I remembered this as I watched a crab cross the street the other day. Human rescue isn’t the only rescue service I’ve been involved in. Several years ago when I was volunteering for my own emergency animal rescue I received a call for a crab blocking the exit door at a local Kmart. On arrival I could see a large group of people gathered at the exit doors but not trying to leave. The exit doors were opening and closing continuously as a Florida blue crab moved back and forth in front of them. As the doors would open or close the crab would keep moving in a straight line. It was funny to see how it had everyone stopped at the exit as if the crab was going to attack or something. I was surprised no one snatched it up and made a meal out of it. I threw my hat over it then caught it in a net and took it to a canal next to the store. -13
I usually don’t get political here but sometimes it’s necessary. People calling for “gun control” remind me of the hysteria of World War 2 and Hitler fanatics. First it was books then it was weapons. The Nazis disarmed the Jews for a reason, fear of self defense. If one was educated/trained one would not be so fearful. A recent example is the motorcycle backfire in New York where everyone are subjects of the state with no self defense capabilities so they ran like cockroaches when the lights turn on. Shame on them for letting their constitutional rights being violated by politicians.
Giving up second amendment rights will not make anyone safer, it won’t. It will place one in danger from those who intend to do harm. If people had the ability to defend themselves they wouldn’t need to run like sheep from wolfs. A few Jewish people I met in the 1980’s with number tattoos were very clear why gun registration and confiscation will always lead to trouble.
I don’t believe everyone should be armed, my one bullet video proves that. I do believe that carrying a firearm since 1982 has made me and those around me safer. I’m a person who runs toward danger, not away. Individuals that are frighted of firearms belong in a therapy session to overcome the phobia or in a mental ward safe away from the rest of us who understand our responsibilities as human beings. My safe space is created by my armed presence and nothing else.
It’s the reason the founding fathers wrote the second amendment, it didn’t have anything to do with hunting game. When it comes to freedom there are no compromises nor negotiations, none. Could anti civil rights fear mongering politicians be driving us into another civil war? If so there is only one place for them. -13
Bins 2 & 3, Update 20. The heat is still on high in south Florida. There has been small break during the night hours when the temperature reaches the mid to high 70’s. It’s not much but I’ll take it.
As mentioned in my last notes I would gather several of the pupae I suspect are black solider flies and confine them so that if something does emerge from them hopefully it could be properly identified. I put a few into a ventilated mason jar then placed it back into the bin. I’ll leave in there for the next several weeks if nothing happens then I’ll put them in the outdoor compost bin.
The above set of photos are the exact same ones from update 19. I forgot to refresh the weather page so the video has incorrect information for the ambient temperatures. The estimated temperature was 87°F with 89% humidity. It was very wet feeling this morning. My shirt was drenched with sweat before I was finished. Surprisingly the bin internal temperatures were exactly the same as last week.
Bin 2 had no odors nor many spiders. There were worms on the ledge. I think it was getting warm in there. Maybe they were trying to cool down. It looks like all the waste had been consumed. There was a roach(palmetto bug) in there that was dispatched to another place and time. Sure hope there aren’t any eggs in there. Bin 3 had a slight odor from the left over mango. There were a few spiders in there it looks like the heat is effecting them as well. They usually fill the bin quickly once they find a way in.
I’ve managed to burn out one blender feeding the worms. I have a spare in storage but it is buried in our storage unit. I’d have to remove most of the contents to get it. That’s not going to happen anytime soon so I purchased a new one that already smells like it won’t last through the next cycle. I may have to rethink my plan.
I usually put vegetables like carrots that take a long time to decompose in the blender to make it more accessible to the worms. Items like avocados and fruits get cut up and placed in the bin mostly whole. Those items typically don’t need assistance, root vegetables usually do. When I do use scraps put into the blender I place the waste in a thick layer covering half or less of the surface. This helps the waste maintain moisture preventing it from drying out before it gets consumed.
I’ll check in with the bins in a week, week and half and see how things are progressing. -13
Project video below.
Better late than never? Over the last few years I’ve had to bring the worm bins into the house due to hurricanes expected to hit our area. I roll them over a ramp from the porch into the living room where they stay until the danger has past. Each time the house was infested by spiders within days. I think they detect air movement and move to those areas then start spinning webs.
After a friend was bitten on the forehead by an unknown species of spider I’ve been reluctant to bring them indoors for fear of someone getting bitten. There are many species of spider found commonly here in Florida that we frequently encounter. The bite wound my friend experienced left a scar that cannot be denied. It’s very concerning to not know what species it was.
