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Archive for the ‘Worm Composting’ Category

Queen’s Park Pre School in New Westminster is definitely doing their bit both for a greener planet and for the young fresh minds in their charge.

The Pre School is full of wonderful 3-4 year olds participating in a diverse range of programs from art, to language, to math and now to worms! Yes, worms! The pre school decided that it was time to stop throwing their snacks and food items into the bin and start a composting program – and they chose worms!

Starting this past April the school set up a worm bin for each of the 4 classes. In the beginning they kept them inside to keep the worms warm. The inside bucket was lined around with bug screen taped to the bottom and around the rim so worms would not escape through the many air holes in the sides. 
 
The lid for the inside bucket was on tight when indoors, but left ajar when outside, and no worms tried to escape.
 
At first, the parents were not adding enough paper so it was suggested to add more and decrease the amount of orange peels as well as a bit of water. 

Because the teachers wanted to show the worms again to the children when the food had been transformed, they stopped adding food, and so there is still some paper left.
 
They plan to repeat this next year, and I think they could do it in the fall and in the spring, as there is a long break for the holidays. If they want to compost all food, a bigger bin will be needed.

This is terrific and I can hardly wait as my soon to turn two year old will be in the pre school in September, a newly hatched three year old ready to paint and play with worms! Brilliant!

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Here is a great resource for children and schools – a site out of Illinois talking all about worms and worm bin composting for kids.

You can learn all about worms and how to compost on this highly educational, fun and rewarding site.

Here are a few highlights but please check it out on your own: Click here to play with Herman!

  • An earthworm can grow only so long. A well-fed adult will depend on what kind of worm it is, how many segments it has, how old it is and how well fed it is. An Lumbricus terrestris will be from 90-300 millimeters long.
  • A worm has no arms, legs or eyes.
  • There are approximately 2,700 different kinds of earthworms.
  • Worms live where there is food, moisture, oxygen and a favorable temperature. If they don’t have these things, they go somewhere else.
  • In one acre of land, there can be more than a million earthworms.
  • The largest earthworm ever found was in South Africa and measured 22 feet from its nose to the tip of its tail.
  • Worms tunnel deeply in the soil and bring subsoil closer to the surface mixing it with the topsoil. Slime, a secretion of earthworms, contains nitrogen. Nitrogen is an important nutrient for plants. The sticky slime helps to hold clusters of soil particles together in formations called aggregates.
  • Charles Darwin spent 39 years studying earthworms more than 100 years ago.
  • Worms are cold-blooded animals.
  • Earthworms have the ability to replace or replicate lost segments. This ability varies greatly depending on the species of worm you have, the amount of damage to the worm and where it is cut. It may be easy for a worm to replace a lost tail, but may be very difficult or impossible to replace a lost head if things are not just right.
  • Baby worms are not born. They hatch from cocoons smaller than a grain of rice.
  • The Australian Gippsland Earthworm grows to 12 feet long and can weigh 1-1/2 pounds.
  • Even though worms don’t have eyes, they can sense light, especially at their anterior (front end). They move away from light and will become paralyzed if exposed to light for too long (approximately one hour).
  • If a worm’s skin dries out, it will die.
  • Worms are hermaphrodites. Each worm has both male and female organs. Worms mate by joining their clitella (swollen area near the head of a mature worm) and exchanging sperm. Then each worm forms an egg capsule in its clitellum.
  • Worms can eat their weight each day.

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Prices of Worms:
In general 1 lb.= $35.

RichmondTerranova Schoolyard Society
red wigglers
call 604-767-9264
Email: ianlai@telus.net
We can service Richmond, Delta, Langley.

