July 29, 2012

In the Bin: Newspaper vs. Cardboard

I got a great idea for a bin experiment this week from the Vermicomposters Forum.  (If you are doing any type of worm composting, you are missing out if you haven't visited Vermicomposters yet!)

The conversation on the forum was about which the worms preferred or devoured faster- newspaper or cardboard in the bin.

Only one way to find out first hand, and timing was perfect: I just bought a new pair of shoes that came with a cardboard shoebox AND the Sunday paper was in the driveway.

Here's the experimental materials after I cut/tore them up:
Vermicomposting Newspaper and Cardboard
I wet them down and added them to the top of the bin as a "dressing":
Worm wigwam
In the past, I've had a lot of success using wet newspaper not only to maintain the moisture in the bin (which I've found doesn't need to be as high as I first read it did anyway), but also to sustain the bin between feedings.

Now that my feedings are frequent with all the scraps I have access to and the moisture level has proved not to be an issue, I'm interested to see which the worms will actually get through first.

I'll take some pics in this week to track the progress- updates on the way!

July 25, 2012

Upkeep in the Bin- This Week's Tips

If you've already started a worm bin or are thinking about it, you might be wondering what the upkeep is like and how much time you are going to have to devote to your new project.

Great news! Not much.

The best thing about worming and maintaining your bin is that it takes hardly any effort once it's up and running- but there are lots of small things you can do to keep you and your new herd happy.

July 22, 2012

Fruit Salad Shark and Guppy Make Landfall at Jambo

As promised, the final shots of the fruit salad shark (and his brother, the fruit salad guppy) on their first and last voyage to Jamboree in the Hills
fruit salad shark
fruit salad shark, mouth view
fruit salad shark
fruit salad guppy

jamboree in the hills

July 20, 2012

Fruit Salad Season is Well Fed Worm Season

The worms almost jumped out of the wigwam last night when I opened the lid and they saw the fruitilicious scraps heading their way.  It wasn't quite as big of a deal as the famed berry dump from a few years ago, but the volume + VARIETY was the feature mix this time.

It's fruit salad and smoothie season, which only means one thing in the wigwam-
scrap happy worms!

I found a crazy fruit salad design on Pinterest:
shark fruit salad

July 12, 2012

Vermicompost Experiment and The Tomato Six-Pack

The composting experiment continues to prove the worm poop is working to maximum capacity and the results are amazeballs.

I took this today of the red pepper plants:
red peppers
The left side is about to burst out of the top! It's much greener, fuller, and has a ton more flowers on it, too.  You can see in the background that the tomatoes on the left are also much higher, greener, and fuller. GO WORMS!

July 8, 2012

Fruits and Vegetables of My Labor

Back in June, I started an informal experiment with my tomatoes and red peppers: I gave one row of each a dose of worm compost to see if it would have any effect vs. the row that didn't get any.

I wanted to know if additional applications provided even more growth and yield. I had already mixed in some before planting, so it was the extra doses I was interested in here.

The red peppers on the left got the vermicompost, check it out:
Red peppers
They are way bigger and even a darker green! I'm not sure what this will mean for yield, since they just started getting flowers- but I'll keep you posted.  I plan to apply this month's dose this week, so stay tuned!

Also, the tomato plants on the left hand side are slightly taller and currently have larger fruit. I'll see how that works out as they develop, and provide more pics as it becomes more evident.  For now, enjoy these baby-matoes from the left side:
Cucumbers are starting to grow:

And someone had better share a blackberry dessert recipe soon!

 The worms just got a mega-feeding courtesy of the Fourth of July and fruity drink scraps- they need fuel so I can continue my success this growing season!

July 2, 2012

The Preferred Fare in the Bin

With my worm farming 5 year anniversary right around the bend, I thought it might be helpful to reflect back on the food scraps the worms have found the most delectable.

In no particular order, here are the ones that got the most congested with worms and were gone the fastest: