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Ben
  • Male
  • Portland, OR
  • United States
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Ben's Groups

Ben's Discussions

Species ID Please!
5 Replies

I know identifying species based solely on pictures is hit or miss, but I'm hoping to at least eliminate a few species. A friend has worms that have largely migrated in from the environment, and I…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Ben May 21, 2013.

Hot Composting with Paper Products
11 Replies

I started a new hot compost pile last night with coffee grounds & paper products (tissues, shredded cardboard & office paper) as the primary components. (Probably 80% of the total mass.)It'll…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Organic Crusader Apr 29, 2013.

Compacted Bedding in FT
26 Replies

Just a quick question regarding flow through bins and compaction. My VB24 is ~45 gallons I believe, and I've noticed the center of the bin tends to become more compacted. The worms usually hang out…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by thuan Jul 2, 2013.

Slime Mold?
9 Replies

Slime mold? SLIME MOLD!! Or at least I think that's what it is. Can anyone confirm? It appeared out of nowhere between Saturday and Wednesday. I added more bedding on Saturday, food the previous…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Cortavientos Feb 9, 2013.

 

Ben's Page

Latest Activity

Wayne commented on Ben's blog post 80 Gallon Flow Through Bin
"Nice bin. One thing to remember if you are in the U.S., buying lumber. All dimension lumber, unless it is perhaps rough-sawn is not the true dimension. A 2x4 is actually a 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" and a 1x6 is actually 3/4"x 5-1/2". The…"
Mar 22, 2015
Ben commented on Ben's photo
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Final Bin Placement and Stand

"Corners do tend to self harvest first, so chances are your screws are still straight. I saw an explanation for that a while back, but I've forgotten what it was. Might just be that they're the first thing to dry out, so it flakes away…"
Jun 16, 2014
Paul Smith commented on Ben's photo
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Final Bin Placement and Stand

"Mine self harvests in one corner.  I haven't looked to see if I have bent a screw or whatever to allow too much space for compost to fall through.  It has been my experience that the finished compost is really fine and will drop…"
Jun 16, 2014
Ben commented on Ben's photo
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Final Bin Placement and Stand

"More than likely, you're right. I have significant space between the bars, more than I probably should actually. I'll let you know after the first big harvest if it continues self harvesting TOO much. It was at first, but that was a result…"
Jun 16, 2014
Paul Smith commented on Ben's photo
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Final Bin Placement and Stand

"I haven't had any problems with vermine, so far.  I think it is because my nail fingers are so close together that it is difficult for them to get in.  My lower bin also probably makes it harder for them to access."
Jun 16, 2014
Ben commented on Ben's photo
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Final Bin Placement and Stand

"As far as feeding goes, I've used mostly veggie/fruit/bread scraps, bagged leaves from last fall, coffee grounds, partly composted scraps from a compost tumbler I have, and shredded paper/cardboard from the office. I, too, had to start watering…"
Jun 16, 2014
Ben commented on Ben's photo
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Final Bin Placement and Stand

"Your system looks great Paul! Mine ended up with a vermin problem mid-winter, so I actually put a piece of plywood under it to prevent them from getting in. I need to take that out soon and harvest, but I've been delaying until I make myself a…"
Jun 16, 2014
Paul Smith commented on Ben's photo
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Final Bin Placement and Stand

"Hi Ben, I loaded my bin the first time the same way You loaded Yours.  Newspaper then compost and worms.  I feed mine a slurry of mostly kitchen scraps.  I also pour water through the bin periodically and use the resulting leachate on…"
Jun 15, 2014
Paul Smith commented on Ben's photo
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Final Bin Placement and Stand

"Hi Ben, I was just reading the progress on completing your big flow-through bin.  I have a flow-through bin that I completed in the early spring 1213, which I have been using with great success.  my only problem, I don't tend them…"
Jun 15, 2014
Ben replied to dermy's discussion How I Prepare Food Wastes
"I have a couple outdoor bins, so this is a bit less exact, and a LOT more prone to fruit fly development. Food sources include coffee grounds, veggies, fruit, bread waste from a Co-op (This is the bulk of it), some non-seedy weeds/yard debris,…"
Jun 12, 2014
Ben replied to Gordon Cottrill's discussion Widow screen as a cover.
"Should work splendidly. If you get really fine mesh, it even helps control fruit flies.  You will likely find you need to spray it off once in a while though. In my experience, very fine holes tend to clog after a while, or materials will dry…"
Jun 12, 2014
Ben replied to Brent's discussion Pressure treated wood?
"My two bins use a painted 2x4 frame with foam insulation in between the beams, so the cedar I have on mine is more like a sheath on the bin itself rather than directly in contact with the worm habitat. You may be right that it wouldn't agree…"
Apr 4, 2014
Ben replied to Brent's discussion Pressure treated wood?
"Aye, a little easier to find here. ;-) Even if you can't find a 'local' source, Canadia's a hop, skip and jump away. Even so, PT is cheaper. Juniper is another option, has anti-fungal/rot properties at least as good, if not…"
Mar 22, 2014
Ben commented on Patrick G. Perry's blog post Chick Magnet?
"Okay that's adorable. I lol'ed "
Mar 22, 2014
Ben replied to Brent's discussion Pressure treated wood?
"<is quietly horrified> But seriously, I know what you mean about the cost. Cedar gets quite expensive quite fast. And people will warn you cedar will bother worms too on account of the anti-fungal/anti-rot properties. Personally, I've…"
Mar 22, 2014
Ben commented on Tracy Oram's photo
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Powdered Egg Shells

