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Bpearcy10's Blog (52)

European Nightcrawlers Observation

I make my own beer using a 10 gallon Igloo cooler, a 7 gallon stainless pot, and a 6 gallon fermenter. I have tried feeding the spent grains to my red wigglers several times but they always seemed to heat up on my -- A LOT.

I recently purchased some meal worms and decided to feed the spent grains to the meal worms. Meal worms need dry bedding so the grains had to be dried first. I had some left over so I fed some to my EF's and also to my EH's. I have noticed an interesting thing…

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Added by bpearcy10 on March 16, 2013 at 4:56pm — No Comments

EH's

My EH experiment has yielded mixed results. They make some pretty nice castings, but they do not really multiply well for me. Don't get me wrong...they have multiplied, but nothing like EF's do. For comparison, I bought 1 lb of EH's last fall. They are not yet quite 2 lbs in mass. I got about a 1/2 lb of EF's from dad last May and now I have more EF's in mass than EH's, but I haven't actually weighed the EF's yet this year.

My EH's do not really compost large amounts either. They're…

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Added by bpearcy10 on March 7, 2013 at 3:20pm — No Comments

Getting Back Into Wormin'

I used to be very active here on the forum. I started small and expanded to another container and then another container and another...you get the picture. But when we moved to Michigan I discarded about 8 lbs of worms in my backyard because I couldn't justify the space in my car for the trip.

As we progressed in the hobby I grew very fond of those black plastic mixing trays. They make a big one and a smaller size. I am partial to the larger size because they hold more worms, but they…

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Added by bpearcy10 on March 6, 2013 at 7:15pm — 4 Comments

Using Worm Castings in Hydroponics

I've been using vermicastings (i.e. castings from worms) in my deep water culture bubbler system for a couple of weeks on an experimental basis. The 2 lbs of castings are stored in a paint strainer bag and submerged in 9 gallons of water. The castings are generated by 1 lb of European Nightcrawler worms that compost my kitchen scraps and a large amount of coconut coir used as bedding material. The "bubbling" comes from aquarium air stones and an inexpensive aquarium air pump that aerates the…

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Added by bpearcy10 on January 28, 2012 at 7:00pm — 6 Comments

Eisenia Hortensis Update

It's time for an update based on my experience with the EH's.  I'll be honest, I'm disappointed.

I have been composting with worms for almost 3 years in my home.  I started with 1 lb of eisenia foetida and in a two year period I grew that amount to more than 19 lbs. I supplemented my composting efforts with rabbit manure purchased locally from a rabbit farmer to help multiply my worm population faster. If you have lots of worms you also need lots of food for them :-)



After…

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Added by bpearcy10 on January 25, 2012 at 7:58pm — No Comments

Vermiponics Deep Water Culture Bubbler System

I knew it wouldn't take too long to start missing the extended growing season in Florida.  It's only my third month in Michigan and with temperatures in the 40s during my morning comute, I spend the 30 minute drive trying to figure how to grow vegetables in my basement.

I took a trip to the hydroponics store this afternoon. I have no interest in growing "medicinal" plants, but the guy was helpful in explaining how to build a…

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Added by bpearcy10 on October 2, 2011 at 12:46pm — 5 Comments

Eisenia Hortensis Arrival Day

I received my European Nightcrawlers today. Here's a a few pictures documenting the event.  …

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Added by bpearcy10 on September 28, 2011 at 6:30pm — 6 Comments

European Nightcrawlers

I've been doing a little research for my return to vermicomposting this week.  I had good luck with EF's the first time, but being the kind of guy I am who likes to experiment and learn new things, I've decided to try some EH's this time. Tonight I placed a 1 lb order from Earthworms 4 Sale.

 

I've read a few different accounts online about EH's being a little finicky at times. I guess I may have a little learning…

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Added by bpearcy10 on September 22, 2011 at 7:23pm — 10 Comments

Hello from Belleville, Michigan

It's been awhile, but I'm back thinking about vermicomposting again.  For those that don't know, I have moved from Tampa, Florida area to Belleville, Michigan near Detroit. I've lived in Michigan before, so don't feel too badly for me. I'm a native mid-westerner so I take cold weather in stride.

I had a lot of good luck with my worm projects in Florida. I introduced a lot of new people to vermicomposting and even started a small worm selling business. I am currently without worms, but…

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Added by bpearcy10 on September 18, 2011 at 12:30pm — 7 Comments

Update on Utility Tray Worm Bin

Tonight I separated worms from my large utility tray worm bin.  I didn't get every last one of them, but I did weigh out 3 lbs of EFs. The quality of the compost was actually pretty good. I'm becoming a fan of "open" bins. It's a lot less hassle and very low maintenance. I just use a pump sprayer every other day to keep the moisture about right and add shredded newspaper on top about once a week. The rabbit manure is keeping them pretty happy and productive. It's proven to be a pretty good…

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Added by bpearcy10 on January 28, 2011 at 8:20pm — 15 Comments

Another Bucket Experiment

I'm on my third cycle of 5 gallon buckets.  Today, I started another one with cardboard, rabbit manure, coconut coir, and lots of live oak leaves.  I'd like to get my hands on some maple leaves at some point, but I don't think maples survive well in the heat we get in Florida. Live oaks are very prevalent.

