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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 holding bin for worms until I'm ready to sell them.

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Comment by Frank Dwelley on January 29, 2011 at 8:19am

Hello b,

I am very intregued by your Utility Tray system, and I just saw that you are experimenting with it.  I think a person could have the worms process the food / bedding from one feeding ,and then carry the tray to some kind of screener, dump the contents, and add the worms right back to another loaded tray, and start the process all over again.  For me, if this would work, you would be handling the VC less often.  You would skip the harvesting step and go right to the screening step.  The feedstock, bedding, and worm biomass ratios would have to be established (and that would take some time), but, in spite of how much I also like FT systems (thank you Larry K and Larry D), I can't quite yet dismiss this tub / tray idea.

 

+Frank

 

Does that make any sense?

 

+Frank

 

 

Comment by bpearcy10 on January 29, 2011 at 11:42am
I think the tubs are a very simple and cost effective way to establish a system that takes less floor place than a large flow through. The foot print is much smaller.
Comment by bpearcy10 on January 29, 2011 at 11:50am

Frank,

I can't seem to find it right now, but Larry has posted some entries previously that show what the potential is for the utility trays when stacked vertically. I think he built a vertical rack that holds 8 or 9 of them (maybe more). I use the bigger tray, but the small ones will work too (and they're easier to lift/move around).

The Morgan family out of Michigan has a commercial operation using the trays to increase breeding stock. Here's the link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U27Aizi64Wg

I've posted that link several times. I just can't get enough of it and enjoy watching each time I think about it.I've got thousands of worms in my garage and just sold off some this a.m., but the Morgan's have millions of them. It's quite an operation they have built. They're aligned with the Meijer chain of stores I believe if my memory is correct.

Comment by Paula Allen on January 29, 2011 at 6:32pm
Larry D What a great set up.  Mr. B I watched the Morgan video.  I hope they make a go at it.  I like this ideal of using utility trays.  It would seem the perfect size.  If my husband ever gets the basement finished I could and would have a room just for the worms, a room just for seed starting.  Husband can have the garage. :-) 
Comment by Jason Kalka on January 30, 2011 at 7:39am

Lol they forgot to plug it in, classic.  That should be step 1 to any electronics trouble shooting guide.  Step 1 check that your device is plugged in properly, step 2 make sure power is switched to on.

Comment by Paula Allen on January 30, 2011 at 8:18am
Well shoot I bet that was wrong with my stove I got rid of. Kidding!
Comment by Paula Allen on January 30, 2011 at 1:26pm

We just bought a stove and fridge about 9 months ago.  We had them hooke everything up.  Had to get a smaller fridge because I measured wrong.  Had to go 2 weeks with the fridge sticking out until the replacement arrived. 

Comment by Andrew from California on January 30, 2011 at 1:58pm
Whoa, Larry! How high is that rack? Is the rope light working to keep the worms below the surface?
Comment by Frank Dwelley on January 30, 2011 at 5:38pm

".I could run a decent worm business from this small shed.If you insulate the ceiling,you can keep the heat down"

 

Hi Larry,

Great shot of your racks and trays.  That's kind of what I had in mind and your input about it being expandable (I call it scalable) is just what I am looking for.  I was thinking about at least drilling holes in the bottom of the trays for added airflow, or even cutting away part of the bottom and covering with 1/8 inch hardware cloth for even more air flow (keeping tops uncovered accept for burlap or paper or something like that).

 

+Frank

 

Comment by bpearcy10 on January 30, 2011 at 5:59pm

Frank,

I am not sure the air flow via holes in the bottom of the trays would be necessary. They dry out pretty quickly. These open trays do not stay real wet very long.  Additional holes would dry them out even faster.  When sorting mine on Friday night I noticed the heaviest concentrations of worms were in the very wettest areas. The areas that were merely damp did not have many worms. 

The video of the Morgan family (see link posted below) seems to detail the perfect way to handle the trays if the goal is to increase worm population.  They use balls of manure. This helps them control the food quantity and predict the time it will take to breakdown. It's pure genius in my mind.

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