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Websites with GREAT content

Friday, January 14th, 2011

How many websites do you visit that you REALLY enjoy?   I’d guess that I find 1 great website for every 1,000 websites I look at.  Maybe fewer than 1 in 1,000.

What makes a great website?   

Is it flashy graphics?  No. 

Is it a billion different items for sale?  Not necessarily.

IMO a great website is unique,  interesting, has great content…and has to include occasional HUMOR!

I’ve previously mentioned that I’ve been bitten by the gardening bug.   As such, I’m always scouring the net for great sites…either worm and/or garden related.

The first site I want to introduce is called http://weirdvegetables.blogspot.com/2011_01_01_archive.html

Check out this site.  I think you will find it meets all the criteria listed above.  The comments to/from the peanut gallery are especially funny.

Let me know what you think of  “Weird Vegetables” by emailing me at TheWormDude@TheWormDude.com

If you see a great gardening related website you’ll think others will enjoy, let me know that too.

Meet The Newest Member Of The Family – Plum

Monday, January 10th, 2011

By popular demand, we’ve been asked to introduce this new color to The Worm Inn Family.  Available now…..PLUM!

 

…..And the rest of the family!!!   

 

The Worm Inn,  The worm composting system that not only works great, but it looks great too!

Valentines Day is coming.    As Forrest Gump would say…..The Worm Inn beats a box of chocolates. 🙂

The Worm Inn EXPOSED!

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

How’s this for a cool picture to help explain how and why The Worm Inn works so well!

Top Layer – Damp fluffed bedding.

Middle Layer – This is what I call the “Sweet Spot”.  The Sweet Spot contains all your food scraps, and is where most of the worms reside.

Bottom Layer – As the food is processed by the worms,  Gravity takes the finished castings towards the bottom.

To harvest, simply open the toggles on the bottom, and release your black gold.

OXYGEN is what drives the process, and prevents your food scraps from turning vinegary as they tend to do in plastic bins.

NO OTHER SYSTEM COMES ANYWHERE NEAR THE WORM INN FOR BREATHABILITY OR EFFECTIVENESS!

And now you SEE why. 🙂

How Long Do You Think Worms Last In Transit?

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

It makes me smile when I hear about peoples concerns with worms being shipped across the country.   There is a commonly held misperception that worms won’t make it longer than a day or two in shipping.

Packed PROPERLY (Some proprietary information here), our worms hold up incredibly well in transit.

How well?

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, WE’VE HAD SHIPMENTS IN TRANSIT FOR 30 DAYS +, AND THE WORMS WERE ACTIVE AND HEALTHY!

Here’s a note from a Canadian customer that I received this evening.  Peter had his package delayed in customs due to the holidays.   Fortunately, these long delays are rare!

Hello, just to let you know they arrived and they are in beautiful shape.  Hard to believe they’ve been packaged for almost three weeks, I never would have guessed. – Peter

Normally, about the only thing that will harm our worms are packages left outside or in a mailbox.    We take extra precautions by sending out an email explaining this to every customer that purchases worms.

Now you know why I smile when people ask about a 3-4 day shipment across the country. 🙂

Wormilicious

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Vermicomposting has come a long way in the past few years, and continues to gain interest.  I was recently interviewed on the Wormilicious podcast from fellow Wormer,  Cassandra Truax.

Cassandra is very creative, and I expect big things from her in the near future.

If you’d like to hear a bit more detail about my operation, take a listen:

http://wormdiaries.organic-raised-bed-gardening.com/2011/01/02/wormilicious-podcast-3/

Save Money – Make your own Soil Cubes!

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

   

Do you enjoy eating store bought fruits and vegetables?    Be honest.   Store bought produce is convenient, but grown simply for surviving shipping.   The produce goes from broker, to warehouse, to your store…and finally, to you!   This is why most store bought produce lacks the flavor it is SUPPOSED to have!   

Your worms are doing great and producing castings.   You’ve halved the amount of garbage that you set out on collection day.  Now what?   Why not start producing some of your own fruits and veggies?    You know you can do better…and here is a tool to help!   

INTRODUCING THE SOIL CUBE MAKER:   

A Soil cube is a cube of growing medium that has been lightly compressed and shaped by a form. A soil cube serves as both a container and the soil for starting and growing seedlings, eliminating the need for plastic pots and trays for transplanted seedlings.   Seedlings grown in soil cubes form stronger root systems than those grown in containers due to increased oxygen to the roots and the soil cube’s natural tendency to “prune” roots.   When these seedlings are transplanted into the field,  they establish themselves more quickly because of lessened root disruption.  This also makes your plants less prone to transplant shock.   

WHY SOIL CUBES?   

• Save Money!   The Soil Cube Tool is cost effective and will quickly pay for itself.  When compared to purchasing peat pellets,  peat pots,  or other small plastic pots that will deteriorate over time, the small expense of a Soil Cube Tool will be immediately offset in the first few flats of seedlings.  

 • A few plants at a time or many can be started.  Succession planting is easy with the Soil Cube Tool.

• More kinds of vegetables can be grown in soil cubes.  Since there is no root shock when the cubes are moved to the growing beds,  plants, usually not recommended for transplantation can be raised successfully in cubes such as:  sweet corn, beets, and cucumbers.

• Because soil cubes breathe without the constraint of plastic, there is no problem with your young plants becoming root-bound as in a plastic pot.    