North Vancouver
Blue Family Wigglers
604 988 2067
 
Burnaby
Kent Webster
Battery Direct Vancouver
3981 Phillips Avenue
Burnaby, BC V5A 3K4
T: 604-420-7737 F: 604-420-7738
email: kent.webster@batterydirect.com
Note: selling worms with the Worm Factory only
 
New WestminsterDoreen Hill
604-525-2565

Maple Ridge
Compost Worms
Judy Vaughan
info@compostworms.ca
604-462-0679Dan & AnÕs Worm Farm
Contact: Tina
Tel: 778.317.4158
Email: tinathai@danandanswormfarm.com

 

Squamish
Compost Culture
Emily Smallwood
604 892 3375
I sell red wigglers.
 
compost.naturally.
604-898-4454
We sell the “Worm Chalet” made in Canada and Red Wiggler Worms.
 
Abbotsford
Transform Compost Systems
3911 Mt Lehman Rd.
Abbotsford, BC. Canada, V4X 2N1
Ph 604-856-2722
or 877-877-9655
Fax 604-856-8444
 
Aldergrove
Vern Lobe
Canadian Organic Worm Farms
“Black Gold”
(604) 857-0340
(604) 857-9087 (Fax)
 
Salt Spring Island
Stacia Kennedy
Salt Spring Global Worming
336 Trincomali Heights
Salt Spring Island, B.C. V8K 1M9
(250) 537-1111
www.saltspringworms.com
email:staciak@telus.net com
We carry Eisenia foetida and Eisenia hortensis, vermicomposting bins, kitchen compost carriers, books, and vermiculture supplies.
Cumberland
Worms at Work
Dennis (250) 338-4332 

Kamloops/Quesnel
Fern Petersen
Down to Earthworms/Ahbau Farms
(250) 998-4631
 
All Things Organic
Mel Anderson
(250) 372-1235
info@allthingsorganic.com
 
Creston
Ronna Nowalkowski
(250) 428-9475.
 
Kimberly
mikenpat@cyberlinkbc.ca
have red wigglers for $30.00lb and castings for
$1.00 lb
also 1 lb bins made up for $70.00.Ê
phone: 250-427-7706
addres: 8078 Banman cres. Kimberley B.C.,V1A2Y3
 
Nakusp
M. Fraser
Box 123
Nakusp, B.C.
V0G 1R0
(250) 265-4200
email: kootenaywigglers@rocketmail.com
Wigglers from our small family operation are hand raised, hand harvested and available year round
 
Nanaimo
Take Root Worm Farm
I sell complete starter worm bins, composting worms by the pound and worm castings (packaged and bulk).
Telephone number is 250 754-3536 Fax 250 754-3538
Email: takeroot@telus.net
 
Prince George
Northern Worm Ranch
Rob & Christa Beauchesne
Call: 1-250-560-5718
11675 Family Place Road, Prince George, BC
northernwormranch@hotmail.com
Red wrigglers available. $35 per lb for composting; $2.50 per dozen for bait.
 
Vernon
Briteland Agricultural Supplies
3208 28th St
Vernon BC v1T 4Z8
Phone: 250.545.3420 or 250.545.8088
Toll free: 1.800.663.5416
Fax: 250.545.4921
davew@briteland.com

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Dog waste is a big problem and there are things we can do about it besides chucking it into the garbage in a Safeway plastic bag! Here are some reasons dog poop is so foul and contributes to water pollution:

– Stormwater carries pet waste and other pollutants directly into waterways.
– Pet waste can release ammonia into the water which can kill fish and other aquatic life. At the same time, it can stimulate excessive growth of algae and other aquatic weeds.
– lllegal to send to landfills in many states.
– The typical dog produces 274 pounds of waste each year, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
– Unfortunately, if you put Lassie’s waste in a plastic bag, it takes up to 100 years to decompose.

So – what can you do? Here are three solutions for you to consider:

1> Pet-Friendly Automatic Composter

– Specially tuned for pet waste: lower air flow, mixing, and heat than our other composters, to avoid drying out or over processing the compost.
– Compost automatically discharged when ready.
– Great solution for city living and apartment and condo residents who want to stop sending all that kitchen waste to the dump.
– Can be used indoors or out.
– Plugs into a standard power outlet.
– 50 cents a month to run. 10 watts of power.

