Worm bin notes: Fleeing the Ferment?

Bins 2 & 3, Update 12.  This one starts without notes.  The footage was filmed during the WordPress whiteout mayhem.  There are several times where the worms are at the top of the bin on the ledge/lip that the lid sits on.  Also in the recess created by the molded in handhold.

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August 16th, Bin 2, Worm bunch in recess.

The photo above is bin two, from the 16th, when they were bunched up in the recess.  Scooped them out with a flattened plant stem and dropped them back in the bin.  Still hadn’t thought of the fermenting possibility at that point and left the mango like it was.  The photo below shows why.  There is a mess of activity on the salad with the mango close by.

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August 16th, Bin 2, Upper left mango, lower left worms devour salad.

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August 16th, Bin 2, Worms devour salad, mango close by.

It doesn’t look like there is much going on near the mango.  In the video it doesn’t look like any insects are going near it.  Didn’t catch that detail when taking a few quick photos of the progress.  Might not matter.  The video of bin three shows them all around the mangos at the same time.  Days later on the 18th it looks like they’re passing by.

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August 16th, Bin 3, Worms close to mangos.

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August 18th, Bin 3, Worms don’t seem interested.

Not sure what that means if anything.  I’m still thinking they’re avoiding the fermenting gasses while the mango were in that state.  I’ll be paying much more attention in the future.  Will also wait longer before putting in fruits so I can pull the skin off by hand or chop them up.  Won’t be putting whole fruits in like that again.

The other stuff looks good, no unwanted insects or reptiles.  No fermenting or other smells.  Added some Florida avocados to both bins on the 18th.  There are plenty of veg scraps I’ll get in tomorrow for a check-up and add it then.  -13

Current video with accurate Closed Captions below.

Worm bin notes: Check-up

Update 10, Bin 1.  My plan for this bin was to remove as many roly poly as I could, add waste and leave it alone.  I was surprised to find so little of the roly poly I didn’t remove any of them.  That changed after editing the video. In the beginning part of the video while I’m away from the bin the roly polys are moving around and hiding.  After watching that I’ll remove them as planned next time I’m in the bin.

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August 18, Bin 1, Roly Poly

 

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August 18, Bin 1, Roly Poly

There were no roaches or odors.  Everything looked good in there.  The worms were below the surface as I usually find them when there is little waste in the bin.  Below is a short video that shows how the roly polys moved before I could see them and the conditions of the bin. -13

 

Worm bin notes: Fermenting, Lizards & Disappearing Spiders

Part 1

Bins 2 & 3, Update 11. Not sure where to start. Lack of time, loss of memory and blog access has me trying to remember any of the last few weeks I’ve been so busy catching up.

It starts off my not having taken notes on paper or used Notes on my computer.  Not much into Apple so I’m not using or familiar with most of the apps on this computer.  No excuse to not use the one that I like using though.  Lack of time is another issue that I can’t do much about.  Some of the crazy starts with the image below.

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 8.15.26 PM

See that?  That is what it was like for me to login and try to update my site. Couldn’t get past it.  Check out Blank Page Mayhem! to find out more on that experience.

Finally able to login, here I sit trying to remember those details I didn’t write down.  Moving from one project to another, I won’t remember, that’s what my notes are for! Have to laugh at that one. Anyway, I’ll do my best.

Bin 2 had signs of worm activity on the walls of the bin and upper lip.  My thought is that the worms were trying to get more food because of the time span between adding waste.  As I was thinking about writing this several memories of similar circumstances makes me think it’s something else.  I suspect the worms are fleeing the fermenting mangos or any fermenting fruit.

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July 20 Mango bin 2

The first time I put mangos in the bins they went in whole.  When checking them several days later I noticed the smell that fermenting fruit makes as soon as I opened the lid.  I also noticed the worms trailings at the sides/top and no worms were visible at the surface.  All I remember thinking at the time was not to put whole skinned fruits/vegetables in without cutting them so the worms could get to them.

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August 9 Mango bin 2

Sometimes mangos were added in whole then opened days later after they’d had a chance to ripen.  That didn’t work as well as cutting them into halves or quarters then placing the fruit onto the soil.  Or letting them set a short time outside the bin until the skins peeled off by hand.  Many of the videos show it.  After I started cutting the fruit I never noticed the fermenting smells.  The last few times I’ve added mangos I sliced down to the pit multiple times without cutting it into pieces to open up the skin and give the worms access.