Compare this vs. competitive systems.  It’s a great product at a great value. 

The Soil Cube tool from:   www.TheWormDude.com

Extreme Vermicomposting!

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

How’s this for testing the limits of a Vermicomposting System?

What’s in my INN (right now)? 🙂

36 rotting apples in various stages of decay (Actually many have totally broken down and have been consumed by the worms already, but I’m not digging in to count).

1 large bag of spinach we never got around to eating

Guts of 2 large pomegranates…no wait, we eat the guts…everything but the guts of 2 large pomegranates.

2 large pineapples sans the cores.

3 softball sized pumpkins (Average softball sized – two larger, one smaller).

Miscellaneous produce scraps produced over the last few weeks.

LOTS of cardboard toilet paper tubes. lots of strips of newspaper,  and a few empty cardboard egg cartons.

By anyone’s standards, I’d say this is an excessive amount of scraps to feed a couple pounds of worms.   But the worms are LOVING it….no smells, no bugs,  just happy, healthy worms eating away.

How is this possible?   The pieces of produce not yet rotted create air pockets in the Inn.   Because the Inn breathes so well, air flow is constantly flowing  through these gaps.  The rate of breakdown is slower than it would be in a plastic bin with little air flow, but that’s okay….this slow decay keeps the bag aerobic,  and gives the worms time to eat the produce as it decays. 

The alternative is what would happen in a plastic unit fed this volume ….stink, vinegar, dead worms.

What COULD I have done to screw this up?

I could have blended all of the produce together, creating a sewer in the bag.  Even though the bag breathes, a dense ball of rotting produce mush would not allow air to penetrate, becoming anaerobic and smelly.

I could have reduced the amount of bedding in the bag.  This would have been an invitation to every fruit fly in the state!

I could have layed some of the rotting produce on the top without covering with bedding.  Even the remnants of one apple would have been enough to invite bugs!

So there you have it.  Extreme worm composting with a little pseudo science about what’s going on in the bag to help understand how this is possible.  It’s superior air flow.  And air flow is the key to successful worm composting.

Keys to EXTREME Vermicomposting in The Worm INN

LOTS of bedding…if there is space in the bag, fill it with damp fluffed bedding.  The worms love it, and will turn the bedding into castings anyway.  The bedding surrounding the produce acts as a filter…Lots of rotting vegetation, no smell!

Don’t create a sewer and expect to not have a sewer?   HUH?   What I mean by this is that if I dump a 5 gallon bucket of  broken down, liquified produce sludge into the system all at once, it’s going to smell like 5 gallons of  produce sludge.   And if you’re still awake by this point, hopefully you now understand why this is not a good idea. 

Lots of damp, fluffy bedding!  Did I remember to mention this? 🙂

Who Cares?

Anyone that has ever had problems when vermicomposting and doesn’t realize why.

Anyone that has a lot of produce scraps to get rid of.  Had this been a plastic bin, I’d be bringing out small amounts of scraps every few days to feed the worms.   Not my idea of fun…. 

Hopefully this explains some of the How’s and Why’s.  It’s not the size (mass) of the produce, it’s what you do with it that counts.

What’s Next?

Because the bag is extemely full, I’ll let the worms munch away for the next few days and take some pics of their progress next week.

Keeping Things Interesting!

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Let’s face it…although worms are amazing creatures, there is only so much worm related information that can be given.    After awhile, most every question has been asked.

In the near future, I’ll be including some new and interesting things. 

1.  Links to websites that are extremely interesting, having to do with worms, growing things, or both.

2.  Some really cool experiment’s I’ve been working on lately.  All of them can be done at home.  Many of them would be great for working with kids!   If you like growing plants, you’re going to love this!

At the end of the day, this is still a Worm Website.   Feel free to continue to ask your questions, and I’ll be happy to share my experience with everyone.

I hope you and your families have the Happiest Holidays ever!

Jerry

Can Worms Eat Pineapple?

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Many people have asked, “Can worms eat pineapple”?   The fear is that because pineapple is acidic, and can tenderize meat,  it will tenderize worms!

After putting the skin of a large pineapple in my Worm Inn (Yes, the same Worm Inn that is processing 36 apples,  an entire bag of old spinach that we forgot about, and now, the skin of an entire pineapple) I’m happy to say, YOU BET!   The Worms love pineapple!

Remember, this was done in a Worm Inn, the only composting system that truly breathes.  I can’t tell you what would happen in a plastic bin. 

The Worm Inn – Rot On!

I Got the Gardening Bug…bad!

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

 

  

This fall, I got the gardening bug….bad!   This is the “Bug” that makes you spend all your waking hours learning about various gardening techniques, things that you can buy for gardening, how to get the greatest yields, etc. 

Of course, as soon as I plant my crops, we get record low temps (Below freezing in California is definitely not the norm), and days and days of dreary, rainy weather.  I guess I should be thankful for the rainy weather, but considering I just spent a ton of money installing a custom drip system for my beds,  the rainy weather did nothing but stop ME from going outside and enjoying my new garden! 

 

 

My plants have all received their liberal dose of Worm Castings, and are doing incredibly well…..except for the tropical pineapples that I planted as I hoped for summer temps all winter…duh… 

Anyway, I’ve got some fun new things to show everyone coming up.   Stay Tuned!