Author Topic: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?  (Read 3357 times)

Offline 4Doose

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Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« on: January 11, 2014, 09:00:49 PM »
I am curious if anyone has actually used a small vermiculture system in their kitchen. If so could you tell me about your experience with it please?

Offline MIZZOU_RAH

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Re: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2014, 10:11:30 PM »
I have a small vermiculture system that I keep in my basement, but it certainly could be kept under my kitchen sink if I had to. It's ridiculously easy. You can find tons of how-to videos and blogs to show you how to make the bin. I keep my coffee grounds, tea bags, bread heels, and other veggie kitchen scraps in a container under the kitchen sink and then put them in the worm bin in my basement whenever they need more food. I bought 2 lbs of worms in June to use in a 10-gallon tote I got at Target. I am thinking of getting a bigger second bin for the worms as they have multiplied since then.

My biggest lesson was learned on the first night. Do NOT use shredded office/printer paper. The worms don't like it. Also, err on the side of moisture at least initially. I didn't soak and wring out the bedding at first. I put in shredded paper and sprayed it a few times with a spray bottle of water. You need to tear newspaper into strips and literally soak it in water and wring it out to make the bedding. It should have the consistency of a wrung-out kitchen sponge, but better to be a little damp than too dry. My worms went nuts trying to crawl out on the first night and I had to Google how to stop worm escape. They get stressed in transit and need a nice moist environment to make the transition go smoothly. Shine a light on them the first few nights as it will force them to burrow down and get comfy. If it's dark in and out of the bin, they might just try to spread out everywhere. Afterthat first night they settled down with better bedding and I've had zero problems since. They don't stink, escape, or do anything other than eat and poop!

So far I have harvested 1-2 gallons of castings and am just about to harvest again, probably 1-2 more gallons. That's all been in ~7 months with an initial 2 lbs of worms.

Offline 4Doose

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Re: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 10:23:25 PM »
Fantastic.

Ive looked and watched quite a bit. I was wondering about smells and prison breaks. Im glad you mentioned the light to make them stay put.

Location is my biggest unknown. Its wicked cold in the Bakken. Anything on the floor and against a wall will be too cold. Below zero I get ice on my exterior base boards. The heater makes anything shoulder height and up melt.  Class A construction around here. So I am thinking a stand 2 to 3 feet in the middle of the "cabin" as they like to call them.

Thank you for the tips.

Offline MIZZOU_RAH

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Re: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2014, 07:44:15 PM »
My bin sits on a cement basement floor. Last week we were below zero for about 4-5 days and I'm sure it was well below 50 degrees in my basement and the worms were still active every time I checked on them. I've read that even near freezing they just go dormant/hiberate as long as they don't actually freeze so as long as they're indoors, I imagine placement shouldn't be a big issue.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 07:51:24 PM by MIZZOU_RAH »

Offline 4Doose

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Re: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 07:49:23 PM »
Fantastic. Time to make a worm condo :)

Thanks !

Offline Planner32

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Re: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2014, 01:08:27 PM »
I have one in my garage.  I highly recommend this book:

Worms Eat My Garbage

http://www.amazon.com/Worms-Eat-My-Garbage-Composting/dp/0977804518/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390334835&sr=8-1&keywords=worms+eat+my+garbage

It will give you all the specifics.

Offline sbarber

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Re: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2014, 02:43:04 PM »
One of the key things to remember is to not let anaerobic decomposition happen in the worm habitat. This can be done by adding lots of carbon rich matter when you add food scraps and other worm food. When adding the food you really want to stir the food up and mix in the carbon rich food. The carbon material ie. paper, card board, and dried leaves will also help to reduce the smell. Another thing to manage closely is the moisture levels in your worm habitat. This can be mangaed by siphoning or draining off some juices every week or every few days.

Offline 4Doose

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Re: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2014, 07:43:54 PM »
Great!

I have opted for the 5 gallon bucket system. I have several unused ones with about 5 inches of space in the bottoms when stacked inside one another. Wish me luck :)

Offline sbarber

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Re: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2014, 11:22:07 AM »

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2014, 11:45:01 AM »
Hey 4Doose,

I have a couple blog posts on my vermicompost system. I want to start a 5 gallon bucket system next. Do you have pics of yours? Here are my posts on vermiculture:

http://littlecountryhouse.blogspot.com/2013/06/vermicomposting.html

http://littlecountryhouse.blogspot.com/2014/01/worm-bin-update.html

Hope you get some useful info from them.

Patrick

Offline 4Doose

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Re: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2014, 02:32:45 PM »
I changed gears. I am going to use Tidy Cat litter containers. We have 2 now. I am waiting until we have a total of 5 to build the tower. I will take pictures and let you know how it works.

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2014, 02:47:03 PM »
Its going to take a while for your worms to process the bedding and compost in the first bin. You might as well start as soon as you can. It will take at least a month for your first bin to be ready, so two months at least before you will need the third bin. Once you are on the third bin, your first bin should be worm free, since they will follow the food.

Offline trinharder

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Re: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2014, 02:49:17 PM »
I keep it in the closet by the front door. No odor. I put a little coir (from a local nursery) in the tray each time I change it out to hold moisture along with shredded newspaper.


Offline 4Doose

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Re: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2014, 03:07:07 PM »
@heliotropicmoth

Oh nice/ Full speed ahead then. Thanks !

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Apartment scale vermiculture anyone?
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2014, 03:15:37 PM »
And to answer your original question, I have my worms in the laundry room off the kitchen. They don't smell, no escapes, and if you keep a balanced system you will not have any leachate to deal with. My bins do not produce leachate, which is NOT worm tea as some would have you believe. Read my blog post earlier in this thread if you want to know the difference between worm tea and leachate. It's the first link. Good luck!