July 19, 2012 at 10:38 pm #526455
OK, thanks for that, something to mull over. Had to Google BSF – something else to learn about.
I was burying waste for awhile, so I’ll start doing that again and let them munch up what’s in there for now. Sounds like I need more bathtubs…
Wasn’t 100% clear on what you meant by vertical half/half. I think you’re saying you leave the whole bottom half undisturbed, so really you’re only removing and replacing the top 2 quarters. Is that right?July 20, 2012 at 12:29 am #526456
Look at my link. Half/half is exactly what it means. There are photos to open at the other site. No levels, no fiddling. I clear half the bath and replace.
I can post photos here if you don’t understand.July 20, 2012 at 3:16 am #526457
S.O.P how fresh is the horse manure you use , please? Was I misinformed by being told not to use fresh manures? Or perhaps it depends upon what sort? Quite a lot of hay/grass etc still in horse poo compared to roo poo?
What is BSF please? Your video may answer that – haven’t watched it yet.
OK Just saw SC’s comment. I can Google BSF too.
🙂 BSF ….. our old friends the Soldier Flies! haven’t seen any around here yet.July 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm #526458
I’ve used it as fresh as I can get it from the bag on the side of the road. Still, it’s not directly out of the horse’s a… Usually, I collect 3-4 bags and store them next to the tub, so they heat and compost in the bags.
Apparently, feeding small amounts of sloppy cow manure to worms is good, they love eating it.
You figured BSF? They eat huge amounts of waste, which is their benefit (as well as being high in protein). So, if you have excess, you can use them to your advantage.
They are warmer weather insects, they will turn up soon.
For the people, that didn’t see the half/half casting removal system:July 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm #526459
If you are looking for an easy way to chop up your scraps without using a blender, I saw a note on Mother Earth News (I think) where they used a drill with a paint mixer attachment, the scraps were in a bucket and they blended them up quite easily. I got my worms about 3 months ago, they are in a concrete laundry trough, one of the ones with 2 separate sides. They seem happy enough, but are only getting food scraps atm, I’m looking forward to getting some more horse manure for them. The horse manure definitely has to compost down for a certain amount of time to account for the fact that the horses may have been wormed. The worming stuff definitely dissipates with time.
Thanks for the great video and photos, SOP! Very helpful to have the visuals.July 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm #526460
Brian from briansworms.com is going to be attempting to kill some worms with a worming mix for horses at some point on the PRI forums. Should finally figure out withholding hopefully.July 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm #526461
Went to a great talk on worms at the Coffs community garden, wish I could find my notes :P. He suggested using a sprinkle of lime if they smell a little sour. I’d be worried about worms in just pure horse manure, might heat up enough to cook them (plus the pesticides). I’ve used shredded paper which seems to help stop getting a soggy mass. BlueWren – to harvest them instead of picking worms out – tip into barrow, wait 10 mins (they will retreat from light), take off an inch or so of castings, wait and repeat – use their instinct to retreat from light to get them to clump at the bottom. They should breed up to take lots of scraps, just don’t dump in kgs of scraps in the first week. Only very small amounts of onion, citrus.July 22, 2012 at 1:31 pm #526462
>Look at my link
I did look at the link, but I didn’t understand this “vertical half/half – I am not harvesting the BOTTOM layer!” Now that I read it again, I see that it was an unexpected attempt at humour. 🙂
I had a chat to my wife’s boss on the weekend. He’s been running a couple of worm farms in plastic boxes for a year or so now. He puts ALL his scraps straight in, no blending. Adds handful of grass clippings, which he leaves in a pile near the farms. When he reckons it’s ready, he dumps it out on a sheet of ply and gradually pulls stuff away until he has a pile of worms which then go back in the farm.
That sounds like more my style 🙂July 22, 2012 at 8:21 pm #526463
Heap of different ways to do it.
I blend my food because it reduces BSF by a magnitude, your mileage may vary. I blend/freeze to speed up decomposition. I just check one feeding area, 24 hours later and the worms are all through it.
I’ve tried 2 harvesting methods. One is in the pictures, remove the entire half into a wheelbarrow and the other is just take it as I need it. The second method slows the process down, but the worms keep working, albeit slowly as all the food is on the other side.
I don’t pick out any worms, to me that’s a waste of time and effort in a bathtub (and when I’m not selling them). 99% are on the food side, adding worms to the garden even though they aren’t suited is not a negative thing. I’ve also read that reducing your population by up to a third enables greater size and maturation in your existing populations and reduces overcrowding.
Keep that in mind.July 22, 2012 at 8:42 pm #526464
Yeah I wasn’t all that big on having to muck about removing worms. In fact the only reason I’m bothering with the tub at all is because I want the liquid. I’d probably use some castings in potting mix too, although I’ve gotten along fine so far without.
The guy I bought the worms from reckons the easiest way to do it is to sheet compost your scraps in an unused bed and to throw the worms in with it. All the good stuff stays in there and you just plant along behind. I may just give that a go next.
If I try to set up too complicated a process it will just become a chore to be put off in favour of something more interesting!July 22, 2012 at 9:20 pm #526465
Which is why I entered this debate, I’ve been asking question on another forum for almost the entire time now and I think I’m in an easy groove.
The hardest part is blending the scraps, but it has an advantage of reducing them down (hugely) and having the ability to freeze them in old Chinese containers. So, when the worms aren’t feeding, I can store large amounts of food before I start burying.
Plus I figure when the eggs get pulverised, all that Calcium has to be good for something in the garden.July 22, 2012 at 9:46 pm #526466
I might give it a go with mudhen’s paint mixer suggestion.
BTW apparently the worms love the ground egg shells too.July 22, 2012 at 11:03 pm #526467
Yeah, I read that too, but I’m figuring that would be ground egg shells, like mortar and pestle style. I can still see my egg shells, even though small, I can imagine a worm being sliced from head to tail if it attempted it.
Hopefully some are being consumed. The worms are healthy enough and I don’t use lime either (I was) but I read it isn’t necessary if you are keeping the balance right.
And to other readers, I’ve put warm to the touch manure into my farm. No issues.July 23, 2012 at 1:38 am #526468
My worm farm is a plastic laundry hamper with drilled holes in the bottom buried in my garden. The worms use it as a feeding station but go into the garden to eliminate, so all I have to do is keep adding food. I blend foodscraps in my vitamix. My only issue is that a mouse ate through the newspaper I cover the farm with and killed a couple of worms 🙁 Needs a lid of some sort.July 23, 2012 at 2:04 am #526469
I generally crush egg shells but not always and at the end have found no egg shells! It just takes longer for them to get through them..
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