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DIETSAFARI's Photo DIETSAFARI Posts: 870
5/12/11 9:03 A

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Loved hearing about your worms Jodi.
Bless you

TWILAQ1's Photo TWILAQ1 Posts: 450
5/4/11 11:24 A

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My name is Jodi and I live in central Mexico. I started worm farming about a month ago with a low concentration of worms - here they're called Californios - a small reddish worm. Then a friend called to say he'd gotten me more. It was a 50lb. wooden crate filled with compost and an incredibly high concentration of worms in their castings. Very little compost, really. I couldn't even separate out the worms, as they ranged in size from adults to pinky-nail-sized babies. So... I started 2 additional bins, and still gave away probably 30% of the crate worms.

I'm surprised they don't eat more. I had really hoped not to keep using the compost bins as much. We live in the country and there are huge rats that move into the bins. They scare the cats they're so big. But the worms don't eat so much. I'm down to putting food in each bin about every 3-4 days.

I tried blending fruit/veg scraps with some water. Beware cantaloupe rinds. The strings wound around the blades and wiped out the spindle of my fairly new Kitchen-Aid blender. Boo! No more blending for me, unless I buy just a cheap blender for worm gook. That's an idea.

Worms are quiet pets. I kind of hoped for cheers when putting food in, or when spraying the soil to moisten it, but they're pretty disappointing in that regard. They keep to themselves and that's that.

Stepping in a rhythm to a Kurtis Blow
Who needs to think when your feet just go

~Tom Tom Club (Genius of Love)


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MSDESERTRODENT's Photo MSDESERTRODENT SparkPoints: (66,889)
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4/30/11 9:16 P

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Joan,
I'm planning that my next blog(or the one after) will be all about vermicomposting(composting with worms) so definitely keep an eye out for it! I have my link in my signature line.
I used to compost the other way(dump all my leftover veggie scraps in a pile and watch them decompose), well as a matter of fact I still do but I'm adding the worm composting in as well.
I'm expecting my new "pets" anyday now. So EXCITING!

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved." ~Helen Keller

"That which does not kill me, makes me stronger" ~
Frederick Nietzsche

It's never too late to become what you might have been. -George Elliot

Check out my gardening blog!!
tamsgarden-howdoesourgardengrow.blog
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JOAN68's Photo JOAN68 Posts: 366
4/28/11 11:28 A

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Hi everyone....I am so excited I found your team and worm farming topic. I know nothing about raising worms as you described. I started a compose pile and was expecting to find worms later when the compose got discomposed. Never thought about a worm farm so I had no idea how to do one. I would love to learn about them and start a farm. My grandson will be with me for the summer and we could have fun and learn about the worms together. Any suggestion on where I should look for information will be helpful. I read all of your comments and will be following this thread very closely. I introduced myself on the intro thread. My Mom grew worms and fed them coffee grounds, etc. She just had a place by her garden where she dumped veg peels and the coffee grounds. We dug for worms to go fishing. There were always worms in her garden. I was raised in Maine. Here in SC, gardening in sand is completely different. I need lots of compose to nourish the soil. Looking forward to learning lots from you. Joan

Edited by: JOAN68 at: 4/28/2011 (11:30)
Joan
SC



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4/26/11 10:01 A

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Disregard that question! Did loads of research on this last night. Haha! Now I know what I'll blog about next!

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved." ~Helen Keller

"That which does not kill me, makes me stronger" ~
Frederick Nietzsche

It's never too late to become what you might have been. -George Elliot

Check out my gardening blog!!
tamsgarden-howdoesourgardengrow.blog
spot.com/


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4/25/11 10:57 A

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Do you all know if you can use simple earthworms from your garden? In the past we've assigned our son as the earthworm mover when we find an earthworm in the way when we're planting. He moves them from our garden over to our compost pile. Have we been making a worm farm all this time unknowingly!?

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved." ~Helen Keller

"That which does not kill me, makes me stronger" ~
Frederick Nietzsche

It's never too late to become what you might have been. -George Elliot

Check out my gardening blog!!
tamsgarden-howdoesourgardengrow.blog
spot.com/


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DIETSAFARI's Photo DIETSAFARI Posts: 870
4/24/11 5:44 P

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I think you should save the ones that are still alive, and see if you can't find some eggs. They look like lemon pips, or the crumpled bit of a bend straw (like the ones you get in a coctail) only smaller.
I never use paper for the brown layers. I get sawdust from a sawmill or stables (horses sleep on it here).
Then you only need to remember to "sweeten" it by putting some bonemeal in for them every six months.
It is safe, you can't kill them with any of that.
Mine have had onion leaves without problems, don't know about the bulb.
Hope they make it, they are absolutely wonderful to have for any garden.


GARDENGIRL54's Photo GARDENGIRL54 Posts: 801
4/23/11 2:39 P

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Yipes! Checked my worms this morning and only saw a few moving.... I had put in shredded copy paper and cardboard too. Should I ge the squiggly ones out and start over? I also had put in some onions. Didn't know those could be bad for wormies.... Help! emoticon

Gardengirl54

Healthy by choice, not by chance!


