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Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

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Post  has55 on 11/15/2016, 7:16 pm

Plantoid, thank you for the info. I was directed to Josh worm tube by GloriaG a while back and adopted the system, after reviewing the info and looking at GloriaG worm tube. At first this work for me, but later in the season, I realized I put out too much food waste. Also, I didn't like disturbing the soil, so I made many tube. I think eighteen , approx what I have in worm bucket(VCB). I enjoyed the height of it, so i really didn't have to bend much, but I didn't like looking down the black hole or pulling the tube out to harvest it. With the VCB/worm bucket, I have significant surface area and can see everything out a glance. easy to feel the moisture level and texture and not be afraid(yes , I said it, the man)if something is lurking in the dark hole. I also can pull the entire bucket out by the handle and spread a large amount of food from the 2.5 gallon bucket. light and easy to carry. The draw back is I have to bend down to add the food. It may not be a big deal for the young and the old that are agile. I'm working on my weight loss to get back that complete flexibility I long after everyday. I been working on the 2nd portable green house and adding extra water lines, so I haven't put my food waste. mostly carrot pulp in the VGB. Below is a picture of bag of carrot pulp in the 2nd fridge that need to be put out in the VGB. This is why I'm looking at a central system.
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Post  has55 on 11/19/2016, 9:33 pm

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Post  has55 on 11/21/2016, 9:11 pm

well the tarter system is out. Bentley with redworm composting in Canada and heather of Tx worm ranch said it's find till the heat wave comes,then the worms most likely be stress. Heather said stay away from the leachate, it would probably be anaerobic . So I probably build a wooden one like your sanderson, but on a larger scale.
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/22/2016, 7:28 am

Has, have you taken a look at this video? I found it yesterday & am seriously considering building it...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2smEluKUaJw
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Post  trolleydriver on 11/22/2016, 10:12 am

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Has, have you taken a look at this video?  I found it yesterday & am seriously considering building it...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2smEluKUaJw
AM ... thanks for the video ... very interesting.  I recommend that you also view his second video on how to set it up with worms, etc. once it is built. As well, there are some interesting comments on that second video including a warning from someone that it's not that easy to "rake" out the compost from the bottom. If you build it then we will be looking for you photos/videos on the build and how it works.  Very Happy
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Post  has55 on 11/22/2016, 11:50 am

great video, AM. I thinking on a much larger scale. Here why, because of the amount of waste I produce and collect. I'm just going to shovel out the worm poop, eggs, juvenile, adults, etc... to my 14 SFG beds, hopefully applied 2" topping and place my mature compost on top. Then plant. this way I have intense soil food web instantly. I will leave enough worms, etc.. to start over again, but allow it to rebuild quickly. The following year, I will have enough for the winter rest to get everything ready for the fall. I'm rethinking about using the Tarter container again, without a wooden top, but using compost as the covering. It should work if I  put a large shade cloth canopy over it like Sanderson has done in her garden. It wouldn't have to be too large, just enough to prevent the sun from getting to it. I can get it from agriculture solution, their prices are excellent. Shade Cloth, Woven and Non-Woven

This is tarter video, but I'm going to use it for the worms. Tarter’s Raised Bed Planters
here's a picture below.
Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient - Page 3 Tarter10
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Post  has55 on 11/22/2016, 12:36 pm

here's another version of the worm flow thru,
The Worm Inn Flow-Through System
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/22/2016, 3:40 pm

Ah... I understand. There's only the 2 of us, so I don't need something huge. At least, not yet... :-)

Interesting site, btw. I guess one of the reasons I'm attracted to the one in the vid I attached is because I have all the materials on hand. But I am concerned about the air flow & will add more holes if that's the way I go.
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Post  has55 on 11/22/2016, 10:42 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Ah...  I understand.  There's only the 2 of us, so I don't need something huge.  At least, not yet...  :-)

Interesting site, btw.  I guess one of the reasons I'm attracted to the one in the vid I attached is because I have all the materials on hand.  But I am concerned about the air flow & will add more holes if that's the way I go.
I saw some picture that had more drainage, but not sure where. Look closer..
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Post  has55 on 12/30/2016, 2:05 am

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Post  sanderson on 12/31/2016, 7:31 pm

The link wouldn't open. Shocked

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Post  Roseinarosecity on 12/31/2016, 9:34 pm

Has55, I went to the Fetzer link, Earthworms and regenerative sustainability.

