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vermicomposting south west

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vermicomposting south west

i thout it would be a good idea to have group for worm farmers in the south west

Location: taos NM
Members: 16
Latest Activity: Jun 16, 2014

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Comment by Jack on January 24, 2013 at 6:22am

Greetings: I live in Tucson, AZ, and am in the process of putting together my first worm composting system ("Worm Factory" THree tier model). Worms are on the way.

My concerns include the problem (if it is indeed a problem) of the effects of low humidity <6%, and extreme high heat.  I hope to be able to plug into others experience.

Cheers,

Jack

Comment by Patricia on August 1, 2013 at 9:48pm

Is this a dead group too???  Where is everyone??

Comment by Jack on August 2, 2013 at 6:15am

Sure looks dead to me.  I posted this message back in January 13 and you are the first and only activity I've seen since.  

Cheers,

Jack

Comment by Patricia on August 2, 2013 at 7:07am

Wow,

well, hello there Jack! ha.... I have no idea why this site is sooo large with only a handful of people participating on it.  I have joined several groups in the past 2-3 weeks that I have been on here and sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get answers.  I have been quite active though in trying to answer the questions that do come through.  I've been combing the site trying to find groups that I might be able to lend assistance to.  This was like the fourth or fifth one that I came across that had NO activity in quite some time.  

Well, anyway...do you still have worms?  What kind? Maybe we can dialogue..haha.  I also started a group called "Oklahoma/Texas Worm Lovers" that you can join if you want some communication.  I just started it last week.  There are 4 of us so far, but there is dialogue among us.  You don't have to be in Oklahoma to join since every other group seems to be dead or dying off for whatever reason.  Where are you located, by the way? 

Comment by Allison Jack on August 2, 2013 at 7:16am

I would do 2 things:

1) post as a discussion (right now you are just commenting on the wall of your group)

2) post to the main page...this group only has 6 members, so it will be harder to get a discussion going.

 

Jack, I would keep that Worm Factory in the shade! Also I imagine the low humidity will be a huge problem for aboveground systems. Check out a pilot system one of my students developed at Prescott College. Still a lot of kinks to work out, but it regulated its own moisture and temperature really well.

 

http://agroecologyaz.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/vermicompost-at-jenne...

Comment by Jack on August 3, 2013 at 6:39am

Patricia and Allison:

Good to see there are some living beings watching these posts!

I have been very happy with the viability of the "Worm Factory" system to date. Living as I do in Tucson, AZ, in the Sonoran Desert where the temps are often >100F and the humidity can go <5%, the placement of the composter was obviously very important.  

I decided, after reading of others experiences, to keep it indoors in a spare storage room.  I purchased a plastic tray (sold to be placed under refrigerators or washing machines to catch drips) and placed the WOrm Factory on that.I started with a pound of red wiggler worms (species/genus?) bought over the internet (Amazon).  It was a slow start. I followed the provided directions and used coconut coir as a substrate initially (not sure this was necessary in retrospect). I slowly added vegetable scraps. Once the first bin was full I added the second tier using much less coir.  With the third tier I did not use any coir at all.

I harvested the first tier yesterday morning actually and dumped it in my garden. 

Interestingly (to me anyway) my problem has not been dehydration at all. I actually have to draw off, on a daily basis, the "eorm tea" that accumulates in the bottom drip tray. I learned I needed to do this when there was actual leakage when the drip tray overflowed.  I do not add H20 to the system. All the moisture is from the veggie scraps alone.

No smells or insect issues with the Worm Factory being inside.  Occasionally there are mummified worm escapees found in the plastic tray under the WF. Nothing escapes further.

The system has really speeded up once the original coir/veggie/newspaper mix and original worm inoculation was converted to casts.

All in all, a success.

Cheers,

Jack in Tucson

Comment by Patricia on August 3, 2013 at 8:44am

Wow, thanks for the update Jack.

Strangely enough I have NEVER had to drain my system and I have the 360 as well.  It is quite hot here in Oklahoma and I keep the bin in my room.  No problems with odors or anything and I think I have only seen at the most 3-4 dead worms.  But that happened right after they arrived.  I figured the stress of the shipment may have killed a couple of them since they have 5 hearts I hear. We checked this morning and there was a heaving mass of worms in the top tray eating away under the paper......but no liquid except for a little condensation on the later at one end.  I do keep a ceiling fan on in my room.  So, perhaps that is why it never gets that wet.  AND I always strain the food before putting it in the bin.      

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