With that knowledge I couldn’t put others living here at risk. After thinking on the topic for a while I came up with the idea to make a PVC pipe frame then cover it with mosquito netting to contain the spiders within the confines of the enclosure. The PVC pipe should work well for this purpose, it won’t rust, is lightweight and can be put together without fasteners or glue. That makes the frame collapsible for easy storage and portable.
I chose mosquito netting made for a bed. It’s not heavy duty but should work well. As best as I can tell the netting does not contain any insect repellent that may interfere with or kill the worms. I’ve seen people buy mosquito netting for outdoor/camping use that killed their insects because the net contained repellent. I chose this particular net because it completely encloses the space without any openings. Plus the net was less than $12.00 on Amazon. An affordable way to experiment.
To construct the frame I used 1/2″ pipe and fittings. I used 90° elbow tees on the corners, regular tees for support members and legs as well as slip caps to cover and protect the leg ends from damage and insects or wildlife. All fittings are dry fit so it can be taken apart easily since it won’t be used much. The cost of the pipe and fittings was $20.94 purchased from Lowes.
I started by measuring the areas I wanted to cover then cut the pipe to size. Once I cut them I put the frame together. Once together I cut the top cross-members to fit the frame. I installed the cross-members without fittings since it would be much easier and give me the ability to move them as necessary.
Once I had the netting installed it became obvious that a piece or two of plastic lattice would work well to help support the net to keep it from bridging the moat. The lattice would allow good air circulation. I see scraps in trash piles regularly so the next time I spot some I’ll recycle it for the project.
I purchased enough materials to extent the frame for one more bin setup. If I add another bin I’ll make the extension then. For now I’ll store the materials until needed. Overall I’m satisfied with the outcome of the project. The real test will be to bring the bins inside the house and see what happens with the spiders. The population of spiders is minimal presently so an experiment at this time is premature. Total cost for the project was $32.93. From staging the materials to clean up the project took approximately 40 minutes to complete. I’ll post an update if I test it or modify the project. -13
Short project video below.
Bins 2 & 3, Update 19. The heat won’t stop. Although the temperature wasn’t as hot as other days it felt like it was much hotter that it was. The ambient temperature was 89°F with 61% humidity. Internal bin temperatures ran from 83.8°F to 83.1°F. It seems like the fan blowing on the bins has had some effect. There were no foul odors. The only smell that seems normal is the light earthy smell. Looks like most of last weeks waste was consumed. Otherwise not much to note about the bin conditions.
I had forgotten to put a photo of the pupae that attach to the bin walls after I’ve introduced fruit flies. If I leave what appears to be undamaged fruit such as mangos out after cutting the larvae seem to appear out of nowhere when there are no visible flies inside the house. Sure hate to think we’re eating these off the tree with fly larvae already inside.
I think it was last week after feeding waste I had noticed a new species that must have been introduced by me during a feeding. I think I’ve had these bins running for a little over 3 years at this point and have never seen them before now. I have seen them many times in the outdoor compost bins but never took the time to identify them. Since I can’t figure out where they came from my curiosity is up.
I thought they looked familiar but am not sure yet. After looking for answers online I think they may be black solider flies. The website I looked at from Texas A&M directed me to another site that makes me almost sure they’re Hermetia illucens – black solider flies. I’ll leave them in there and see how it turns out. I’m thinking of isolating several of them inside the bin for added assurance. If they hatch out in isolation that should get me the answer I want.
I recently ordered a cheap bed mosquito net from Amazon. My plans are to make a frame from PVC pipe to enclose the bins. Then cover the frame with the mosquito net. The frame will allow me to keep the moat from being bridged by the netting. This is the best idea I can come up with for now. The worms are surviving in this heat but I’m not sure they are thriving in it. If this plan works I’ll be able to move them into the air-conditioned house.
We usually bring them in for hurricanes. By doing this the spiders detect air flow then move out into the house. I’ve never photographed the webs that show up after a storm but find them everywhere shortly after. However I’ve been reluctant to bring them in since my friend received a spider bite getting into her van in December of 2017. The photo below is the bite wound as it was healing. Unfortunately we were never able to figure out what species spider it was. There are several commonly found here, it could have been any of them.
She is fortunate to have not been bitten on an eyelid. With this in mind I can’t risk infesting the house with unknown species that may impact residents of the house. My plan for the mosquito net would prevent the spiders from getting into the house reducing the possibility of a bite wound.
