September 23, 2007

Wormy new digs

So this is what my first bin was down to when it finally came time to move them into their wormy new digs. The remaining paper was browning and they were eating little bits of it. I had a wild goose chase for a small postal scale- my husband who is just learning to save the earth came home first with a digital one that I had to return.

He redeemed himself by drilling the holes in the bottom of the new bins (for drainage) and cutting out large squares in the top so I could replace them with screen. But then he went upstairs- he is still not overjoyed with the worms (or saving the earth) just yet. Love is carrying him through these tough environmentally friendly times!

I cut the rest of the newspaper into small squares and mixed it with peat moss and some water. And then I did the big dump....I dumped the whole first bin onto a tarp and got down to business separating castings from funky stuff from wormy clumps.
First observation: no more eggshells, or maybe just one every other feeding. They don't eat them fast enough and I was picking little eggshell pieces out of everything.

Second: you don't really get dirty sorting the worms. The castings are just a little damp but real soft and fluffy with no smell. Interesting.

Third: there is no dang way I was going to weigh these things at this point. I am hoping by dividing them into three bins the next time I can actually weigh them.

Here was the issue: they are lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of worms. Some of them were in clumps (like a giant bunch stuck to a small banana peel piece- ew!) and the rest were just so willy-nill that I felt bad trying to corrall them into being weighed. It seemed stressful enough just with the dumping and sorting.

Truthfully, I was equally stressed by seeing this very alarming amount of worms for some reason. So I hurriedly got them into their new homes and breathed a sigh of relief.

I left the big bin to air out, and figure if I get ambitious and order more, I'll get them started in the big bin just like their ancestors.

On to the good part... I did get some bags of castings. I need to get a big screen to screen them through, because picking all the little paper and eggshells out of them is NO FUN.

I am going to try some out on my own houseplants and see what happens.

September 16, 2007

Why put off today what you can do tomorrow?

Because worms are slow. I've told people for forever I'm moving the worms into new bins. However, I was planning that out at MY work pace, not THEIRS. These worms have turned me into a liar, because I've had these three bins for a few weeks now, waiting patiently for them to finish this last large batch of scraps so they can move on up into their new digs. They are STILL finishing up, and eating most of the newspaper while they are at it. The bin is about 50-60% worm poo at this point, particularly at the farthest side.

I am moving on without them for now. Next steps are to cut holes in the new bin tops, line them with screen, and put the drainage holes in the bottom so it doesn't get too mushy and wet inside. I am supposed to dump the first bin onto a tarp, sort out the castings vs. the worms, and fill the new containers with damp peat/coffee grinds/shredded newspaper, and weigh the worms. There had better be more than a pound, let me tell you! With these optimal conditions, I am expecting increase.

Sidenote: I was in Walmart the other day tree and plant shopping, and what did I see but a giant display with the words "WORM POO" real big. WHAT? Some dang worm poo company got into Walmart and just comes right out and says "WORM POO"....BUT....then I read the label and there is more than just worm poo in there. That made me kind of ticked, not to mention the fact it seemed to be in plastic containers? WHAT???

My issues with this are:
1. Worm poo by itself is the great organic natural fertilizer, why mess with it, and
2. So much for saving the earth with your plastic container! Sheesh!
I got myself all worked up and was shouting at my husband and could barely continue to shop.

September 5, 2007

Yes, we have no bananas...

because we let them go bad and the wormies got them!

I fed my vegetarian recyclers again today and the bowl was crazy with bananas: peels, parts, and entire bad bananas- again courtesy of a co-worker. The last time the menu included bananas, the worms were all over them and finished up pretty quick. So, we'll see....these bananas had the added nutritional value of carrots and onion tops. Yum.

Also, great news.....I am at the last "row" of feeding in this bin. I have fed all the way across the length of it, so when this batch is finished, we'll be having the official "weigh-in"- will there be over the pound I started with?- and "moving day" into three new deluxe accommodations!