Worms, bins and perpetual search for perfection

CrimsonEcho

Self-Proclaimed Don Quixote
Pollen Chucker
Hi everyone,

I have lately decided to produce my own castings. The setup i’m using is a pretty cheap one. Basically was free since i owned everything but it would be very cheap to recreate also.

What i had was couple of old fermentation buckets, for brewing beer or any kind of fermentation. Kimchi. I wanted to utilise them and being an organic grower what i do relies highly on the natural decomposition processes. Plus there are shit ton of leaves stems and much plant matter around the house. You know, you need to complete the cycle.

So i drilled holes in the sides and the underside of one bucket and covered it with cheese cloth to keep the worms inside. I placed it on top of another bucket with a hole in the lid to isolate and collect leachate if that occurs. Which didn’t happen. I also drilled bottom bucket to allow better airflow.

Now after all this effort. I did kinda run into problems but this is my first time with worms indoors. It did go anaerobic because the slurry was too thick. It went very hot once. Like 32-33C in a 18C environment. Worms were happy tho. And i’m sure there will be many more mistakes in the future.

Just wanted to document the ride and try to contribute to the collective human knowledge.

The sole purpose of this thread will be about creating a sustainable indoor worm bin where i can compost my food wastes so this organic stuff can return back to soil. My soil :) And i want to do it without any smells, mites or any other less than desired aspects and to create high quality worm castings. So much so that i want to do whole grows with nothing more than my wormcastings from this tiny system. Will try that too.

0ACAEC7B-F94E-46C0-84E6-E5E083FA0245.jpeg
89298020-0184-47DD-A057-75391FACCCA9.jpeg
97861B4C-C97D-46FF-B4D7-F727631DD10F.jpeg
AAC555E4-0A52-4125-AD76-F3D8B0412EFB.jpeg


This is leaf compost i started in another bucket. Gonna use this as bedding from now on.

41398C26-D4E2-41FA-9C8F-32ADD0BD05EF.jpeg


Their next feeding which i’m gonna use it to lure them away from the bin so i can harvest my first castings.

In there;
-oats
-aloe vera

Will add;
-carrots
-tea
-coffee
-DE
-ABV
-grapefruit peel

0362B8E5-9103-442C-9186-7CFA3B2AED63.jpeg


Its gonna be fun!
 
Last edited:

CrimsonEcho

Self-Proclaimed Don Quixote
Pollen Chucker
I use a toat and peatmoss. If it’s making heat your feeding too much. Keep damp but not sopping wet. If you squeeze a handful you should just get a drip. Feed all kitchen scraps but cheese and bread. Crush your eggs shells up fine. Good grit and calcium. Love me worms.
Its a compost. If you add nitrogen to it. Like tea and coffee as i do. Its gonna get warm. But the point is i’m trying to find the best feeding regimen for them. For grit, espresso and DE is what i use mostly but some eggshells in there too.

Looks like your trying to catch worm drippings? I’ve never tried it.
I don’t let my compost get that wet.
I put them in 10gallons of peat and feed for 1/2 year. Then remove worms and use it. Oh I feed all the “green” waste to the wrigglers too.
Good luck.
No i’m not trying to catch leachate actually. I just put it up to isolate from the cold floor and if leachate happens it happens. I haven’t actually watered once since i started this bin. Except at the first day. Its been about a month. The food sources have sufficient moisture to keep them happy. And happy they are. Many cocoons. :)
 

CrimsonEcho

Self-Proclaimed Don Quixote
Pollen Chucker
Yeah the burlap method was a bust. They didn’t move into it. So i just took a more manual approach and hand picked the worms out of it.

I mean it was 250 worms when i started so not a big deal. Took about 15 minutes on a 80x80 tray. But i need a better way in the future.

Also there are many tiny newborns and shit ton of cocoons in there which are very hard to pick by hand. I’ll see if sifting helps.

I’m gonna post some pics.

Also cheese cloth on the bottom doesn’t work. They gobbled it up. :) So now i’m doing a fully open system.

They seem happy. But i think i’ll do something with synthetic sifting screens in the near future.

Again will post pics.
 

CrimsonEcho

Self-Proclaimed Don Quixote
Pollen Chucker
Ok i just used a little strainer to harvest some castings out of the worm compost. Results seem satisfying. Casting are very good not muddy. I need a bigger screen for sure but this was what i had momentarily.
1D65E035-37CA-43BC-9380-95AEE95D5245.jpeg
88EFABFA-422B-4AB6-AEFC-8E89163FFC21.jpeg
C64BC7E7-D6FA-461C-9F3B-7D4EF909E705.jpeg
FEF80248-4EC7-4375-80FB-C7A10B002160.jpeg


I only did a little to see if its done and it seems pretty good.
B63A0A2D-E180-4870-AAC9-3C331E9CEA57.jpeg


Anything that stays in the strainer goes back to the bucket. Mostly perlite, hydroton, pumice and little balls of slurry paste. Again from that overly thick gooey slurry. Also i need to pulverize the egg shells. They still haven’t decomposed fully.
 

CrimsonEcho

Self-Proclaimed Don Quixote
Pollen Chucker
Ok let me share the slurry i made for the worms. Now again these slurries will change as the seasons do. Righ now, i had watermelon rinds and left over grapefruit from a while back. Coffee and tea i get from a local coffee shop. Its just trash to them but a great nitrogen source to me. Eggshells, well i eat eggs and save the shells. Put them into oven in about 90C. Grind with a coffee grinder.

