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Wiggler Update (plus worm poop tomatoes)

02 Aug

What my worms love this summer: strawberries and zucchini. This stuff disappears in about 48 hours (that’s pretty fast eatin’ for red wigglers). They also gobble away watermelon, but I’ve been putting most of that into the big compost bin (without worms). The watermelon makes the whole worm box soaking wet. I’ve used it to my advantage though–I set up a pretty simple system to capture all that ooey ‘compost tea’ as it runs out the bottom of the worm box (see below).

That stuff is supposed to be super fertilizer and a cure-all for sick plants. I’ve tested it twice, with mixed results. I put some on the cherry tomato plant in our garden, and we just harvested the best little ‘maters we’ve ever eaten. I also put some on a dying bush in our yard, and it just finished it off (it’s dead).

There’s also a shot up there of our veggie and bulb garden (and the cherry tomatoes we didn’t already eat). It’s commercial fertilizer and pesticide free. Only thing we added to our (lousy) soil was compost from last fall and some worm poop to each tomato plant. Two of the tomatoes are heirloom varieties, and they haven’t had any disease problems at all. All those marigolds are great natural pesticide too.

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3 Comments

Posted by on August 2, 2008 in compost, garden, going green, worms

 

Tags: , , , , ,

3 responses to “Wiggler Update (plus worm poop tomatoes)

  1. Robyn

    August 15, 2008 at 9:29 am

    I just discovered your site – I’m a vermicomposter too and have had great success. I’ve been inspired by http://www.redwormcomposting.com. After my first round of harvesting from a bin I said to self, “Self, there’s gotta be a better way…”. Then I saw an article on RWC about continuous flow vermicomposting and, long story short, I designed and made the vermicomposting bags that are on the link I left. Although it is a place where I sell them, I am not plugging them. This just seemed the most efficient way to share them with you. Thanks for promoting the vermicomposting world – it just makes great sense.
    Regards,
    Robyn

     
  2. joebart

    August 16, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Interesting Robyn. How do they work?

     
  3. nomadneedles

    August 31, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Hi Joe, I’m sorry for the delay in responding – I’ve been out of touch with some blog updates and am just now getting back to this. Thanks for asking about these bags which I call The Worm Inn. These bags are designed to hang from either a sturdy shelving unit or cross bar with bungee cords, or from a laundry hamper stand (this page has a good description with photos – http://www.nomadneedles.com/theworminn).
    With the bags, the lower pouch is secured with the toggles, then bedding (newspaper and cardboard material) is placed in the bottom of the bag as a base layer and to absorb any fluid that may trickle down. Then a layer of food scraps is deposited followed by the worms. Then more food scraps are added followed by more bedding. As the worms settle into the system they will move upward toward the food and their castings will be left below. After several weeks the castings can be worked out of the bag from the bottom. The initial layer of bedding will also fall out but this can just be added back into the bag from the top. This system is called a “continuous flow” method since there is a continuous cycle of adding food scraps into the top and working the resulting castings out of the bottom. This method eliminates the tedious sorting that occurs with a bin method – separating the castings from the worms and remaining food scraps. There is some sorting that occurs when the casting are worked out of the lower pouch, but it is minimal. Also since the bag is held up from the top either by the bungee cords (or something similar) or from a hamper stand it is very easy to work the castings out from the bottom. I find this method works really well and with little mess.
    I was inspired to create this after reading about an article at Red Worm Composting in which Bentley, the author, did something similar with a pair of jeans. I liked the concept and made a prototype of a bag. Eventually this became The Worm Inn.
    Thanks again for asking about these bag and please let me know if I can elaborate further. I love getting the word out about them!
    Regards,
    Robyn

     

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