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August 12, bin 2, sliced mango.

That turned out to be nearly the same as not cutting them.  The fruit fermented and built up gasses under the cardboard covers I use.  I noticed it when I opened the bins for a quick check and didn’t put it in my notes.  Now I think the worms are trying to get away from the gasses building up under the cardboard.  It seems like the fruit goes through a shorter ferment process after its been opened or maybe it doesn’t do it afterward.  I’m not sure how that works.

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August 18, bin 2, sliced mango.

What is clear is how fast the worms consume it after it’s been cut.  Lesson learned, cut the fruit open.

Back to bin 2.  The observation of the worm trails led to the above so that’s covered.  There is also an example of not cutting or opening a mango.  July 20th to August 9th, as can be seen in the video, the worms haven’t accessed the fruit yet.  They’re trying, they don’t until it’s opened and spread around.  Then it goes fast.

Added a salad that had dressing and shrimp.  I removed the shrimp, then spread the salad out to see how the worms would deal with it.  Looks like no problem so far there’s almost nothing left.

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August 9th, bin 2, salad experiment

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August 18th, bin 2, salad experiment

The video started out as one video but it seemed too long so I cut it into two parts.  The first part is little over 8 minutes, only bin 2.  Part 2, 7 minutes, is only bin 3 stuff.  Simple I know but seems like the best idea for now.  Probably change my mind later.  Part 1 is below.

 

 

Part 2

Bin 3 starts with my Aug. 9th check.  I opened the bin and started removing the cardboard, out of I don’t know where a lizard about 4 inches long ran over the top edge of the bin then hid under it.  It was fast I hardly had time to see it but I’m nearly sure it was an anole.  This led to another observation.

On several occasions I’ve opened the bins in the past and noticed that almost all or all of the spiders that had populated the bin would be gone.  Around that same time I’ve also seen lizards around the bins.  I remember for sure a gecko was inside bin 1 before I dumped it and there were no spiders in there again for months after I’d ran the gecko off.  It had cleaned them out.

After a lizard cleans out the spiders it takes a few months before another one finds its way in and starts the process all over.  I think the gecko that was in bin 2 last time had not been in there long because I was looking at the spider population and trying to figure out where to move them when I saw it.  In the future I’ll try to leave the lizard in the bin or put it in another to clean out the spiders if the population is getting uncomfortable.

That’s if I can catch it.  Another thing I’m hoping to address for the videos is how the yellow glove affects the picture as my hand is moving around inside the bin.  It’s amazing how much it can change the picture.  Looks like the lights are getting dimmer then brighter.  It’s too much!  I ordered a black pair of rubber gloves to see if it will help.  More on them in a future blog after I use them.  Almost sure it will make a big difference.

In the past I’ve added sweet pepper cut offs then forgot to check on the progress.  When I remembered to check there wasn’t a trace so I never knew what happened to them.  This time I have a small bunch and a clean area to experiment with.  The before and after pictures show how little interest they have in them throughout decomposition.

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August 9th, bin 3, sweet pepper experiment.

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August 18th, bin 3, sweet pepper experiment.

The worms were spotted around the peppers but never in them. I think the condition of the other waste in the same bin over the same time frame also shows how little interest they had in the peppers. Check out the pictures. It’s like most of it was never there.

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August 9th, bin 3, usual vegetable waste.

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August 18th, bin 3, usual vegetable waste.

I think if the worms were interested in the peppers, that they would look like what happened to the other waste pile I put in there at the same time. Gone. There were more peppers that were thrown into our outdoor compost.

So it’s, cut the fruit up, ventilation, try the new gloves, lizard spider control services if you can catch them and by all means take notes.  Got it!  Part 2 is below.  -13

 

Worm bin notes: Population Grows

Update 9, Bin 1.  Could have wrote this and made the video days ago but got sidetracked on the Project: Closed Caption Words matter, in a world of silence. marathon.  Then I also somehow had in mind I needed to wait until I documented the progress of the last additions to bins 2 & 3.  Not sure why, I didn’t plan on getting back into the bin until the next round of waste is ready to add.