It reminded me of a book I read a long time ago.  Back in 2004, author, Amy Stewart, wrote a fantastic book on the earthworm.  It was titled, The Earth Moved:  On the Remarkable Achievement of Earthworms.  There was a section on sewage treatment.
I'm glad this company is moving toward a safer cleaning of their waste water.  There's so much a little worm can do!
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Post  sanderson on 1/1/2017, 2:55 am

Rose, Thank you.

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Post  has55 on 1/1/2017, 4:18 am

I think I just put the title in. a little twist in the title. such a powerful creature.
Earthworms do double-duty at Fetzer Vineyards- regenerative sustainability
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Post  has55 on 3/9/2017, 8:14 am

great article for those who live near me. see what bid D is going with SFG and worms.

How one Dallas nonprofit is expanding healthy food access, one community garden at a time
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Post  GWN on 3/9/2017, 10:20 am



This flow through system seems that it would be great.  I have 3 current bin systems. 2 of them are commercial ones I purchased and the 3rd one is a 3 bin system with small holes between the bins that I made, and It also has a spout on the bottom to drain the fluid 
I also find that lifting the bins when they start to get full is hard on the back, the arms.

The way that I have always separated the worms from the castings has been to just leave the bin that is mostly castings on top, open to the air and light, and they gradually all move down below to the bin below them.  Someone several years ago made a video here on it, and I have just kept doing it.

This flow through does seem to save a bit of lifting though


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Post  has55 on 6/6/2017, 9:26 am

from dr. Ingham soil food web website
"Do Earthworms Consume Organic Matter?
Red wrigglers consume bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes. Earthworms are not decomposers. They do not consume organic matter. They physically take bites out of organic matter, but the way worms obtain nutrition is to crush the organisms growing on the surfaces of organic matter, and then take up the "juice" released from the crushed organisms. Therefore it is more a question of what organisms are growing in the food materials you place in the worm bin. Organic matter placed in the bin will be inoculated with what is already in the bin, but will also come with additional organisms on the surfaces of the added organic matter. The requirement then is to make sure the set of organisms that will combat, compete with, and consume the disease organisms are enhanced in the worm compost, and in the compost tea."
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Post  has55 on 6/6/2017, 9:31 am

from dr, Ingham FAQ


Earthworm's Eat Microbe Juice
Earthworm digestive systems are almost strictly aerobic.  Occasionally aggregates can be anaerobic in the middle, but the outsides of the aggregates have to have aerobic organisms to chew up the anaerobic products made by the anaerobic organisms.  The worms will die if the low pH acids, phenols and toxic gases made by anaerobic organisms reaches their digestive system surfaces --- so worms will try to escape from the worm bin if conditions become anaerobic.

Worms obtain their nutrients by crushing the organisms they get when they take a bite of soil organic matter or plant material. Thus, worm food is actually microrganism juice produced by crushing the organisms to release their internal cytoplasm.

Human digestive systems are typically acid and enzyme based (i.e., stomach acids, bile, pancreatic juices) which decompose the foods ingested and masticated into small bits in the mouth. Strong acids are only produced in anaerobic or facultative anaerobic conditions. That means, reduced oxygen levels in mammalian digestive systems, and thus quite different from what occurs in a worm's digestive system.

The over-arching principle that nature uses life to do the conversions of nutrients from one type of food to another type of food for different organisms remains true. It is critical however, for us to understand that very different conversions of foods occur in aerobic and anaerobic conditions. From a practical point of view, we need to understand how to control how oxygen diffuses into different habitats, and whether that oxygen will be desired, or not, for the results we want to see. In soil, we have to build structure and manage water content to grow the plants we want. That means managing soil life correctly.
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Post  OhioGardener on 11/23/2018, 10:53 am

@has55 wrote:great video, AM. I thinking on a much larger scale. Here why, because of the amount of waste I produce and collect. I'm just going to shovel out the worm poop, eggs, juvenile, adults, etc... to my 14 SFG beds, hopefully applied 2" topping and place my mature compost on top. Then plant. this way I have intense soil food web instantly. I will leave enough worms, etc.. to start over again, but allow it to rebuild quickly. The following year, I will have enough for the winter rest to get everything ready for the fall. I'm rethinking about using the Tarter container again, without a wooden top, but using compost as the covering. It should work if I  put a large shade cloth canopy over it like Sanderson has done in her garden. It wouldn't have to be too large, just enough to prevent the sun from getting to it. I can get it from agriculture solution, their prices are excellent. Shade Cloth, Woven and Non-Woven

Has55 - this post was 2 years and 1 day ago, and I found it a most interesting thread. Did you go with the Tarter container for a worm bin? If so, how has it worked.

