Pear Tree Worms – Let’s Try This Again

An adventure in vermicomposting…round two.

It has been just over a year since the unfortunate death of our Savage Worms and the mourning period is over.  Now that our apartment has begun to thaw from the winter chill, I have had a hankering for a new herd of worms.  I know that Pear Tree Worms does not have quite the same ring to it as Savage Worms, but I feel like calling the project Savage Worms II is a little like naming a new pet after a recently deceased one.  Fido II?  Sad!  Besides which, Andrea, founder of the original vermicomposting adventure, has moved across the globe to Papua New Guinea (and has also been on a mission to find a Melanesian breed of food-loving worms!).  Feeding the worms will not be quite the same with out A though.  Remember this?

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So anyway, here we go again with the worms!

First things first, I had to gather the equipment.  I couldn’t find a bin quite as good as our original (A, where the heck did you find that bin?), but I settled for a standard Rubermaid.  I spent a couple frustrating hours drilling holes – lots on the top and upper sides, fewer and smaller on the lower sides and bottom.  Several stuck-in-plastic drill bits and one snapped-in-two drill bit later, I finished (obviously, I am a novice with the power drill).

Next, order worms!  After perusing a couple vermicomposting sites and not feeling strongly about any of them, I remembered having read and referenced Red Worm Composting several times during the Savage Worms days.  Vermiculture enthusiast & blogger Bentley has oodles of great vermicomposting advice on his site, so I figured I might find some worm-buying recommendations.  Well, as it turns out, Bentley actually sells worms!  And at a cheaper rate than the other two sites I was considering!  So that made my choice easy.  So far, the choice has proven to be an excellent one – great customer attention and a nice full sack of healthy worms.

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Step 3, food & bedding.  I started collecting food scraps & setting up the worm bin about a week and a half before the worms were to arrive.  For bedding I used a mix of shredded newspaper, egg carton and trimmings off one dead & one dying branch from one of our palm plants.  I mixed the materials together and wet them so they were damp but not dripping.  By the time I got all of that in order it was Tuesday.  Then I waited for the post!  The worms arrived, as promised, on Thursday.  I was a little concerned that I had not given the bin enough time to equilibrate, and i wanted to give the worms some time to settle after their cross-border journey (Red Worm is located in Canada), so i left the worms in their sack, left the sack in the opened box, and left the box sitting in the worm bin over night.  Overcautious, perhaps, but so far there have been no casualties.  I had wondered if any of the worms might crawl out of the sack during the night – it was tightly sealed, but there were a few worms peeking out when I opened the box.  Sure enough, Friday morning as I parted some bedding to leave a pile of food, there was a lone worm squirming around in the bedding.  Anyway, I opened the sack and burrowed it into the bedding, with the opening facing a nice pile of ripe food scraps so that the worms could venture out at their leisure.

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Can you spot the adventuresome wiggler?

So far, so good.  I have checked on the worms a couple times, trying not to be over-disruptive.  They seem to be adjusting well and have a healthy appetite.  Not one left in the sack, a few wanderers crawling up the sides, but no escapees.  I’ll do a full-on check up and feeding later this week, so stay tuned.

One thought on “Pear Tree Worms – Let’s Try This Again

  1. Hope you ae going good with it this time around :)

    Reading through your last posts, I’d say there was too much food going on, which leads to the worms trying to escape en masse, the flies and the smell!

    Always better to start new bins slowly, the worst you do with a shortage of food is reduce the rate the worms multiply.

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