or more of scraps a week. Yeah worms don't like citrus if you make citrus juice. They also won't eat onions. I had some onions go anaerobic on me and it got really stinky. I'm in Haverhill, MA. I store my food scraps in the freezer in a coffee can, and feed them once a week. We get about exactly one container of scraps a week. It's a very simple system once I adjusted my habits to it. It seems to self-balance, and I don't have to do any particular managing of the system.
I put Kiwi and Pears in my Juicing, do you think the worms will be okay with that? That's about the only fruit i put in my juice (maybe apples once in awhile). The juice i make is mostly veggie stuff (Kale, Spinach, Celery & Cucumbers with Kiwi & Pears to sweeten it up a bit).
I don't have any experience with either, but mine eat apples all right. Worms don't eat seeds, so I get a lot of pepper seedlings in my compost! They especially like curcurbits like cukes, melons, watermelon, etc.
Great then I have nothing to worry about. What type of foods do the worms really like? Like banana peels?
Banana peels are great. Though some people are a bit weary using banana peels if they don't know where the product came from because of spraying. IMO, if you keep them in a bucket (closed, to prevent more fruitflies and the like laying eggs there) until almost mushy, whatever bad stuff there is will have broken down, I hope. I haven't experienced any negative side to banana peels.
All melon & gourd type are great too. Anything that is mushy.
name is Joe from Perth, Western Australia.
Started one month ago with a can-o-worms system with a 500 worms starter kit... had the same newbie mistake of overfeeding them too fast....
recently found a nice lady who raises worms for her husband's veggie patches... bought 1000 fat worms from her and put them in my bin... wow... big difference it made to the previously wet bin I had...
now, I have bought a 2nd Can-O-Worms bin from Gumtree (similar to Craiglist in America), and 2000 more worms... soon, we will struggle to keep up with the scraps to feed them :D
Anyway, plenty to read here... and plenty to learn from all of you...
Happy worming :)
seems like there are a few wormers around here, as I have asked a local motorbike forum about worm farmings, and there were a fair few responses from them... (last thing I expected motorbike riders to be talking about :D)
had a rummage through my bin on Sunday, and have noticed a few egg casings, so hopefully it means more worms breeding...
Welcome Joe, I live in Karratha, WA!
Hi Sam and Joseph. I wrote a fantastic reply to you both and then must have not actually clicked reply!
To start with my worm farms are made from styrofoam boxes as they have good insulation properties. They have lots of holes for air flow. Location is important. I find I have to regularly move the farm to follow the shade or sometimes I use a tarp. I put frozen bottles of water into the farm every day for probably 7 months of the year. You have to be careful with bedding and feeding. Somethings seem to heat the farm like crazy. Avoid fresh manure and straw! Sawdust and wood shavings are ok as they de-compose slower, paper and cardboard are good too. You have to be very careful with food as excess composting food can heat up. It's probably better to let the food compost or freeze/blend it to start the process. I am quite lazy so don't always do that.
If the worm farm does get really hot I put more ice bottles on/eave the lids off the bottles or throw in ice cubes. Or all of the above! I have also removed things that were causing heatwaves in the farm.
The other important factor is keeping the farm moist. I empty the thawed water into the worm farm every other day or leave the lids off the bottles.I will also stick my hand in and move things about a bit to try and introduce more air.