worms, bins, eaarth and whatnot elses

as it turns out, the worm bins project i've started this past summer has become a lot more fun than i expected it ever would.
for one they are great pets, they have no fur, they live in dirt, they smell great and their poop even smells good.
at first it was going to be three containers that i could rotate the kitchen scraps through. then i noticed that when we cook we cook for three to five families at a time. so instead of a fourth of a bucket a week in scraps we'd have periods of nothing followed by half to a full bucket of scraps. there's noway 12 crawlers and 30 worms could keep up with that. :) haha.
the first three buckets had three months to digest the paper and vegetable scraps along with some dirt mixed in. at first i kept things a little too wet but as soon as i noticed the sour ammonia smell i broke them all down and added more shredded paper and sand to dry things out a bit. no problems after that. i cover the bin and buckets with cheesecloth to keep the fruitflies and fungus flies from having a field day. once in a while i pull the sprouts out and sprinkle a little water to keep things moist enough.
my first worm census after three months, all crawlers were still alive and very healthy (even if my further reading has said they would not do well in bins because they like undisturbed soil and need burrows very deep to procreate so i may never actually get crawler babies)... i got them mainly because they eat more and i needed some big mouths quick. the regular worms i added were mostly there and there were about two hundred little worms.
i've since added more bins because it's taking about a third of a bucket of dirt to cover the vegetable scraps in one layer and i can do a second layer a few weeks later after things settle and compact and the rot and worms get going.
i have to stop adding new buckets this winter when my last two buckets of dirt run out and i have no more space to keep them in my room. i should be able to consolidate a few as they get digested and put the castings out in the garage or garden shed (to wait for spring mulching). the assembly line is still in process...
i went out and found some worms and took some others from various places to add to the newer buckets i just set up, some from the weed pile, others from under boards and others from digging, so i'm guessing i've got at least six species munching for me. i figure each bucket has enough micro niches that some will do better at times than others and so will eventually figure it out. it will be interesting to see what happens with the various populations as time goes on and i mix the natives with the bait shop rescues. yes, i do know there are worms for composting you can buy by the thousands, but this seemed like more fun to play with and compare.
in another year or so i'll expect to have enough adult worms to keep up with the demand and the bucket chain will be long enough that i can have a supply for the gardens of worm castings. all from stuff that we used to throw away.
i think it's a good thing we don't have a basement. haha...
the reading of _eaarth_ turned out to be blah, the author's style just doesn't work for me. i don't mind rants against bone-headed policies or politicians, but i felt that the whole book was rather disorganized collection of rants and intermixed little facts about this and that, but felt it was really short on some other things...
the basic truth however could not be avoided and i sure agree with the author that we are now sailing on a new world.

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