Sunday, March 31, 2013

Vemicomposting and Vermiculture

I have been gearing up for a return to serious vermicomposting and vermiculture.  I live in an urban subdivision, so serious efforts in growing my red wiggler population take some creativity. But before our relocation to Michigan 2 years ago we had grown 1 lb of worms into 25 lbs within a couple of years.

The difficulty in growing a worm population is providing appropriate food and bedding sources for them. In a household of 2 people, like ours, kitchen scraps alone will probably not provide enough food for more than a few pounds of worms.

But thanks for the power of the internet, finding additional sources is not very difficult. In the past, I have turned to Craigslist for help. A "wanted" posting for rabbit manure or horse manure will probably yield good results in more areas of the country. I was able to obtain 250 lbs of aged rabbit manure for $25 several years ago. A recent posting has not turned up an immediate renewed source of rabbit manure in my current community, but my search continues. I if you have the inside track on some rabbit manure, I would be willing to trade some red wigglers for it if you are interested. Please contact me via the comment button below.

The worm squirm
Homemade worm bin (left) and vertical commercial version (right)

Raising worms to compost your refuse is not rocket science. Please don't do as I did and waste $70 on a commercially purchased worm bin. A quick You Tube search for "home made worm bin" will provide you many ideas for how to make your own. If you spend more than $10-$12 to make a basic worm bin, you've spent too much money.

And if you're like I am, you might like to do things on a larger scale than most folks. If a little is good then a lot must be even better right?

Update from 5/8/13: I found a local source that will provide all the rabbit manure I want for $7 per 50 lb feed sack full.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Gardening Peparations

It's Easter weekend and temperatures are in the mid-50's. Here in Michigan we're not out of the woods yet for an occasional morning frost, so we will have to hold off on planting anything significant that is frost sensitive. But I couldn't resist doing some garden prepping today anyway.

We added an additional above ground bed today.

These modular kits were purchased at Home Depot. They are economical and readily available, but the best part is that as your gardening efforts expand your gardening can easily expand also.

We also prepared our Earthbox gardening area with some additional leveling pedestals. These were actually recycled from our backyard. The previous owners used the pavers in the backyard, so re-purposing them was pretty easy.

In the next couple of weeks we will finish leveling the pavers and prepare our Earthboxes. The backyard deck works well because our vegetables have a practical place to "climb".