This time i haven’t added any grains because i want to keep it diverse and feed them something different every time so they stay healthy with a rich, balanced diet. Which i think it works. I started with only 250 and i’ve seen many baby worms and many many cocoons while sifting thru. So in the near future my cycles could be even faster which is something i would enjoy. Feeding a big batch of sludge and getting castings in 15-20 days in my little 7 gallon bucket. Would be nice.

Ingredients

320A9C27-77C0-41AB-95B5-D04E8EE08DF6.jpeg


Aloe vera (homegrown-frozen)

31012DCE-EABA-4375-B3CD-2AE83E933019.jpeg


Grapefruit rinds (frozen)

FEAC3DE6-9D85-41FC-B028-4C9F856D3751.jpeg


Watermelon rinds (was delicious)

AC0E367F-BCA1-4FC2-BF84-BD26143B5769.jpeg


Now tea-coffee mix and eggshell flour.

46FA96FD-1810-4F7A-B92F-E617BF11EED7.jpeg


The sludge-slurry

00A84CBB-F371-4974-B126-3833B63F3839.jpeg


Now this goes into the freezer again. Eventho all the other ingredients were frozen, watermelon rinds were not and i really don’t want to risk getting bugs or flies. Its just a nuisance. I’m gonna freeze it over 24hrs and then let it thaw fully and reach room temp then i’m gonna feed. They are going to love it.
 

CrimsonEcho

Self-Proclaimed Don Quixote
Pollen Chucker
Just gettin' into all of this myself.... was gifted one of these

https://urbanwormcompany.com/product/urban-worm-bag-v2/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIztq14LnS4gIVl6_sCh1HXAsMEAQYASABEgKVi_D_BwE

Between the Compost tumbler and the worm farm...we're gettin rid of most of our food scraps. Hopin to harvest some EWC soon. Been set up about 2 months now.....
Seems like a good setup man! I mean why pay for worm castings when you can get a better product at home for free! Feel free to post your end product too if you like. I just love worm poop haha!
 

CrimsonEcho

Self-Proclaimed Don Quixote
Pollen Chucker
Population boom! There were zero babies a month ago and now this,

E8D30163-77D7-4B56-A3A3-130B453A0D08.jpeg
473BB0D5-33A0-45BB-8DB0-F77A5EB7D9E7.jpeg
E0AF8FA1-D4EF-4E18-A005-C1BEE401E1AA.jpeg


Feels like they at least doubled.

35BCE453-A9D3-4162-81C7-02432AD27589.jpeg


The bin. Looks fine and the consistency of the compost itself is pretty nice. Very nice texture.

I fed a sludge that consists of watermelon rinds, loquat stems and peels, aloe vera, eggshell, coffee, tea. It seems like its working.
 

CrimsonEcho

Self-Proclaimed Don Quixote
Pollen Chucker
Ok about a month later, new batch, without any peat moss added. Aloe vera, watermelon rinds, citrus peel and some other fruit wastes went in and this came out. If i can harvest this amount every month, i don’t have to buy castings, ever.

55C297E6-5BEB-424A-B28C-7647747D7F6A.jpeg
AA477B58-DD1C-4C58-A8EE-199F37B67B13.jpeg
862CF5A1-31C5-4BEB-88D3-1DBF4136A9D4.jpeg


I abandoned the first design tho. That design actually worked pretty good when i was feeding more solids and less liquid but with all the water provided by watermelons it goes anaerobic pretty easily. You have to mix it everyday to aerate and i am a lazy man so i have to find some way that suits the trait. I’m using a 60x60cm tray.

Something like this but a square and i covered the top with a cheese cloth just like with the fermentation buckets.

4CDD8EB0-1F42-4B82-93DC-20BE647A4745.jpeg


I still haven’t harvested much as its still pretty wet but in a week i’m gonna harvest all and show how much i got from this simple setup and kitchen waste. Also the microbial activity is sick! The bonsai mothers, seed mothers they all got this homemade ewc and the topsoil in the pots is just booming with fungi. It looks like a healthy forest soil and they show it too.

063FC4CA-A6FE-403E-9225-9DB42D579764.jpeg


I’ll never pay for ewc again.
 

CrimsonEcho

Self-Proclaimed Don Quixote
Pollen Chucker
Amazing end product. Its just sad that i waisted so much organic material by throwing them into trash. The common concerns, what if they leave the bin? What if there are flies, smell etc? What if my product lacks the required quality? And so on.

All these questions i was trying to answer as i go along and all these concerns were idiotic apparently. They love food they are gonna stay in there. There won’t be flies if you cover the bin even with a cloth and freeze the material for a day or two and thaw it in a covered container. And not much water needed. I never add any water and its always moist and smells like nothing until you bring your nose couple of inches from the pile. And even then it only smells like rich forest soil. As far as quality, i feel confident that it can beat every other ewc on the market in a side by side.

Maybe in the future i’ll do that too. But the quality is clearly visible from the smell, consistency and colour. If anyone is growing organic and doesn’t do ewc, do it. :D

84611006-47E0-4F69-AECE-8C6956D7B25B.jpeg
D16A16F1-A782-4EE9-B222-45C688091A47.jpeg
EFF13EE0-636E-4060-921A-13A8CB3B5D40.jpeg


This can last me a while for sure and in 40 days hopefully another batch. Very satisfying and not paying for ewc is just priceless.
 
Last edited:
Top