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Antonia's Blog (25)

Vermicomposting and Heavy Metals

I found this article  on Treehugger.  I love that the University's name is Pondicherry, like on Willy Wonka.

Wisconsin Department of…


Added by Antonia on August 21, 2012 at 3:42pm — No Comments

Brent Spiner wanted to be a worm farmer

I wish I knew how to edit videos. But the worm farm part is in the middle.  From the old TV show "Night Court". 

Added by Antonia on June 12, 2012 at 6:30pm — 2 Comments

Saw this in the NYT

In Hippie Holdout, a Fight Over Worms and Moats

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

For 40 years, David Lee Hoffman,…


Added by Antonia on April 23, 2012 at 4:36pm — 1 Comment

Really Big Worm and BEES!

Sunday we were planting potatoes in wire bins. I was digging in my compost to put in the bins to plant the 'taters, and seeing lots and lots of nice healthy worms. 

(Have you noticed when you dig around where composting worms are working that you get that wormbox smell?  My husband says I'm nuts, but I can tell…


Added by Antonia on April 17, 2012 at 12:30pm — 4 Comments

Skinny, Thread thin, Tiny worms

As I posted last time, Gracie's worms had composted nearly everything in her bin down to a fine black mass off wonderful droppings. The only thing they didn't get was a bit of cardboard that was dry and stuck to the walls. At first look, it seemed that there were no worms left alive in her bin, but once you dug into the four inches of droppings at the bottom, you could see tons of them down there. They didn't look like the worms in the other bins, though. They were small, thin, threads…


Added by Antonia on March 27, 2012 at 8:00am — 4 Comments

Really Warm March

Usually this time of year the weather is windy and cool or downright cold. Temps in the middle 40's are normal. The last week or so has been in the mid-70's to the low 80's.  I usually plant early greens about now, and peas early in April (I live in zone 4/5 - the map says zone 4 but I live in a largish city)

Instead, since the temps are supposed to stay unusually warm, I planted peas last week along with broccoli, kohlrabi, the greens, and potatoes. We'll see how the weather goes,…


Added by Antonia on March 18, 2012 at 3:43pm — 2 Comments

How the Windrow turned out! (Part 4)

OK, so this is only about a year late....

Last winter was amazingly tough in Illinois. Super cold and tons of snow. For as long as I could, I fed the outside pile, mostly right next to one of three warm spots that kept melting through the pile. 

Because I was feeding the pile, the warm spots traveled a…


Added by Antonia on January 15, 2012 at 7:30pm — 3 Comments

Windrow Part 3

The pile of stuff over the worms gets smaller so quickly that I can't attribute it all to settling. I have to assume that the worms are in there feasting away madly.

This panics me a little, and I have been rereading Bentley's windrow and winter composting blogs, and I wonder if I will be…

Added by Antonia on October 19, 2010 at 1:30pm — 9 Comments

Windrow Part 2

I have started the windrow.
Whether it was wise or not, I started it in one of the raised garden beds I cleared out. I dug out about a foot and a half of soil on one end, in about a 4 foot by 2 foot rectangle. I filled this depression with some coffee grounds (about 30 lbs) Hubby had collected from Starbucks, that had aged through a hot phase. I mixed them with some garden lime, to bring up their pH to about a 7. Mixed with this was the contents of my very neglected pre-rot bin. (All…

Added by Antonia on October 11, 2010 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

California Dreamin'/ Windrow Part 1

I have been out of the loop for a while, but if my body has been neglecting my garden and the worms, my brain has been plotting, plotting...

I went to the basement to feed my neglected wormies the other day, thinking they would have appreciated the couple of weeks of Madame Destruction's absence. Instead, the worms were...well, ... swarming. I can't think of another word for it. And not just in one bin, but in all the bins but two. There was even evidence of failed…

Added by Antonia on September 29, 2010 at 4:30pm — 18 Comments

Really Simple Syndication

I need to learn how to RSS this site. I am missing so much!

Ok, you guys, until I get RSS figured out, if you post anything interesting, message me to let me know.



Added by Antonia on August 29, 2010 at 9:01pm — 4 Comments

Batter Up!

Today I wanted to clear out the packing peanuts bin, to take the baskets out and dump the contents into other bins to finish up.

The gnats had taken…

Added by Antonia on August 28, 2010 at 3:00pm — 5 Comments

Packing Peanut Bin Update: Now for Something Completely Continued....

Ok, so it has been about 10 days since I started the bin with two plastic baskets in a clear bin surrounded by pink packing peanuts (pink packing peanuts...say that 5 times fast). One bin contained semi-rotted food, and one contained worm-packed, almost-finished VC. (I wrote about it in a previous blog, with photos.)… Continue

Added by Antonia on August 20, 2010 at 6:00pm — 10 Comments

She Gives Me Fever...

Why do others complain that getting they can't get their compost piles to heat up??
I can get my worm bins to heat by looking at them.
Its cantaloupe, not thermite, for pete's sake.…


Added by Antonia on August 13, 2010 at 8:00pm — 9 Comments

And Now For Something Completely Different

A while back, Steamyb told about "Karchita", who developed a way to have a bin with wine corks as a bedding.

She describes her bin this way: I…

Added by Antonia on August 10, 2010 at 9:00pm — 31 Comments

Put the Lime in the Coconut...

Isn't it odd how the wormy world works?

I almost killed a large bin of worms this week, but they resurrected themselves against all odds. Not because I did anything right; I did everything wrong! But the worms were tough enough to pull through anyway. And today, I found lots of cocoons in the…

Added by Antonia on August 1, 2010 at 10:30pm — 8 Comments

Worm Keepers Convention

My husband and I needed to go back and forth to Chicago every day last week - about a two hour commute each way for us, if traffic is slow, so it gave us time to chat. And of course the conversation eventually turned to worms.

After I had waxed poetic on the pleasures and pitfalls of worm…

Added by Antonia on July 22, 2010 at 3:00pm — 10 Comments

Crockpot Worms

Back in the day, I used to read Mother Earth News, back when it was cutting-edge-hippie-cool.
I was about 12.
Anyway, I remember an article about slow cooking in your compost heap, where, if you were composting correctly, you should be generating enough heat that you could bury a casserole pot full of raw veggies in the morning and come home from a hard day at the homestead to find your compost had cooked supper for you-- All you had to do was layer your browns…

Added by Antonia on July 21, 2010 at 7:30pm — 4 Comments

When worms fly...

I was on my back porch sifting through the VC for the garden, sorting out worms and stuff, when the neighbor's 5 year old daughter came over to see what I was doing. I told her about how the worms make the soil better and eat leftovers, and to my surprise she actually appeared interested. She just sat and watched, more excited than I would expect.

After a while, she looked at the rather large pile of worms I had collected and commented, "Gee, someday you are going to have a…

Added by Antonia on July 19, 2010 at 11:30am — 3 Comments

Harvesting Big Bins

I left my worms for a month, and they loved the vacation from me messing with them. They ate half their home, and now I need to harvest the castings. Unfortunately, they live in massive 50 gallon tubs in the basement, and I have been slowly harvesting the castings from one of the bins.

Normally I would leave a bunch to let the cocoons hatch, but I don't have a stockpile of VC, and my garden could use a bunch, so more than half will go to the garden, and only about 5 gallons…

Added by Antonia on July 6, 2010 at 8:00pm — 2 Comments



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