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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,028
4/22/11 9:49 A
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Happy Earth Day!

PAULALA1's Photo PAULALA1 Posts: 15
4/21/11 7:45 P

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I use the plastic bins and I don't use clear because the worms don't like light.
I have read that the copy paper has been treated with chemicals and that is why black and white newspaper is better. I also tear up cardboard for my worms and have not had any issues. I have harvest out the castings about every three months and have been throwing them in my raised bed garden. Welcome to the world of vermi-culture, it truely is a wonderful way to give back to earth!

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GARDENGIRL54's Photo GARDENGIRL54 Posts: 801
4/21/11 7:15 P

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Hi! I'm another newbie at worm composting so lots of interest in hearing from those with experience.....

I set up my bin in the basement and used plastic bins, but not the clear kind. Does anyone think that will be an issue? Also, I used paper from my shredder for my "brown" layers. Now I see that I should not add copy paper.... What will the result be if I keep doing this? Has another done it?

How often do youb "fluff" your mixture to help the worms breathe?

Gardengirl54

Healthy by choice, not by chance!


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PAULALA1's Photo PAULALA1 Posts: 15
4/14/11 10:28 P

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I guess the best answer to the orange peel question I have found is as below:

Note: Less citrus peels in the worm bin is better. If you've ever squirted yourself in the eye, you know well that their peels contain a substance that can irritate your eye's moist tissues - and your worms' skin. Peels take a couple of weeks for bacteria to decompose them to the point that worms are more interested. For a small worm bin, one orange's peel a day is fine.

I personally don't get to eat much fresh citrus so that has not been a problem for me. I did however give my worms too many coffee grounds at once and I think moderation is the key.

I guess if in doubt, you could just throw the stuff you are not sure of in your compost bin instead.

I have used that brick before - I vaguely remember it was kinda like coconut fiber...and that is fine. the main thing is the worms need air and moisture. I use shredded newspaper and some peat humus in my bin and as long as I keep the bedding fluffed up and misted to the point of a wet sponge they seem to be happy worms. I base their comfort level on the fact I am getting lots of new baby worms :) Hope this helps.

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CHERRIBABE's Photo CHERRIBABE Posts: 621
4/13/11 9:38 P

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Thanks for the tips!!

I think I gave them too much food, so I won't give them more until I see it starting to diminish. Plus you're right, they may not eat right away. Everything I gave them was chopped small - I hope small enough. I'll post a blog with picture soon.

In the meantime, a couple of questions for you, if you don't mind:

1. I heard citrus is no good for them in one place, and another said its okay in small amounts. Do you know what the scoop is on this?
Also, what about onion? also read mixed reviews on giving them onion?

2. I want to make sure I have everything set up right. My kit came with a block of bedding. It was like a brick which was soaked in a bucket of water for about 15 minutes and then broken up to make the bedding. I put a piece of damn cardboard on the bottom to stop the worms from falling through, then put this bedding on top. It was some sort of coir material or something. Then I put the worms on top of that layer and covered them with a "blanket" of damp newspaper. Does this all sound ok?

Thanks so much!

Baby on board!! Due June 20th!!


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PAULALA1's Photo PAULALA1 Posts: 15
4/13/11 8:25 P

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The vegetable scraps you feed them should be cut up into small pieces so they break down faster. I too am a vegetarian so I freeze my scraps and then let them thaw and return to room temp before feeding them...this helps the food break down even faster. They eat half of their own weight a day..that means if you bought one pound of worms (approx 1000 worms) they will eat one half a pound of food per day. If the bedding seems to have dried out any I mist it until it is moist but not to wet. If they run out of food before you feed them, they will eat their newspaper bedding so they are not going to starve. Too much food or water will cause problems. If you think you get it too wet just add a little dry bedding. If you over feed or develop a problem by feeding too much of something that throws their eco-system out of balance you can always dump them out onto plastic, put new bedding into bins and put the worms back into the clean bin. There are many many articles on vermiculture on the internet. I will try posting a link to an article but you can GOOGLE almost every thing you need to know about worm farming. I am glad to hear you are interested in it. It is such an important way to help give back to the earth and replenish our soil.

It may take them a few days to get "settled in so no fear if they don't seem like they are eating right away" I just check on mine weekly and feed as needed. :)

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/08/
green-basics-vermicompost.php

http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/redwor
msedit.htm whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/redwormse
di
t.htm
www.treehugger.com/files/2007/08/gre
en
-basics-vermicompost.php


Edited by: PAULALA1 at: 4/13/2011 (20:30)
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CHERRIBABE's Photo CHERRIBABE Posts: 621
4/13/11 7:46 P

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I know this is an old post, but I'm new to the group and new to worms.

I recently bought a worm farm product on Amazon and got my worms (also from Amazon) in the mail on Monday.