The bins are a rich source of small insects for the spiders which somehow find their way into the screened in porch. Since the heat wave I’ve been motivated to get my butt in gear and do something about it so they can be brought in safely. I’d rather sacrifice the worms than see someone injured. The next step will be to go to Lowes and pick up the pipe and fittings. I’ll film a video of how I make them. The new video is below. -13
Broward County Florida, water main break leaves over 220,000 without water for hours with more to come. Residents of cities Sea Ranch Lakes, Tamarac, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Port Everglades, Oakland Park, Winton Manors and Ft. Lauderdale were notified by an emergency alert text message early in the morning that the water was cut off. We were informed we may not have water for 24 – 36 hours. We had city water when we went to sleep, when we woke up there was none.
I’m covering this story because it’s local, it affects me directly and it is an excellent demonstration of why we have emergency supplies and equipment. Living in Florida we have an expectation of hurricane events every year. Due to that fact of life one must be prepared for the loss of municipal services like water, or private business services such as electricity.
Most of the water here comes from aquifer wells because we are surrounded by brackish and salt bodies of water. If one doesn’t know where too look one could run out of water fast here and dehydrate quickly. There is also the potential for dangerous wildlife encounters gathering fresh water. It’s why we keep an average of 80 plus gallon of bottled water on-hand at any given time. With the broken 42 inch pipe temporarily repaired we have a boil water order until further notice. That means they consider all water entering our home to be contaminated and it must be treated before use to be safe.
That’s not all. The repair is only a temporary one and must have a permanent solution before the water supply returns to normal. That means we will be without water again sometime in the near future. The other potential with this incident could have been the loss of electric power. The pipe was broken when a power company contractor was digging a hole for new electric service. Without water and power it would be like after a hurricane. We spent three weeks without power after Katrina struck Miami.
How did this affect our home? Beside potentially contaminating our pipes, hot water heater and toilets it also left us without working fire hydrants. We have water purification covered. We have the ability to boil water with our electric stove, portable gas stove or turkey fryer as well as purify it with a mixed oxidant disinfectant we produce our self and our hiking water filter.
Water purification covered that leaves fire protection. Ft. Lauderdale Fire Rescue reported that they called for mutual-aid from Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Fire Rescue for tanker trucks to provide water should they need it. Setting up quick dump reservoirs and shuttling water is a time consuming process which may leave fire crews needing water if things don’t go as planned or the fire is a large one. The last thing they want to do is draft from a body of water or canal.
Without working hydrants and the slow nature of tanker trucks there is the potential for a ripping blaze by the time fire crews can supply enough water to fight fire effectively. I’ve seem homes burn down because there was no water supply or a delay in supplying it. If the homeowner or tenant doesn’t have a way to fight fire during a natural or manmade disaster there is always the possibility of loosing everything or someone.
The best success causing the least damage requires a quick response. If we had a fire during the worst part of a hurricane we would be on our own without municipal fire protection. That means during a storm we have to have the ability to put out a fire. If not if will burn a home down and possibly the neighbors as well depending how close they are. Radiant heat will set other homes, vehicles and anything else close enough on fire.
Because of our preparations for those type incidents we have for the most part been unaffected. Our water supplies were in stock there was no need to go anywhere for supplies. We have several means to supply pure water so there was no concern should we have to use them. And on a small scale we have fire protection covered, enough so that we could put out a small fire quickly. We regularly wash clothing and dishes as soon as there is a load, so most of our clothing/dishes are clean. That was a lesson learned from Katrina.
This incident should make more people aware of the preparations necessary to prevent last minute scrambling for emergency supplies. No matter where one may live there is always the potential need for those supplies. Everyone should be prepared. This was an excellent test of our capabilities. I think our preparations have proven to meet my expectations. Are you ready? -13
Bins 2 & 3, Update 18. Not much to note for the bins. The heat wave continues with late night temperatures in the 80’s along with high humidity. The photo below was taken shortly before writing these notes at about 3:00am. Doesn’t look like it cools down much at night.
The bin temperatures were 86.7 F with an ambient temp of 92, 55% humidity. Both bins appear to have most of the waste consumed. There were no odors. A few spiders are starting to show up as expected. That also indicates the frogs and lizards haven’t found a way in. Still cannot figure where the frogs came from.
