Wednesday, December 8, 2010

BABIES, There are BABIES!

I like composting.  When we moved from Virginia I gave my worm bin to a fellow Master Gardener so I needed to find a way to compost in our new home.  We  bought a tumbler composting container.  Once the first tumbler was full (rather too heavy to roll every easily) we got another.  Since we take our trash to the recycling center, any amount we are able to compost helps.....that and we have clay soil and could use all the compost we can get. They tuck nicely into the tree line, near the deck steps.

 Well, I still wanted some worms.  Since we had a number of plastic bins that we used to move some things down here I was ready to get a bin started.  I was so careful drilling the holes in my first bin, not so this time.  I got the drill and just started making holes.

The worms need air circulation, so the lid and the top 1/3 of the sides have holes.  Inside there is a nice bed of shredded newspaper, as damp as a wrung out sponge.  On top of the shredded paper is a section of newspaper, also damp.  
I first bought two containers of red worms.  I went to the bait store, I did this in Virginia to augment the worm population.  One thing I forgot about was light................ about half of the first group escaped.  When you set up a new bin sometimes the worms are a little wild and can roam.  I don't know what their issue is, maybe they are just a little shook up from being in the new digs.  Now we have a lamp on next to the bin.  It is a small wattage CFL, so it doesn't bother me too much to leave it on....  'tis better than finding half the worms stuck to the floor in the morning.  I did stop by the bait store for another container of worms.


I keep the bin in the storage area on the lower level of the house.  To start a bin you add small amounts of food, you don't want stuff to get rotten waiting for the little guys to chow down.  Tonight while downstairs letting the dogs out I checked the bin.  Guess what I saw on the side of the container???? Well, ok, I did give it away with the title, a baby worm!!!!
 Just to the right of the words 'BABY WORMS' is the little guy.  This is exciting because it means they are happy in their new home.   I can soon start to increase what I add to the bin.  I have a melon sitting on the counter that we need to cut and eat.  Worms LOVE melon rinds.  They will be thrilled!
To give you a better perspective on the size of the worm, here is the larger picture.
Worm bins are kind of fun, they don't stink, and they produce some great compost material.  Go worms!!!
For some good web references on vermicomposting here are a couple sites--
Cooperative Extension- http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/chatham/ag/SustAg/vermilinks.html-- this one has a lot of links
and the one I started with--
http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/redwormsedit.htm  Give it a try, it is easy!



words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

13 comments:

  1. This looks fun Janet. I just wrote on Racquels blog about needing a compost system. I can handle this method too. I'm going to have to seriously consider it. I'd love the rich compost.

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  2. Very cool. I've always wanted to try this but haven't so far. They'll be great in the garden.

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  3. Wonderful! I was going to start a wormery to compost food waste in the winter when our compost bins tend to be full. Sadly we'd have to keep it in the garage which gets too cold. Maybe I'll get around to rearranging things to make room in the utility, it is such a great way to compost food scraps. What do you do about the liquid> Commercial wormeries always have a tap at the bottom so that you can use the "juice" for plant food...

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  4. Just saying hello from one worm lover to another!

    Strange though how your worms managed to escape. The worm bin holes are pretty small.

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  5. Congratulations on your new "addition," Janet! I've come a long way from my early wormaphobic days and am always happy to see the earthworms when I'm digging in the garden. But somehow the thought of possibly finding a bunch of escaped worms on the floor in my house is a little scary yet:)

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  6. Dear Janet,
    I loved (and laughed about) "Go worm"! They almost become simpatico the longer one reads - but you'll get into trouble if you give them names :-) "One looks like the other" says the naive reader. "Oh NO!" you protest, "you only have to look carefully!" I had my composter in the garden and was thrilled that they came on their own - and in Hamburg I saw that it was good soil when I detected them inside.
    Here in Berlin now you can say: "Go warm!" because it snows a lot.
    Good luck with your little protégés!

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  7. Great news, Janet! I would not normally get excited about a baby worm, but totally understand your elation. Go worm, go warm worm, go go go! :-)
    Frances

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  8. Janet,
    Good for you to add worm composting again! And don't forget how easy it is to do passive cold composting. Just keep piling it up!

    Best,
    Lisa

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  9. Worms are a great way to get compost. It looks like you'll have black gold in no time.

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  10. Hey Janet. Me again! I just wanted to comment back about my Amaryllis. I do keep them from year to year ~ some I've had ten years now. That's how I've gotten my collection. I add one or two each year. They spend their summers outside then go into my dark, unheated basement for a dormancy period before being hauled upstairs to bloom again. If I were lucky enough to live in a milder climate, I'd probably not have near as many. I remember seeing one blooming in your Virginia garden.

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  11. Congrats Janet~You are a good midwife!

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  12. I've thought of doing one of these for some time now. Thanks for showing us how easy it can be. :)

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  13. Kathleen- I think you will find it very easy.

    Tina- You ought to try it, so super easy.

    Janet- Sorry yours has to be in the garage. I had mine in the laundry room when we lived in Virginia. When I had a lot of fluid in the bottom I used a ladle and got it out. Most additions of food I also added more shredded paper, so the liquid wasn't too much.

    Chris- thanks for visiting. I will read through your posts about your worm bins. My worms escaped through the gap between the lid and container. There is a small space.

    Rose- thanks!!! Pretty excited. They are not scary worms, though my husband calls them red snappers. Just felt bad when they were dead on the floor.

    Britta- haha no, not naming them, that would be kind of crazy. Enjoy Berlin, one of my favorite cities.

    Frances- it is kind of out of the ordinary to cheer about a baby worm. oh well. it is exciting none the less.

    Lisa- thanks I do all sorts of composting.

    Sweetbay-I do love that black gold!

    Kathleen- thanks!

    Gail- haha, midwife indeed! thanks

    Racquel- it is so easy and soooo beneficial.

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