There hasn’t been as much waste material over the last few weeks so it took a little longer between feedings.  I’d rather not disturb them and let things progress with as little interference as possible.  It seems like things work much better that way.   This bin has had a few disturbances with the roaches.  That left me digging around in there when I otherwise would not have been.

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July 20, 2018 Condition of bin after waste added.

It does look like the roach rodeo roundup was successful.  Didn’t see anything in there.  The white dot bugs are abundant and active.  The earwig looking things have been slow to populate.  I wonder if the roly polys have anything to do with it?  The roly polys population is growing really fast.

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August 9, 2018 Untouched since July 20th.

I was worried about them in a confined area and over population.  Have an idea to try and get some out and add to my yard compost and other areas where leaf litter builds up.  More on that in the next blog/video since I don’t have the details worked out yet.

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August 9, 2018 After checking for roaches waste was added.

The mangos don’t want to quit.  I thought I had killed them off last time but as the evidence shows, it didn’t work.  This time I broke the sprout to see how it works.  The bin had no odors and it appeared that all the waste added last time was completely gone.  Except for the potato skins which, over time I’ve noticed takes some time to decompose.

The worms were hard to find at the surface, had to dig a little to make sure of their health.  That’s usually how it is when all the waste at the top has been consumed.  They looked like they’re doing well.  My next visit will be to remove some of the roly polys and take them to other useful places.  Now that it looks like the roaches are gone the bin can be left to progress without chaos.  The issue will be finding enough waste to keep the eating machine running.  -13

 

Worm bin notes: Gecko Chaos, All Is Well & Censorship?

Bins 2 & 3, Update 10, 20 July  It dawned on me editing the video that this is a good subject for school kids and I like cussing, so I’ll cuss as much as usual. Or, add a few extra to keep your on your toes, the only difference is I’ll bleep it out.  I won’t use the normal bleep sound.  There are all kinds of interesting and fun sound effects that are a much better substitute.  I’d rather be me, do the bleeps and still have something that may have educational value that a family could watch together.

CENSORED

Since that’s why I started all this to begin with.  Documenting examples of things I did not see on video/photo.  There are always lots of words often with no photographs or video.  I’ve thrown several food waste items in my bins I’m not sure how many times over the last two years successfully.  Then read online at various websites how this or that is a never, no-no, ever! kind of thing.  The worms in these bins have a different opinion on what they find acceptable.

Following no dogma, I like to see for myself, the who, what, when and where.  Then share what is discovered with video/photographic examples.  Much is edited out of my videos for brevity.  I don’t want to waste time with unnecessary footage that doesn’t add anything or document an actual event.  Update 10 video for bins 2 & 3 has more footage than usual because extraordinary events did happen.  It will show more detail how the bins are maintained and recorded.

Bin 2 starts with a little excitement when I discover a gecko in the bin.  Didn’t notice it when the cardboard was moved all the spiders were distracting me.  While I was trying to figure out where and what to do the with more than 20 spiders I spotted a gecko in the bin.

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20 July Spiders do well in bin 2

Once you see them you have to move fast or loose your chance to catch them.  When this happens I’m usually able to catch it and let it go outside.  This time all the chaos and my unsuccessful attempt at capture and release was recorded.  Maybe next time.  Hope I get it before the cats do.

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20 July Bin 2 Gecko

As can be seen in the photos in this blog and in the video, the worms and other insects have picked everything clean.  It’s amazing to see.  The mangos want to grow don’t they?  It looks like a nursery for mangos seedlings.

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20 July Bin 2 Mangos reaching for the sun

There was no noticeable odor or roaches.  Overall it looks good inside bin two.  The addition of more worms has clearly worked.

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20 July Bin 2 Picked clean mango seeds

Bin 3  Not much to note about this bin.  No odor, no roaches or chaos.  A single mango seedling trying like all the others.

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20 July Bin 3

There must be a lot of worms in bin 3 because they clean the waste in there like a boss.  Look at the photo below or better, the video.  What an amazing transformation.

