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Whatya Got Growin?

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Warning:  You may not want to start raising worms if you do not want to potentially catch the gardening bug…

I’m constantly asked about what I’ve got growing.  Even in limited space, with my goal of producing 50% of our produce needs I’m growing:





Sugar Cane




Yard long Beans


Bell Peppers



Green Onions

Tree Collards

Pineapple Guava

Meyer Lemons


Chinese Chives


Oroblanco Grapefruit



Asian Pears






As I write this, even I cannot believe the wide variety of fruits and veggies I’ve got growing!

And it all started with some worms…..

WHY Worms?

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

I looked out my bedroom window today, and was in awe at this view.  I could literally reach out and grab some artichokes.    What’s even more amazing is that these are first year chokes…..and if you know anything about artichokes, they are not supposed to produce until year two!  I’m enjoying the heck out of them this year, and cannot imagine what next year will look like. 

Whenever I bring in a couple of artichokes for dinner, I always count the ones I see that just sprouted.  I use these counts for bragging rights to my wife. 🙂

When the plants first started producing, I would bring in 2 and say, I see 3 more!

The next time I would bring in 2 and say, I see 8 more!

Last week, I brought in 2 and said, I see 25 more!

Today I brought in 2 and said, I see 31 more!


And to think it all started with some worms.


Friday, June 3rd, 2011


HOLY SMOKES!   I had forgotten tomato’s for some brushetta that I was making.  Normally, they just get included with the weekly groceries, so I’m not paying attention to prices on individual items.  Today, I  noticed the price only because it was all that I bought…$8.78 for 10 small tomato’s! 

NOW I know why I like gardening all of a sudden.

My new goal…produce 50% of all our produce within the next year.


Four Raised Beds:  Will produce lettuce, spinach, onions, green onions,  TOMATO’S :), cucumbers, green peppers, Tree Collards, strawberries.

Under bedroom window:  Artichokes and garlic

Containers:  Meyer Lemon, Tangelo’s, Grapefruit, Banana, Japanese Pear, Blackberries, Blueberries

Backyard Border:  Cherry Tree, Plum Tree, Nectarine, Peach, Pomegranate.

Not bad for having a fairly small lot!   If it doesn’t produce something edible…it doesn’t stay!  Except for my wife’s roses. 🙂


Monday, May 30th, 2011

When you are passionate about something, it shows.
I received this nice note from Mary today, and I wanted to share it with everyone.

Jerry: I wanted to thank you for being my “go to” guy when I started out 2 years ago knowing no other person that did worm composting. I discovered your website by chance and it was a great help. I am even more enthusiastic now than I was in the beginning and today my passion for worm composting allowed me to overcome my fear of public speaking and I spoke in public for the first time in my life when I gave a worm composting demo.

Thanks Mary! Hope this is the beginning of a lifetime of teaching. I’m sure you knocked it out of the park!

Planting with a PLAN!

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

When you plant your garden, do you make plans or do you just plant? This lettuce bed contains onions to help ward of bugs, corn to provide shade when the weather warms, and a succession plan to replace some of the lettuce with heat resistant spinach (Spinach growing as starts now). I’ve even got worms eating away at the grow medium (compost and peat moss).

The harder I work at gardening, the luckier I get!

The Lazy Mans Way To Grow Strawberries Revisited

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Castings, And The Story Of The FREAKY Plants!

Sunday, May 15th, 2011


So I walked out to water the the Worm Inn, and I looked down and saw this (Think of the music to the movie JAWS…Da Dum, Da Dum, Da Dum)…..


What the heck is that you ask? 

It’s the same question I had asked myself. 🙂

What I had done was dumped a bunch of castings into this plastic tub, along with a couple of large fresh pumpkins that I was going to get around to breaking up to feed the worms.  I never got the chance to use the pumpkins before they started breaking down.  The existing worms in the castings made small work of the pumpkins themselves…but you can see what happened to the seeds.


Holy Smokes…even when I DON’T want stuff to grow in castings…it grows.



For those that have forgotten 6th grade Biology…the plants are white because they’ve received no light.  No photosynthesis has happened for these poor guys.

