Vermicomposting, worm bin, composting with worms community and forums
At what point do you harvest castings and remove the worms so they do not become toxic living in their own waste. Also what should be added to stored castings to keep the microbes alive until use.
I've always heard about castings being toxic to worms, but never really seen it being so.
I pull stuff out the bottom of the inn (flow through system), stop when I start hitting unprocessed stuff, toss anything big that needs work back into the top.
The harvested stuff goes through a rough shorting (using the light method) to get most of the worms out and it's stored in my old RM worm bin. Just a bin with ventilation. With the lid on it pretty much stays moist for months (depending on your airflow). As it was a rough sorting, months later I'm not suprised to find worms still living and doing their thing in nothing but the harvested VC and whatever is not castings in the bin.
So basically it's stored in a breathable container. I don't add anything (maybe a bit of water if the harvest stuff was on the drier side), might mix it or break things up a bit if needed and just let it sit. Smells just as nice as when I put it in :)
My Worm Factory seems to have muck on the bottom tray ( sticky and gooey) with a few worms and some cocoons. I know that this is fully processed. I wish I could see the number of micro today and 3 months from now without the expense of testing. I leave the top off of the RM that I place this muck into. Once the food supply is gone for the microbes they must lay eggs and die. Then they come back to life when a new source of food is present. Is there a product that will keep the microbes feed?
Microboes reproduce by division but maybe they can last so long in suboptimal conditions
I'd think they would still be around if maybe not so many. Worms eat bacteria and not the actual food waste itself (just the stuff eating it), so if the worms are still alive after all that time there's still got to be microbes around. If you've seen what hospitals do to make things 'clean', microbes are going to be finding something to eat in that mash which is castings and composted material.