Did the worms process most of last weeks scraps in The Worm Inn?
Let’s take a look.
Yep. Most of last weeks scraps are gone.
This is the worst month of the year for us when it comes to fresh fruit. The winter fruit season is pretty much over, and it’s too early for stone fruit (Unless you count the fruit picked unripe and imported)…aka..imported crap.
We’ve been away several days this week and only had 1.35 pounds of scraps. MUCH lower than a normal week for us.
Here’s the quick “Dump” into The Worm Inn.
Covered the scraps well, and added some additional newspaper like I wanted to do last week.
Had some paper towel tubes and some egg carton material, so that went in also.
I could shred them, but why waste my time? The Worms will process these just fine.
WEEK 2 – May 5, 2013 1.35 pounds
YTD….2.75 pounds (Just wait, some weeks will have 10 pounds of scraps)
There are two main questions that people ask about The Worm Inn.
How much can it process?
How fast will it process?
The Worm Inn (Pictured above), has been set up in my garage for appx. 8-9 months. I decided to empty it today for a few reasons:
1. I’m going to start totally fresh, taking pictures every week and monitoring just how much goes into this system (And showing how much waste is avoiding the landfill every week).
2. I wanted to show the amount of useable castings come out of the system. You’re looking at approximately 9 gallons of unscreened castings. Just the stuff straight out of the system. I sell 5 gallons of castings for approximately $50. At this rate, the Worm Inn pays for itself in less than one year!
3. When I take the weekly pictures, I will also include bedding that I add to the top of the system. You will not BELIEVE how fast the bedding level drops. And the bedding that I add to the top could be many things….from newspaper, to junk mail, to toilet paper tubes, to paper towel tubes. No paper shredder? Doesn’t matter. You’ll see.
Are these beautiful castings, or what? Finished castings, straight out of the system. No playing with mud, or worse….blocks that you have to chip before you can use them because the castings have turned into pseudo concrete!
It’s been awhile since I posted about my Worm Inn, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to now. We had family over this weekend and a big bbq. Summer fruits are always a big hit, so we made a huge fruit salad…..leaving LOTS of scraps for the worms.
You can see how many produce scraps I was able to process all at once. This is where The Worm Inn differs from other systems. If you try putting this much in a plastic tub, you are pretty much guaranteed to create a sewer and kill your worms quickly. The Worm Inn, because of it’s breathability can easily handle a large amount of scraps (As long as you have plenty of bedding in your Inn).
I didn’t show a picture of the most important part! Cover these scraps thoroughly with damp newspaper strips, or you’re going to invite every fruit fly in the neighborhood to the party!
Ever go on an apple eating binge, and just happen to have about 3 dozen apples go bad on you at the same time? Me neither…I’ve never gone on an apple eating binge in my life. 🙂
Actually a buddy of mine has a large apple tree loaded with apples. He brought a bunch over, and of course the first question I asked was, “Got any rotten ones”? After a momentary strange look, he realized where I was going with this question, and the next day brought over 3 dozen rotting apples! SCORE!
I put the rotten apples in my Worm Inn (See pic above), and covered them with plenty of bedding. A week later, the apples are just starting to break down slowly and naturally, just as they would if they were laying on the ground. The worms are starting to attack the apples, and soon, I will need more worm food for The Inn.
Now…compare this with putting 3 dozen rotting apples in a plastic bin with little air flow. That’s the recipe for apple vinegar, and a great way to heat up your bedding and off gas your worms. For all you new Worm people…heating up your bedding or off gassing your worms = DEAD WORMS.
If you have had a plastic worm bin for any length of time, you’re probably shaking your head up and down right now. Although this would be a worm massacre in a plastic bin, it’s just another week in the life of The Worm Inn! Either I’ve got some magic worms or a perfect worm composting system….You decide!
I received this email from Michelle C. She just started composting with The Worm Inn:
Hi Jerry, just wanted to give you a quick wormy update that my worms are doing great and plowing through tons of food scraps.
The worm bin (The Worm Inn) is really cool- My friend’s kid is going to do a little project on it for his science class!
Have a great weekend!
Did you realize The Worm Inn can easily pay for itself the first year?