I wet everything down well and added 22 eisenia foetidas. I'm not quite sure why I picked 22, but a couple of handfuls of material from one of my other bins yielded 22…

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Added by bpearcy10 on January 23, 2011 at 3:27pm — 26 Comments

Growing My Own Food

I'm adding an extra growing bed and a couple of growing towers to my backyard garden next year. Today, my wife reminded me why it's so important. Heck, I might even add two extra growing beds after what she just told me!

I'm almost afraid to admit this, but she was catching up on our 2010 expenses in preparation for filing our 2010 income taxes. It pained her to tell me, and it pains me to tell you, but apparently we spent $4,200 on eating out in restaurants last year! That figure is…

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Added by bpearcy10 on January 23, 2011 at 2:30pm — 14 Comments

Wicking Bed Strategies

I am not quite sure I understand all the in's and out's of a "wicking bed" and how to incorporate worms, but I ran across a website tonight that looks promising. When I have time I'm going to experiment with the above ground version of this strategy from from EasyGrowVegetables.com

 

Specifically, here's the page regarding building a…

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Added by bpearcy10 on January 12, 2011 at 6:30pm — 5 Comments

Worms Sales

As I muddle through the details that differentiates a "hobby" from a "business" I've been selling a small amount of worms to friends, associates, and the occasional person that finds one of my Craigslist ads or E-Bay Classified postings.

Until recently I've been measuring out 1/2 lb or 1 lb of worms on a scale and selling them locally for $17 and $26, respectively. This week I decided to change it up. Instead of advertising 1/2 lb and 1 lb, I've decided to switch to selling them by…

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Added by bpearcy10 on January 7, 2011 at 5:30pm — 2 Comments

Home Vermicomposting Results

It's been 12 months since I started tracking the amount of waste my red wigglers are eating in my inside (i.e. home) worm bins.  I have other worm bins in the garage, but I've only been tracking the volume composted in my indoor bins.

The total newsprint, cardboard, and kitchen waste has passed 320 lbs.  That's nearly the weight of two average sized human adults. 

I've put 320 lbs into the worm bins.  Assuming an 8:1 reduction ratio, that 320 lbs of garbage has been composted…

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Added by bpearcy10 on December 30, 2010 at 11:30am — 5 Comments

More About Vermicomposting in 5 Gallon Buckets

I took another peek at the five gallon buckets pyramid in my garage today.  I'll be out of town almost 2 weeks for the Holidays and wanted "see what's up". When I get back, I'll definitely have 7 buckets that will need sorting.

I tried this 5 gallon bucket cycle experiment earlier this year, as you may recall, but did thinks a little differently this time. I used much more food source and a lot more cardboard in the buckets to go along with the newsprint. The results so far?…

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Added by bpearcy10 on December 18, 2010 at 4:55pm — 3 Comments

DIY Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System

Inspired by a You Tube video, I decided to build my own version of the Deep Water Culture system.

I am using a 18 gallon container (Tuff Tote version) and six 3 inch net pots (55 cents each at Worms Way). I am using coconut coir for growing medium and some hard water liquid fertilizer also from Worms…

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Added by bpearcy10 on December 5, 2010 at 4:00pm — 9 Comments

Garden Picture

Closeup of cauliflower in our garden.

Added by bpearcy10 on December 4, 2010 at 4:31pm — No Comments

Mixing Trays - Open System

Inspired by Larry's results, I moved my outside in-ground (covered) mixing tray inside (uncovered) to a shelf in my garage. I've been adding worms a little at a time as I remove castings from my various bins, so it's no where near even 1/2 capacity yet, but the worms have not demonstrated any desire to "roam" yet. I don't leave a light on and there is no light of any kind in my garage unless the garage door is open.

I've been feeding rabbit…

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Added by bpearcy10 on November 26, 2010 at 4:00pm — 3 Comments

Hydroponic System

We've been growing a small backyard garden for a couple of years using raised beds. We would like to progress from the hobby stage to growing a larger quantity of the vegetables we consume.

I have been researching hydroponic systems for about a year off and on. The commercial systems are nice, but most of the vertical stacking systems cost about $700 for four stacks with about 80-90 plants. The cost is not unaffordable for us, but it doesn't seem like a good use of our money.…

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Added by bpearcy10 on November 21, 2010 at 1:28pm — 13 Comments

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