I just set them up, but have so many questions on them. Hopefully I cna get more help and info in this group!

For those of you who have worms, how long does it take them to eat what you give them? I am vegetarian too, so have no shortage of scraps to feed them and definitely want want to overfeed them. I put stuff in on Monday when they arrived and this morning it didn't look like anything had been eaten yet.

Baby on board!! Due June 20th!!


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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,028
12/13/10 10:32 A
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good article!
I also like the web site

PAULALA1's Photo PAULALA1 Posts: 15
12/13/10 8:36 A

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This is an excerpt from an e-book I have as a word document that I found about what to feed them. I am a vegetarian so I never run out of veggie scraps to share.

Some people create worm farms just as something to do. They can have a lot of fun with creating them. Worm farming can be something to do in your downtime and can help you to relax. It doesn’t take a lot of money to start, and once you get into it, you may not want to stop. In fact, you may want to start your own worm farm business if you like it so much.

When some people initially think of worms, they are not something to behold. Of course, they are creatures of the earth, so they are here for a purpose. Nowadays, with lots of people getting involved with the environment and the green concept, worm farming has been introduced as a way to create potting soil in your own home.

Worm farming allows you to use scraps from fruits and vegetables and create potting soil for plants that you have in your garden or inside your home. The good thing about this is that anyone can do it, regardless whether you have a home or an apartment.

If you are an apartment dweller, this would really work out in your favor. Normally, if you had plenty of plants you wanted to maintain, you would not have a backyard to take care of them. With worm farming, having a backyard is not necessary.

In order to start, you will need the following items:

A container that is made of wood or plastic

A cover for the container that is made plastic, burlap or newspaper



Worms (Red Worms or Earthworms)

Material for bedding purposes (i.e., newspaper, cardboard—the corrugated kind)

Waste matter, such as scraps and peelings from vegetables, egg cartons made from cardboard material and tea bags; any organic waste matter is fine to use

A wood or plastic container is very suitable to use. Some have suggested containers made from metal, but some sources fear that’s not a good idea. Metal can cause contaminants to get into the compost. That can mess up the worm farming process altogether.

Your best bet is to use a plastic storage bin that you can see through. Whether you use that or a wooden container, holes will have to be drilled for drainage purposes. The holes should be placed on the sides and the bottom of the container.

You can also purchase containers that are made for that purpose. In that case, you may need more than one container because you will have to keep the worms in one and the worm castings in another.

For the bedding, you will need to tear the newspaper or cardboard material in strips that measure one to two inches long. Moisten them really good, but not so where they are drenched. If you don’t want to do that, you can also use straw or decomposed compost. There are even some people that will use grass clippings.

As far as the scraps are concerned, you should only use what is recommended. Using waste from animals is prohibited. Waste from animals can have contaminants and can also be a breeding ground from unwanted pests as you are building your worm farm.

The bedding has to be set up correctly because worms depend on it for their food source. It should be loose enough for the worms to move around and have breathing room. In addition to using newspaper or cardboard material, you can also use sawdust, burlap, hay, manure that has aged and dried leaves.

People that create a worm farm will use the matte kind of newspaper. Phone books are good to use. Any glossy paper is not recommended. Also paper that comes from junk mail and copy paper is not a good idea. They can be mixed with harmful toxins that can mess up the composting processing.

In addition to that, cardboard that is coated with plastic or wax is not good to use. So, using milk cartons is out of the question. Basically, any type of material that decomposes quickly is ok to use.

This free e-book courtesy of Green Nation Gardens

http://www.GreenNationGardens.com


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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,028
12/11/10 11:16 A
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I have a worm bin on an enclosed sun porch (heated). I've had it for over a year. I've also added the castins and some of the worms to my garden. I am thinking I need to either get a larger bin or a 2nd one, I seem to be adding more kitchen scraps then the worms can eat. So it seems I need more worms and room for them.

SILLYHP1953's Photo SILLYHP1953 SparkPoints: (38,094)
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12/11/10 10:36 A

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I want to start worm farming so I will be following this topic. I've done some research but haven't started one yet. I live in lower Delaware.


Don't Quit Before The Miracle Happens!

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"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein."

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PAULALA1's Photo PAULALA1 Posts: 15
12/11/10 7:26 A

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Hi all - Any worm farmers on here? I am in my second year of having a worm farm in my house. I am primarily doing it help nourish my garden space in the back yard. I have been composting most of my life and worm farming seemed like the next step. I do not have very much space for a garden so I constructed my own key hole garden and have made pallet gardens (vertical gardening) for my lettuces and salad stuff. I made my worm bins out of plastic totes and square dish drainers I bought at the dollar store. I am interested in learning more about worm farming...since mine have survived into there second year and I have released many into my garden to avoid over population in my bins....they seem to be very prolific...as well as added a couple shovel fuls of casings into my garden. .. I am assuming I am giving them the right environment so far. Interested in hearing about anyone Else's experiences in worm farming.

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