"@Christopher: The egg powder is basically just an alternative to calcium supplements. You can use it to help plants pretty much anywhere bone meal is recommended. I put a sprinkling in the hole before I put transplants in, particularly with…"
Mar 20, 2014

Profile Information

When did you start composting with worms?
March 1, 2011
How were you introduced to vermicomposting?
The magic of the intrawebs
What do your worms like to eat?
They haven't flat refused any foods yet...
What kinds of worms do you have?
Eisenia fetida
What worm bins do you use?
Rubbermaid (Retired), Worm Factory 360 (Retired), Insulated Outdoor Flow Throughs
How many pounds of garbage do your worms recycle each week?
40

Ben's Photos

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Ben's Blog

80 Gallon Flow Through Bin

Full album of photos is here.

It appears I’m a hopeless worm addict. Most of my free time (not spent with my wife) is spent tending to my worms, my garden and dreaming up new schemes to grow my herd and dispose of more waste.

 

In the spirit of diverting as much waste from landfills as possible, I decided to move from a single 45…

Continue

Posted on July 8, 2013 at 9:00pm — 27 Comments

Tracking Inputs (And Eventually, output)

My wife and I finally did something we haven't wanted to do for years. We bought a bathroom scale. Now as with many things I advocate at home, I had ulterior motives for wanting a scale. Worm related ulterior motives. Sure we could both stand to lose a few pounds, and sure tracking your weight isn't a bad idea, provided you don't become obsessed. But I also wanted to do something our 5 lb kitchen scale couldn't. I wanted to see exactly how much food I was giving the worms, how many coffee…

Continue

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 10:00am — 11 Comments

Lazy Man's Drip Irrigation

One of my biggest problems when I first started my flow through bin was keeping everything moist enough. Particularly with a heating cable active in a bin that was predominantly bedding, things seemed to dry up very quickly. 

I contemplated getting an actual drip irrigation system, and tried various methods of adding water. In no particular order, I've tried the following and discovered shortcomings on each:

1: Spray bottle: too. damn. slow.

2: Hose with mister:…

Continue

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 10:19pm — 8 Comments

Flow Through Bin Update #2: Launching the VB24

Part 1 here, part 2 here. Apologies for the lack of photos in the last part and this one. It was a hectic time, and documenting my failures seemed embarrassing and pointless. In retrospect, it probably would have helped others…

Continue

Posted on January 14, 2013 at 1:43pm — 1 Comment

Comment Wall (8 comments)

At 11:58pm on November 28, 2012, Rich Feiller said…

welcome to our forum

At 5:10pm on December 13, 2012, Christopher Lee said…

Ben, nice job on the bin.  I love the pine boards.  Your workmanship shows in the great pictures.  Tell me how is everything going with the worm composting.

At 11:41am on December 15, 2012, Sue said…

Ben, check this out regarding slow watering your bin:

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/worm-composting/worm-bin-iv/

At 10:08pm on December 22, 2012, Janice Kelley said…

Ben:

I harvested my castings today and I got nearly seven pounds of lovely black stuff.  There were very few large worms left, a couple of clumps all intertwined,  but hundreds and hundreds  of little ones who will soon grow into big ones. I redid their Wigggler Hilton and am now letting them settle down for a bit as there is plenty of stuff left there to munch on. Perhaps if I had left them another month I would have enough worms to split into a second home for them but then I would not have any castings to give to a couple of friends who keep me supplied with their veggie peelings, eggshells and coffee grounds, in spite of thinking I was kind of weired for giving worms a home.

At 11:01am on January 26, 2013, Patrick G. Perry said…

Liked your comment to linda lalia.  I believe they are harvesting email addresses. They posted the same messages to each of the groups.

At 11:37am on March 1, 2013, Kathy Jacobson said…

Hi Ben!
Great photos!  I am looking forward to reading you blog entries, etc., about your adventures.  Here's an old blog post I contributed here (11/2011) that you might be interested in checking out.  I apologize for asking, since you probably address it in your entries, but I am wondering if you are using any kind of drawbar, etc., in the bottom of your flow thru to loosen and encourage the castings to fall.  I am still playing with my worm hives here and am still thinking of adding some type of breaker bar, etc. 

At 4:36pm on August 6, 2013, Bonnie said…

 just went through that.  I know  wormies love melon and I just tossed the rinds in there.  Paid dearly.  Got the recipe from someone who grows commercially:

The amount varies depending on how many worms ya have. As usual, start small  My worms gobble up their feed in about 1-1/2 days .

Basic Brew:
Powdered Oatmeal (use a coffee grinder)
Powdered Alfalfa  (from store bought rabbit pellets)
Any type of squash, wet veggie ya want (or not)
Unsulfured Black Strap Molasses (this is important - just a touch.. maybe a teaspoon max. for a 3cup brew?)
Blender (I use a dedicated older one)

blend  or food process with just enough moisture to move it around and have everthing processed to a liquified state.  Not too wet 

Leave the brew in the blender or sealed container at room temp for 2-3 days allowing it to rot completely.  Make sure there's head room for expansion as the bacteria do its thing.

You're, essentially, making a compost "tea" to feed to your worms that is ready to eat.
And boy, do they love it!







At 4:40pm on August 6, 2013, Bonnie said…

Would you believe it never smells?  That molasses is fabulous stuff. 

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