I am looking at ways that I can build a large worm bin outdoors that would be able to keep the worms active both summer & winter here in SW Ohio. Not a trivial concept considering summer highs in the high-90's, and winter lows in the low teens. Not sure how I can insulate & ventilate it. But, the engineer in me never quits experimenting and scheming...

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Post  has55 on 11/23/2018, 11:59 am

@OhioGardener wrote:
@has55 wrote:great video, AM. I thinking on a much larger scale. Here why, because of the amount of waste I produce and collect. I'm just going to shovel out the worm poop, eggs, juvenile, adults, etc... to my 14 SFG beds, hopefully applied 2" topping and place my mature compost on top. Then plant. this way I have intense soil food web instantly. I will leave enough worms, etc.. to start over again, but allow it to rebuild quickly. The following year, I will have enough for the winter rest to get everything ready for the fall. I'm rethinking about using the Tarter container again, without a wooden top, but using compost as the covering. It should work if I  put a large shade cloth canopy over it like Sanderson has done in her garden. It wouldn't have to be too large, just enough to prevent the sun from getting to it. I can get it from agriculture solution, their prices are excellent. Shade Cloth, Woven and Non-Woven

Has55 - this post was 2 years and 1 day ago, and I found it a most interesting thread. Did you go with the Tarter container for a worm bin? If so, how has it worked.

I am looking at ways that I can build a large worm bin outdoors that would be able to keep the worms active both summer & winter here in SW Ohio. Not a trivial concept considering summer highs in the high-90's, and winter lows in the low teens. Not sure how I can insulate & ventilate it. But, the engineer in me never quits experimenting and scheming...

I bought a very  large tater container for 30.00 from a friend, but I haven't been able to bring myself to cut into it. So, I'm going to use refrigerators slightly lifted off the ground or sitting on the top of the ground. It should work. here's a couple of guys who did it on top of the ground.




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Post  sanderson on 11/26/2018, 3:42 am

For growing little Red Wigglers, I used an open bottom wood box made of 2"x4".  The worms were free to move vertically as they needed. The summers here get up to 110*F but the winters rarely get below 28*F, and wood is a good insulator.  You could put flakes of bedding hay around the outside as extra insulation. Worms slow down in the winter but in the spring you should see teeny baby worms as well as some adults. I used produce scraps for food. It worked well until a small mammal crawled underneath and ate the worms and the large cockroaches found it.  I would put hardware cloth on the bottom if I did it again.  Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient - Page 3 Worm_b10

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Post  has55 on 11/26/2018, 8:10 am

I like your simple set-up and the cloth on the top to keep flies out.
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Post  OhioGardener on 11/26/2018, 9:22 am

An interesting article in today's email on composting Thanksgiving food waste ~

Feed Your Garden the Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Post  Dan in Ct on 11/26/2018, 10:21 am

If I was going to use earthworms outside for composting I might switch to Lumbricus rubellus rather than the Eisenia fetidas I use indoors now. In the past I could get the Lumbricus rubellus from a horse manure source. This species will burrow to root ball depth and may survive a northern winter as an adult. There are 5-6 species that can be used as composting worms. The problem is, I have read earthworms might have difficulty changing from one food source to another, manure to yard waste, worms born into a food source acclimate immediately. The other thing I found out earthworms specifically Lumbricus terrestris, Canadian nightcrawlers are on an abundance of animal menus. I leave leaves on the ground on the back portion of The Crazy Half Acre as feed in the fall, in the spring I have hundreds and hundreds of mounds of their castings. So I have several species of birds, reptiles and mammals that have The Crazy Half Acre as a to dine for place. The hardware cloth as the bottom as suggested would be a must here. Four out of five Canadian nightcrawlers prefer maple leaves, maybe.
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Post  has55 on 11/26/2018, 1:00 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:An interesting article in today's email on composting Thanksgiving food waste ~

Feed Your Garden the Thanksgiving Leftovers
great idea.
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