So…I put them out of their misery, pulled them out and just laid them on top of the castings, and will let the remaining worms do the cycle of life thing to them.  Hopefully, the next time I open this, all I will see is rich black castings without these feaky mutant pumpkin sprouts. 🙂


Featured Customer Question: JD

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Hi, I’m in Tempe, AZ and would like to set up a worm bin indoors – 70 – 80 degrees F.

I’d like to raise them mainly for bait, but with the tea, castings, and composting aspect as benefits!

How does the ENC and the ANC compare in length? girth? reproduction rates? and time to size maturity (use on a hook)?

Also if you can put these into perspective compared to a Canadian I’m used to seeing in the bait cups.

I also have collected nightcrawlers for fishing from my family’s yard in Flagstaff AZ (northern) and I am wondering what species that most likely was… thank you.


Looking forward to placing an order with you soon.

Hi JD,

You can raise any composting worm indoors in 70-80 degree temps.
Composting/Casting production:
Winner – African nightcrawler
Africans are extremely voracious.  The drawback is if temps drop to below 40 degrees or so for extended periods of time, the Africans start to die off.  Euros are decent composters, but not as voracious as Africans or Red Wigglers.
Africans will get much longer, Euros will get much thicker.  Overall, Africans will weigh more, but not by much.
Reproduction rates are similar for both worms.  Africans will reach bait size a little faster as they are more voracious.
Both worms will do fine over 60 degrees, with the Euros being able to handle temps to just above freezing.
The differences you’ve asked about between these worms aren’t significant enough to discount either worm. 
It really depends what YOU like better…composting or fishing. 
Want a great composting worm, get some Africans.
Want a great fishing worm, get some Euros.
You may want to try a pound of each and see for yourself which you like better given the information above.
Canadians are an entirely different animal.  Canadians are the slugs of the worm world.  Deep diggers, slow movers, non composters, Only good for bait.  Need very cool temps (Below 60) to survive long term.
The worms you’ve collected in the soil are just a common earthworm.  Closer related the Canadians, although not temp sensitive like Canadians.  They are non composters, and that is why they live in dirt, not compost.  Living in dirt makes them a stronger worm, with a thicker skin.



Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Every Mothers Day (Gotta treat the Moms right),  I go all out…. making an ALL DAY eating fest.

The moms LOVE fresh fruit, so I always include plenty of  it.

$200 worth of groceries can leave a LOT of food scraps.  Fortunately, I’ve got The Worm Inn to process all the fruit skins:

Believe it or not, there was MORE going into The Worm Inn than what you see here.  We went through 6 cobs of corn and had even more melon rind.

I put EVERYTHING  into the system:

And when I was done, I covered everything up with plenty of damp shredded paper:

Want to see the video of this?  Just go to:


Kevin’s Jumping for Joy!

Saturday, May 7th, 2011


I just wanted to share a really nice blog post that I received this evening. Kevin just received his Jumpers and boy is he excited.  I hope he doesn’t mind that I not only posted the link, but I also copied  his post to share with everyone.   Thanks Kevin!

my dealings with “the worm dude”


i ordered up some Alabama jumpers from the worm dude a couple weeks ago, ant they came in today, they are already in the ground, chompin away at my stupid clay soil makin it decent one poop at a time!

lemme tell you what, Jerry (he’s the worm dude) is one heck of a guy, and a great business man to deal with. you see when i ordered was just days before them horrible tornadoes hit the whole ‘Bama region. Jerry was prompt in letting me know things were bad for his worm farmer (yeah these worms actually come from ‘Bama) they just had a catastrophic event happen, i understood, but i appreciated that Jerry would get back with me. I got them today and i was very pleased with the worms i got, very jumpy 😀 and a bunch of em…i ordered 1000, and it actually seemed like 1000. ya see the last worm dealer i dealt with sold me worm that cant seem to live in clay very well, but told me they could, 500 cost the same as Jerry’s 1000, and they were lethargic.

I thank you personally Jerry (if you read this) and hope to do business with you again.

Now onto the garden, this clay is gonna be the death of my sanity…it’s horrible, so this weekend i am gonna get a lotta black dirt, take out a bunch of of the junk, and load in the goodness. My plants have been in there over a month and no noticeable growth, i think that they are pissed at me. so im gonna show them some lovin… we’ll see how the city’s transfer station’s compost does for me, it’s pretty cheap, so that’s a plus!

so wish me luck. and thanks again Jerry, i would love to do business again in the future!!