THE WORMY MATH:
I normally harvest between 10-20 gallons of Worm Castings a year out of my Worm Inn. Generally, castings will weight about 30 pounds for every 5 gallons. Castings from The Worm Inn come out fluffier, so I’d estimate Worm Inn castings weigh about 20 pounds for every 5 gallons. This means a Worm Inn can easily produce 40-80 pounds of castings (Or more) in a year.
I sell castings for pickup at $20 for 10 pounds. At this price, the castings coming out of my Worm Inn are worth $80-$160!
Normally, you pay extra to buy a product considered “GREEN”.
What you are looking at it a picture of the Worlds LARGEST Worm Inn. I’ve put a hammer next to this unit so you could see just how big this actually is! Your first question is probably, “What the heck is he going to do with that”?
Here’s the backstory….If you know anything about me, you know that I never do things on a small scale if I can think of a way to do them on a large scale 😉 That’s not necessarily a good trait, as it sometimes leads to interesting and unintended results. Anyway…..I love the quality and texture of the castings that come out of my Worm Inn…so, I thought, what if I manufactured a BIG Worm Inn? After a short conversation with my manufacturing manager, I give the go ahead to design a 4×4 (Pallet Size) Worm Inn. What I didn’t think about is, How in the world do you hang a pallet sized Worm Inn? The opening at the top was 4×4, but I forgot that the dimensions of the length would also grow proportionally.
If I ever atttempted to hang it, I would need a ladder to reach up to fill it! 🙂
So….now I’ve got this HUGE Worm Inn. I’m thinking…I’m going to figure out a good use for this, or die trying. There’s a thought! If I die trying, I could be put in this thing and fed to the worms! Maybe that’s the upside….the world’s most breathable composting casket! Hmmmmm…..may be tough to make modifications if it doesn’t work well.
After deciding against that option, but still wanting to make good use of this huge bag, I had another thought…..”What if I filled this with leaves and grass clippings and wet it down”? BANG…a new concept was formed. “The Compost Inn”…the most breathable composting system in the world! Plastic units try to get air into the compost, but will never compare because plastic doesn’t breathe well………Stay tuned!
How many people can say they flew to Hawaii for a business trip? I can! Well, my trip was definitely not all business, but I did make sure I spent a morning with my favorite Waikiki Vermiculture expert, Mindy Jaffee (In Picture above), Owner of Waikiki Worms.
If you are ever lucky enough to visit Mindy, you will be amazed at the first rate job she has done with her shop. Classy and Professional are two words that best describe Waikiki Worms.
Mindy sells a LOT of Worm Inn’s, and she is a HUGE proponent of these great composting units. Besides having several Worm Inn’s in front of her store as attention getters, Mindy has a working model inside her store so her customers can see just how simple it is to process all your produce waste.
Now that I’m home, it’s back to reality for me. I can’t say I’m not a bit jealous of Mindy living the dream in Oahu.
I was looking at your Worm Inn’s. They are quite unique. Do people buy these instead of bins that are placed in the house, just so it doesn’t look ugly? How would that set-up prevent your kitchen from smelling like rotting food? I thought bacteria was supposed to break down the food scraps first anyway.
People buy these because they WORK BETTER than non porous bins that make it much easier to kill worms with excess food.
Regarding smells: Fruit and vegetable scraps stink if they become Anaerobic (Anaerobic = Without Oxygen) while decomposing. If you are able to provide plenty of air flow, most rotting vegetation smells sweet. Now if you add a bunch of brocolli, you are going to smell something as brocolli has a strong smell no matter what you do. 😉 But, with any worm bin, you want to cover your scraps with a layer of damp bedding as a filter, plus it’s a barrier to prevent major bug infestations.
You are correct, bacteria does break down the food scraps, and worms are bacteria feeders. Aerobic Bacteria requires oxygen. Bacteria works FASTEST when there is plenty of air flow. That is the reason people turn compost piles and put holes in worm bins. The Worm Inn works so well because it has 360 degree airflow. If you’ve watched the videos on my blog, notice that far more scraps are being put in for processing than ANY comparable commercial worm processing system.
Two things that make The Worm Inn the BEST commercial home composting system in the world.
1. Castings come out nice and flakey instead of muddy.
2. Processing capability is OFF the charts. I hesitate to say what the capability of the system is as we have never yet seen a bottom!