There is a new addition to bin 2 I haven’t seen before. There were a couple of those grub looking things crawling around in there that I’ve seen in the compost bin. Not sure what they are but hope they aren’t roaches.
If I don’t make a note about it, it’s not going to happen. I had every intention to mention AJ’s Green Topics in update 16 & 17 but forgot. He suggested I check the soil temperature. Which is why the ambient and soil temperatures are now included in the updates. As cool as the soil feels to the touch, the 86.7 F temperature cannot be ignored. Seems obvious now huh? Go over to AJ’s YouTube channel and subscribe he has worm bins and other projects you may find of interest. Thank you, AJ!
Since the heat is not letting up and it is still hurricane season I plan on ordering some type of mosquito netting to keep the spiders in check and out of the house in a day or so. I’ll have to search for something that doesn’t have bug repellant in the material. The video is below. -13
Bins 2 & 3, Update 17. The weather over the last week or so has been hot. High 80’s into the 90’s during the day, in the low 80’s at night. Last update(16) the bin temperature inside the bins read in the 80 degree range. I thought there was something wrong with the compost thermometer I was using. That prompted me to use a digital one from the kitchen.
What a surprise to discover how accurate it was. The worm bin soil temperature readings were 86 degrees F for both bins. That might explain why the waste hasn’t been consumed at the rate it usually is. And also maybe why I’ve seen worms trying to escape the bin several times.
My issue is where to put the worms for a cooler temperature. I have no other place to put them when it gets hot like this. Not sure what to do. I do have a fan blowing on the bins but don’t have much confidence it will help. Since they aren’t’ consuming at the rate they usually do a lot of items are getting a little foul.
I also noticed the other insects in there didn’t seem to be as active as usual. I’ve brought these into the living room during hurricanes. The problem with that are the fruit flies and spiders that invade the house when I do. Plus there is no space for them. Currently the living room is full of items from storage that we’re sorting through. I’ll check the temperature in a few days then next week to see how the bins have advanced since this update. -13
I had to make another video on the topic of celebratory gunfire. The other one didn’t get much attention maybe this one will be different. Some people should not own firearms of any kind. I rant for nearly 3 minutes and almost sure the very people who need to see the video won’t. I hope someone doesn’t get killed by one of them this 4th of July. -13
I was not aware of this until I read the link below. Food gardens are now legal in Florida. Never knew there was an issue with them because there shouldn’t be. During World War 2 gardening was encouraged. I’d like to know what kind of idiot would vote to make front yard food gardens illegal. Only an idiot would support something that stupid. Can we bring back tar and feathering?
Good on the couple and for the Institute For Justice suing Miami Shores. Shame on the super lazy and nearly good for nothing Florida Supreme Court for not hearing the case. Seems like they don’t want to take on cases like this where they’ll have to rule on our constitutional rights. Enough ranting the good news is plant your garden Florida. -13
Part of the Vermicompost Experiment includes managing all the videos and still images that accumulate for the project. I don’t have enough digital storage to keep most of the files so they get deleted forever. I had planned on making a video of each bin over a 6 to 12 month period. That didn’t work out because I’ve been so far behind schedule on other projects.
I was able to photograph a 5 month period of continuous before and after images for bins 2 and 3. Bin 1 was a little different but I did get enough to make a short video. The images show what the bins look like with food waste then what it looks like after the worms have their way with it. When I post the usual updates it’s not always easy to notice how much can change over a short period of time.
The time lapse videos make it much easier to see how capable the worms are turning waste into soil magic. These have to be my favorite project videos so far. The bin 1 video has a me explaining the experience. The other videos for bins 2 and 3 have no speaking, only music. Back to the video editing. -13
Bin 1 video.
Bin 2 video.
Bin 3 video.
Bins 2 & 3, Update 16. It’s been almost a month. Hard to believe that much time has passed. Still catching up on other projects. Not much to report this update. It was a hot, sweaty day, 90 degrees Fahrenheit. I did use a compost thermometer to measure the inside temperature, it showed 80 degrees F. That couldn’t have been correct because the substrate felt cool to the touch. I’ll use a digital thermometer next time.
The plan this time was to pull all the castings from the bottom to the top. That way the castings would get aerated and give me a chance to see how many worms are in the bin. I looks like both bins have plenty of worms, maybe more than the space can handle. I may have to start a new bin as I had been thinking. Both bins had that freshly dug earthy smell. No foul odors of any kind
Since I’ve loaded the bin up with a large amount of food I’ll come back in a week for a checkup. -13