Vermicomposting, worm bin, composting with worms community and forums
For anyone that is following along in this thread: http://vermicomposters.ning.com/profiles/blogs/sharing-worms#comments I wanted to add some details about an experiment I'm going to conduct using the 5 gallon bucket plan we've been discussing.
I'm going to try an experiment with three 5 gallon buckets. In one I'm going to put 1/2 pound of worms and in the other 1 pound of worms and in the third 75 worms. My hypothesis is that the 1/2 pound will reach about 1 lb in 3 months, but I'd guess that the 1 lb might fall short of 2 lbs due to surface area. The 75 worms is a wildcard. But hey, that's why we do experiments right?
I'm going to pre-measure a little cardboard, shredded newspaper, coconut coir, and pre-composted rabbit manure. I'm thinking about a 1/2 inch of cardboard squares, 1/2 bucket of shredded newspaper, enough coir for a thin layer across the surface area of the bucket, and exactly 1 pint of pre-composted rabbit manure. I've been experimenting with rabbit manure since January and it will definitely fatten up worms, but it needs to be leached a little and pre-composted for three or four weeks. At the end of 1 month, I’ll add exactly 1 more pint of rabbit manure. I’ll use a plastic spray bottle to keep this mixture moist. Do you see any holes in the basic recipe? I'm open to suggestions.
Ever wonder how fast 75 worms can multiply?
These first two buckets will be the beginning of the 5 gallon bucket pyramid plan steamyb outlined here: http://vermicomposters.ning.com/profiles/blogs/sharing-worms#comments
If the 75 worms multiply like I hope they will, that will be my third bucket in the base of the pyramid.
It's definitely possible to multiply worm supply significantly. Using mostly newspaper, cardboard, and food scraps, I've been able to turn 1 lb of worms into 8 lbs in a year without really trying very hard. I started with 1 lb, sold or gave away 5 lbs, and have almost 3 lbs left. These are not estimates. I actually weighed them. It required splitting them into 6 seperate containers, but that was mostly just me stumbling around and experimenting without a specific purpose.
Wish me luck in my 5 gallon bucket experiment. I appreciate your suggestions.