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July 7 Bin 3

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20 July Bin 3

The video has as much as the fun and excitement as the camera could capture. Would liked to have caught the lizard and moved it off the porch to think if the cats get it leaves me unsettled. But that is life in or on any porch in Florida, a deathtrap for lizards when there is no food source or in many cases, they’re on the menu.  Seems like I have a few regular viewers and readers of the blog.  That’s a surprise.  Hope you find something useful here while you visit. -13

Worm bin notes: Roach Rodeo Arrives, Chaos Ensues

Update 8, Bin 1, 10th July.  Need to remove the dead grass out of a planter and recycle it into the bin.  Everything set up to film, before recording began I removed the lid to make sure everything was in frame when the pursuit began.  Caught a roach off guard.  After tearing through all the cardboard caught the only roach in sight and ended it there.  Searched the bin several times and saw nothing.

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10 July  After Roach Rodeo Chaos

The video starts soon after the roach rodeo ended.  Not very good footage of the transfer.  Doing any task while watching it though the camera is not as easy as one might think.  No offensive odors to note.  Did not add any waste there was plenty from last time.

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10 July  After photo.  Patch of grass added.

20th July  Time to check bin conditions.  Set up to film, hit record before I started this time.  Roach rodeo part two begins as the cardboard is removed.  It nearly escaped me it moved so fast.  All the gory details caught on video.  There was another roach in the cardboard that was taken out of the bin and set aside.  Caught that roach and it is on its way to somewhere.

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20 July More Roach Rodeo Chaos Aftermath

The overall condition of the bin looks like its progressing well.  There are worms dispersed throughout the waste.  The roly-polys are thriving the evidence is visible in the bin.  There are maybe 50 or more.  It’s hard to tell for sure.  Plenty of white dot bugs wish I could see them under magnification.  No foul odors.

An observation on onions in all of my bins over time.  An onion, no not just the onion, most of the root/underground grown plants take much longer to decompose in the bin.  The thing to note about the onion is while it looks like not much is happening from a top view, when turned over the bottom will be full of small earth worms.  Not sure if I have footage yet in any of the videos.  It appears that the younger worms are attracted to them.

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Those mangos like theses bins.

To wrap it up, added a small amount of mangos and greens.  Covered it with cardboard as usual.  Didn’t add water this time the humidity level looked good.  There isn’t much soil at this point so moisture levels have to be maintained and monitored.  I’ve seen the top layer dry before.  It helps to keep the cardboard close to the surface of the waste yet still have air flow.

Filmed a short video inside the bin.  Not much to see.  Close up view of how I like to see this bin with all the activity.  Next time we’ll see if there’ll be another uninvited Roach Rodeo in town.  For now everything looks good in the bin.

The title of the video was another topic I wanted to cover.  I had come up with two.  First was “Invaders caught, 3 Dead, Search continues” all of it true and clickbait as it gets.  Sounds like and inspired by local headlines.  The other choice was “Roach Rodeo Comes To Town”.  That one is fun but not as headline dramatic as the first one.  The next Worm bin notes will be more challenging and fun to title.  Another reason why this is called the Vermicompost Experiment. -13

All Good In The Wood by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.  For more check out the artist at: http://audionautix.com/

 

Note: 23 July 2018, as an experiment I changed the title of the video and blog to “Worm bin notes: Roach Rodeo Arrives, Chaos Ensues”.  Lets see what happens.  -13

RANT! Why I won’t eat prepared foods anymore.

Salmonella Infections Linked to Kellogg’s Honey Smacks Cereal Cereal?  Honey Smacks, funny used to be called Sugar Smacks.  Anyone watching these sources of information will know our food supply system is having major issues.  Can’t eat cereal without fear of contamination.  Wow!

Meat prepped/cooked at home, garden fresh produce, bone stock, home is the only safe place I know to eat.  Restaurant inspection apps with terrifying results now, cereal, scary!  -13

Worm bin notes: More trash than you can eat? Call friends!

Update 9 for bins 2 & 3.

1JUL2018- Bin 2 & 3, moving worms from bin 3 over to 2.  There is a noticeable difference in consumption between the bins.  Both bins have an odor from the mangos.  The smell is only noticeable when removing the cardboard layer and expected at this point in the process.  Surprising how there is no smell only feet away.

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Bin 3 1JUL2018

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Bin 2 1JUL2018

There was a buildup of moisture on the lid and cardboard in 3.  Looked like it was about to rain.  The amount of worms were not as visible as I thought they might be so I only scooped up a few handfuls to move over to bin 2.  See how this affects the bins before moving more.  They’re usually more concentrated making it easier to move with less casting loss from the donor bin.

