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PTMentats is a Dirt Farmer.


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I'm sure I'm posting this in the wrong place since I'm still a noob but well... here's my rambling.

For starters, I did do a couple of things right- I bought some red wigglers online and kept them contained, well watered with a great supply of shredded cardboard.

I have two bins I use for vermiculture (raising worms to improve soil and process waste into nutrients).

When I got my worms, I thought it'd be a good idea to split them into two groups so if I botched one, I didn't need to loose all my cute?, wiggly lil friends.

My first bin was a styrafoam container, about 18 gallons- using styafoam was my first mistake. I suppose it can be toxic to a degree, but it is also terrible at transferring gas exchange.

My second bin was an older (well washed) bucket that once held kitty litter (clean stuff, heh). The plastic transfers heat better and the holes I made in the side of that bin worked much better- I guess I'm learning.

In order to avoid freaking the worms out and making them try to crawl out of their bin, I've tried not to put too much starch or any kind of kitchen scraps that aren't well processed. I saw a video on youtube of a man going to interesting lengths to grow happy worms. He'd let bread get stale and then put it on top of the piles. He'd process his food scraps with a juicer, feeding the worms the juice right away and then letting the pulp rot for about a week in a kitchen composter. His worms looked healthy and it was nice small scale stuff, so I'm going to try this myself (well, with a cheaper blender and a couple of mesh wire colanders?)

The first bin created a much darker, well processed pile of dirt. The second batch was initially much smaller so I think this outdoors batch was more experimental. I fed them a lot of cardboard, wood chips, a few fruits and veggies (and a cherry tomato from a Wendy's salad which just dried up and kept it's color. It still hasn't decomposed, after about two months. No one's paying me to say this but... yeah, hehe kinda scary right? :)

In the middle of a really humid Virginia Summer, the worms were loving the outdoors and their bedding was only mildly damp, so having recently read a bit about aquaponics, I decided to test out something by pouring my Beta's waste water into the bin. I really wish I could have informative polls filled out by my worms... in English, emailed to me. No, I don't ask for much do I?

The worms didn't seem to mind the fishy water, in some ways I think they liked it.

The second bin was indoors mostly, it was a mixed of old coconut husk and LECA from hydroponics, a good deal of banana peels, some potting soil and stale bread crumbled into teeny tiny bits.

This second soil batch is way too wet, but warm and teeming with life. With the coconut husk, I've noticed that my dirt had a 'shredded wheat in a bowl for 30 mins' look to it. The worms love the husk for bedding and I managed to actually become a grandworm! YAY, I successfully achieved keeping some red wigglers alive long enough to produce a second generation.

Since I've rambled for a while, I'll just ask a couple of questions and go back to lurking the forums for a bit...

What's the best material for vermiculture bins?

Did I post this in the wrong place?

Should I have posted it elsewhere?

Well... where then?

Huh?

Oh!! Okay, thanks!

Is anyone else around more experienced with vemiculture?

I need to take a picture of one of my fatter worms and post it, just to creep some people out but also to ask if anyone knows if she's just big into Mcdonalds or pregnant.

Thank you for your time!

:)

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