Vermicompost 101 — Worm Life Cycle

A great writeup for anyone interested in vermiculture!

Low Technology Institute

lossy-page1-388px-lumbricus_semifasciatus_-_-_print_-_iconographia_zoologica_-_special_collections_university_of_amsterdam_-_ubainv0274_103_03_0003-tif Early drawing of Eisenia fetida (source).

Many of us dissected worms in biology class and most have used them for fishing bait, but few know much about the lives of Eisenia fetida. Called “red wrigglers” by composters or “panfish” or “trout worms” by others, they belong to the Lumbricidae family of earthworms and are the only worms you should consider using in a compost bin. I did try this once with other types of worms, but it failed and we came home to find escaped worms all over the floor.

Reproduction

800px-eisenia_fetida_2b_cocon Red Wriggler and cocoon (source).

Worms are hermaphroditic, that is, they are both male and female, however, they do require a partner for reproduction. Adult worms line up their clitella (the light-colored band near their front third; some call these worms “banded” worms because of this ring) with their partner’s genital openings and exchange…

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Beautiful things in life need to be cherished

The past two weeks (or three? or four? I kinda lost count by now) have been quite challenging. I haven't done any gardening at all. I can't say that my life is back to normal now, either, but I missed blogging, so here I am, stealing away a few minutes to write this post. As …

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Balcony garden update: plants, squirrels and a bad batch of vermicompost

As I've wrote in the previous post, the past few weeks have been intense, so even though the balcony garden is right there through the kitchen door, I barely spent any time in there. All I did was make sure my plants survive (by watering them and bribing the squirrels to keep them away) and dutifully …

Continue reading Balcony garden update: plants, squirrels and a bad batch of vermicompost

Community garden update: after a week of neglect

Now matter how much we strive to plan our lives ahead, every now and then everything still gets out of hand. For me, that was the last couple of weeks. Things just kept piling up, and as a result I have not stopped by my community garden plot in a week (or longer, I'm not …

Continue reading Community garden update: after a week of neglect

Quick, easy, and affordable worm farm

A simple and cheap method for anyone who has a backyard or a larger balcony garden!

The Red Chilli Head

Here are the Red Chilli Head Homestead, we have wanted to start a worm farm for two main reasons:

  • Decrease the scraps we were throwing in the bin
  • Have an affordable fertilizer and soil conditioning option to use on our veggies, herbs and gardens

There are plenty of worm farm kits you can purchase, but I wanted to challenge myself to creating a worm farm myself with items I already had laying around. This way I could complete this project as cheaply as possible!

Here is an outline of what I did. This worm farm has been going along for several months now, with no issues so far. I believe keeping it simple is key.

Step 1: Find a suitable location

I placed my worm farm on a covered shelf in the garden I have on the side of the house. This area only gets morning sun and I have…

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