Monday, October 04, 2010

Worm Bin 2

When I started vermicomposting about a month and a half ago, I used a big old paint bucket as my worm bin.  It had about three little holes at the bottom so there's not much drainage.  It didn't come with a lid so I just put stuff over it (newspapers, big old styro, old sack).  In that way, aeration was okay because the lid wasn't tight or locked.  It was, however, getting heavy.  I figured it was halfway full and very moist.  It was outdoors under a tree so rain seeps through.  I moved it to a location with a roof so I can dry it up a bit.  And since there's hardly any drainage, I don't moisten the contents anymore;  I just mix it up so the wet bottom will moisten the dry top.  And it's working fine.  Anyway, that's not what this post is supposed to be about.

I was so excited to continue that I just bought a second container.  It's a small rectangular plastic box.  I smuggled paper from our shredder and used those as bedding.  I also got a hold of some cardboard, which I cut up into little pieces.  I made sure they were wet.  Then I put in some egg shells and herb leaves (from my pruning efforts).  I didn't want to put too much in, but like I said I was excited. 

I figured that I'd just put a couple of worms (7-8) here and see if they multiply.  I put in a mix of big and small worms (even a baby one in fact). I punctured a couple of holes on the lid for air (I didn't have a drill).  It was pretty difficult to puncture though.

Days later though, I found that the bin smelled funny so I punctured a couple more holes on the top. I also figured it was too wet since I saw moisture drops on the lid and on the sides.  I also added some bedding since I read that too much food vis-a-vis carbon rich bedding might result in a smelly worm bin, but I was a little careless.  Instead of using shredded paper, I put in whole bills (phone bill, account summaries, etc).  Nobody's perfect, but I do hope my worms survive my current lack of know how.

Earlier when I was searching for my worms, I had a hard time finding them.  In fact I only found one.  I think it's impossible that they escaped given how small my air holes are.  Hmmm...maybe they're just hidden in the bedding.  I'll find out in a week or two.  Nonetheless, I'm glad to note that the funky smell has disappeared.  And after yesterdays inputs (pruned leaves), I think I'll stop feeding that bin for a while.  I'll just check on the moisture level every now and then.  After all, I've started playing with a third worm bin so I can divert my attention elsewhere.

I was telling Jean yesterday that my problem is that I'm always too eager, too excited with whatever catches my fancy and it so happens these endeavors take time.  Earlier examples include rooting a mango seed and rooting new cuttings.  There is such a thing as killing with too much attention, and I think I've demonstrated that a lot over the years.    Sadly, I think my worms were most productive when I was out in the hospital for a week.   Sigh...patience.


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