This time the food was evenly distributed and it seems so were the worms.  In the past they did not receive as much as once so they gathered in more concentrated groups.  Easy pickings when it’s time to move them.  They’re in bin 2 now so lets see what happens next.

8JUL2018- Bins 2 & 3, clearly the addition of worms from bin 3 over to 2 made a big difference.  The before and after shown in the video is amazing to see and demonstrates why it was a necessity.  When opening the bins there was no foul odors and it looks like I’m keeping the roaches out.

Forgot for refill my water sprayer before I started so none of the bins were sprayed this time.  I’ll give them a spray Monday or Tuesday they won’t need much.  Bin 2 didn’t look like I’d added anything except that all the excess was leveled.  Bin 3 had the low spots created when removing worms on JUL1 that will slowly even back out.  By the next time they’ll be close to unnoticeable. It is another interesting thing to see happen in these bins.

Wasn’t much to do but add more waste and let both bins equalize with all the changes.  I have to get better at taking stills for all the reasons I use them.  When I don’t it bites me in the ass every time, that and the autofocus. Check out the video below for some good close ups of the worm transfer.  -13

Worm bin notes: One meal at a time

Update 7, Bin 1, One meal at a time and lots of poop is how it will be built. Watching this process is fascinating.  Waste in, waste out, soil.  No foul odors or unwanted insects.  Looks like the population is growing.  There were plenty of the roly-polys and a few worms visible.  Didn’t want to disturb much so they will settle in.  When they’re hard to see like that they are usually directly under a food source.  Rather leave them be so they can flourish.

I’ll wait another few weeks or so before digging around in there to see how the worms are doing.  Next time I film these bins I’ll try some different views for a closer look inside the bins.  Check out the state of bin 1 in the video below.

Worm bin notes: Undisturbed they settle in

Update 6, bin 1.  This update starts with a seedling mango tree trying to compete for food with the worms getting put in its place.  Then, not much.  No foul odors or unwanted insects.  All left undisturbed so they can settle in and start building without interruption.

Added new waste to shallow end to see how long it takes to build up to the other higher level.  This is my favorite bin at this point due to the nature of the experiment.  Unknown worms and other insects from an unknown source plus the roly-poly stray adoption along the way.  From the smallest worm find until now it keeps getting more interesting as they increase in size and population. -13

Short video below check it out.

Worm bin notes: Give them enough time

Update 8 for bins 2 & 3.  Bin 2.  Need to add more worms and will within days.  No foul odors looking good.  Insect populations flourishing.  No roaches visible.

Bin 3 is in the same state as bin 2.  There is more waste consumed validating my need to move more worm into bin 2.  The good news is there is not much to note. -13

Video of Bin 2  & 3 progress.

Worm bin notes: Death of a roach

Update 7 for bins 2 & 3.  Bin 2 is looking good.  No foul odors.  Looks like there is a notable amount of waste left in here than in bin 3.  This is indicating I need to move more worms from bin 3 over.  The difference is clear to see.  Moisture level seems good.  I’ll need to add more cardboard soon.  Better add some sand next feed time.

Bin 3 is working like a well oiled machine.  It’s unimaginable how much they can change the landscape inside the bin.  Somehow they move half a mango to make it look like it’s sinking into the soil.  Totally amazed by that.  Seems like there are more of the white dot and skinny bugs in bin 2 than in this bin.  Maybe they’re subsoil when the waste gets that low.  I can see them move in and out of the soil when I watch them.  Mostly I see them on top.  No foul odors.

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Last post I mentioned roaches.  Thought it was going to be a big hassle to find it.  Wow was I wrong.  As I was moving the cardboard out of the bin the roach ended up in my hand.  At first I didn’t know it was there because it was in the gloved hand.  I then noticed something kind of squishy.  Thinking it was a small pile of worm bunched up I quickly looked where my fingers sensing the difference.

It was the roach, or a new one.  I was in disbelieve it was that easy.  Couldn’t have planned that in a million years.  Once I realized my luck I threw it on the floor and killed it.  The cats sitting there supervising me.  Hope that was all of them.  -13

Video Update 7 Below