Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mold in the Vermicomposting Bin

I've noticed various molds growing on the bedding of my worm bin since I started it. I've never been too worried about them as I figured they were part of the decomposition process. I have found some interesting (to say the least) mold formations growing out of the ventilation holes in the side of my bin since it's come indoors for the winter. After reading this article I found out that it might be from feeding my bin too much. I was worried my worms were not getting enough to eat so I was a little overzealous the last time I fed. I'm going to stick to the 1 to every 2 weeks I've been feeding them, since that seems to work best for my bin. When I feed it's what I feel is a good sized bowl full of scraps. I keep the scraps in a container in my fridge so they can break down a little prior to being added to my bin (the worms will eat them faster this way). I've been wiping down my bin frequently to prevent the mold from reoccuring, and added more fresh moist newspaper bedding on top. If the mold comes again I will take a picture of it. - Read this article for great information on all of the other wonderful creatures living in your bin, how to cope, deal, and just realize that they're your friends too.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Worm Bin: Winter Update

It is now January and my worm bin has been living indoors for 2-3 months now. The harvest method I tried which relied on the worms migrating from one side of the bin to the other (see previous post) has not been successful. I've checked the old, casting-rich side of the bin several times and it is still quite packed with red worms throughout it. It is disappointing that the worms did not move.
I have decided to try to get the bin through Winter until I can move it back out onto my balcony where I will do another harvest by sorting. I feel bad letting the worms live in their own poo but I'd prefer not to harvest by a pile and sort method inside my small apartment with 2 cats and a dog in poor winter sunlight. I have been topping up the bedding in my bin around every 2 weeks as it shrinks down quickly and I want to make sure they have enough fresh bedding available. The moisture level of the bin's contents is good and is maintaining itself nicely without any spraying from me. I've been feeding weekly.
During the winter I do not compost as much as during the summer, when I compost everything that can be composted. Since I am not using the outdoor community composter during the Winter for larger compostables I don't feel like chopping up or those that I avoid putting in my worm bin, I end up throwing some of it in the garbage. It does still feel good though being able to compost the majority of food waste and scraps from my kitchen in my worm bin.