2> Green Cone Composting System

– Stainless steel components for continuous heavy loads.
– Ideal for large families, gourmet cooks, offices, or small restaurants.
– Available in designer colors.
– Foot pedal for convenient hands-free operation.
– Security lock feature included.

3> Pet Poo Converter

– Handle droppings of 2 medium dogs
– Easy to use compact unit
– Worm Farm
– Power of nature to recycle pet waste
– Worms eat bacteria so odor free
– No chemicals used

So no more excuses – help the world and composte your dog waste!

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The most common problem is unpleasant, strong odours which are caused by lack of oxygen in the compost due to overloading with food waste so that the food sits around too long, and the bin contents become too wet. The solution is to stop adding food waste until the worms and micro-organisms have broken down what food is in there, and to gently stir up the entire contents to allow more air in. Check the drainage holes to make sure they are not blocked. Drill more holes if necessary. Worms will drown if their surroundings become too wet.

Worms have been known to crawl out of the bedding and onto the sides and lid if conditions are wrong for them. If the moisture level seems alright, the bedding may be too acidic. This can happen if you add a lot of citrus peels and other acidic foods. Adjust by adding a little garden lime and cutting down on acidic wastes.

Fruit flies can be an occasional nuisance. Discourage them by always burying the food waste and not overloading. Keep a plastic sheet or piece of old carpet or sacking on the surface of the compost in the bin. If flies are still persistent, move the bin to a location where flies will not be bothersome. A few friendly spiders nearby will help control fly problems!

Source City Farmer

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If you have the correct ratio of surface area to worms to food scraps, there is little to do, other than adding food, until about two and a half months have passed. By then, there should be little or no original bedding visible in the bin, and the contents will be brown and earthy looking worm castings. The contents will have substantially decreased in bulk too.

It is important to separate the worms from the finished compost, otherwise the worms will begin to die. There are several ways to do this. and you can discover which is best for you. The quickest is to simply move the finished compost over to one side of the bin, place new bedding in the space created, and put food waste in the new bedding. The worms will gradually move over and the finished compost can be skimmed off as needed.

If you have the time or want to use all the compost, you can dump the entire contents of the bin onto a large plastic sheet and separate the worms manually. Most children love to help with this process and you can turn it into a fun lesson about worms for them. Watch out for the tiny. lemon-shaped worm cocoons which contain between two and twenty baby worms! By separating the worms from the compost, you save more worms for your next bin. Mix a little of the finished compost in with the new bedding of the next bin, and store the rest in plastic bags for use as required.

Where Do I Use My Compost?

The compost can be mixed with potting soil and used for houseplants and patio containers. It is an excellent mulch (spread in a layer on top of the soil) for potted plants. If it is screened, it can be added for potting mixes for seedlings, and finely sprinkled on a lawn as a conditioner. lt can be used directly in the garden, either dug into the soil or used as a mulch. 

Where Do I Use My Compost?

The compost can be mixed with potting soil and used for houseplants and patio containers. It is an excellent mulch (spread in a layer on top of the soil) for potted plants. If it is screened, it can be added for potting mixes for seedlings, and finely sprinkled on a lawn as a conditioner. lt can be used directly in the garden, either dug into the soil or used as a mulch.

Source City Farmer

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Worm bins can be used indoors all year round, and outdoors during the milder months.

The advantage of mobile bins is that they can be moved when weather conditions change.

Indoors, basements are excellent locations (warm, dark and dry), but any spare space can be utilized, so long as temperatures are between 40-80 degrees F.

We know dedicated worm composters who have convenient kitchen counter worm bins.

Outdoors, bins can be kept in sheds and garages, on patios and balconies, or in the yard. They should be kept out of hot sun and heavy rain. If temperatures drop below 40 degrees F., bins should either be moved indoors, or well insulated outdoors.

Source City Farmer

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