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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 actively contemplating a new purchase soon. 

In my initial effort, I was able to multiply 1 lb of EF's into about 20 lbs in about 2 years, which I attribute using rabbit manure as a food supply. I could have done that much faster, but I also decided to sell some worms as a very small part-time business. Many of my breeders were sold at various times in 1/2 lb increments.

I am trying to decide whether I want to start back up with EF's or if I want to try some Euros. I don't know much about them, but from pictures they seem like a bigger worm. I understand many people fish with them and they reproduce slower, but that's the extent of my knowledge.

Any suggestions for other worms I should consider? Anyone care to share their experience with Euros.

I also want to build a flow through bin this time.  My interests have shifted toward growing food for personal consumption and higher quality worm castings are becoming more appealing.

I toyed with the idea of turning my 96 gallon Toter into a flow through, but I think harvesting would be difficult. I am now considering a plywood flow through.

Any thoughts on that idea?

Views: 178

Comment by John Duffy on September 18, 2011 at 7:02pm

Euros do reproduce slower and they don't have quite the temperature tolerance of the redworms. As far as a great fishing worm, they can't be beat! My grandkids were keeping me broke from buying bait every time we went fishing. That's one of the reasons I got into raising worms. I have 1 bin for redworms & 1 for Euros. They can cohabitate well together as long as you don't have great temperature extremes. I keep mine separate for ease of sorting. A flow thru bin would be ideal for either....I'd get a pound or two of each. I think you'll like the Euros too.

Check out Bentley Christie's website. He's offering plans for a really nice flow thru

Comment by Philip Vanderhoofven on September 19, 2011 at 11:27am
If your starting up a worm buisness, my advice is to stick with what you know with Ef's. Raising meat rabbits is the way to go apparently, the worms love it. I wish I still had mine - I had a nine hole rabbitry in WA and was raising California meat rabbits. Hopefully you have a green house for your venture.
Comment by brenda b on September 19, 2011 at 4:36pm
I keep my Euros in a rm with aged horse poop/newspaper and keep it on the wet side and they love it. They are so fat sometimes I think they will explode lol.
Comment by Philip Vanderhoofven on October 3, 2011 at 2:14pm

Brian, I was so inspired by your mention about rabbit droppings for feeding the worms that I searched and found a local rabbit breeder. Surprize surprize she has the breed I want to raise. "Champs" Then since I didnt have any cages, I spent the rest of last week building a rabbit cage. Haha. Thanks to you bro and some thoughts I had mulling around in the old noggin! 

I was thinking a bunch about what the company "Worm Power" is doing and thier quote "we dont treat our worms like a garbage disposal." They standardized thier worm feed into a formula of dairy manure and chaff. Anyway so that got me thinking about trying to come up with a regular input to supplement my "garbage disposal" worms for a more consistent output in the castings.

 

Now - why do you have to precompost the rabbit droppings for three weeks before adding into the worm bin? I heard that rabbit droppings are garden ready as is no composting required.

Comment by bpearcy10 on October 3, 2011 at 6:38pm

Philip,

The rabbit droppings I have access to have a little straw mixed in. The folks use straw for bedding purposes and some of it falls through to the droppings underneath the cages. Without the straw maybe it won't heat up much, but mine heated up a lot (150-160 degrees) for about 24 hours. All I did was mix cardboard with it. I asked a rabbit breeder that also raises worms and she said pure rabbit manure doesn't heat up much at all. She pinned it on the straw. She uses shredded newspaper for her rabbit bedding and told me she doesn't have heating issues very often.

Comment by Philip Vanderhoofven on October 6, 2011 at 12:05pm

Thanks Brian,

I'll probably precompost the rabbit droppings just to be safe because you're probably right about the straw heating up.

Now to get into a routine of daily spreading about a half inch layer of precomposted rabbit, leaves, kitchen garbage in my flow through to see if I can get these worms to upward migrate and stay in the top litter area then it will be much easier to separate the finished vermicast in my tumbler. Everything I'm trying to do really does tie together with the worms.

Thanks again  - I'll follow you and see how your getting set up and will probbaly copy some of your ideas. I noticed your also on the aquaponics gardening site.  I built my rabbit cages with the intention of placing an 8 foot by 2 foot grow bed on top. Flood and Drain - the local feed store is getting these grow beds in this month. I'm excited to actually be doing this instead of just dreaming about it.

Comment by bpearcy10 on October 6, 2011 at 5:16pm

Hi Philip.

Aquaponics is something I studied for several years before getting up the courage to jump in.  I took a farm tour last year in Florida. We toured 4 or 5 aquaponics set-ups in about 10 hours. We saw cheap versions, expensive versions and everything in between. That tour convinced me that anyone with a little motivation can get started in aquaponics.

What are you using for grow beds?  I used 150 gallon Rubbermaid stock tanks filled with river gravel. Someday I hope to do floating rafts for a little more grow bed space.

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