WORMS IN THE WEB OF LIFE

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webThe web of life, we learn about it in grade school, how everything is tied together in an intricate mesh of co-dependence.  One would not be there save the other, it’s an absolutely beautiful concept and a truth of nature.  It’s also why composting worms are the coolest thing on the planet, they’re the creators in the foundation of our thin brown line. our top soil.

Macro vrs micro, hands down worms hold a position of great importance.  They create and carry the weight of our fruitful bounty, the food we grow and eat every day.  They thrive in environments that we discard in our lives, the waste.  Weather it be of our own purpose or not, they’re the ones who clean up our mess and turn it into a productive self sufficient growing medium.  Call it soil or dirt, it keeps all of us alive.   http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2011/11/08/stop-treating-our-soil-like-dirt/  

The bottom line in this web of life is the humble bacterium and their ability to break the Nitrogen bond; http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2013/06/11/pro-biotic-power/ worms come a close second.  They hold the aerobic bacteria in a healthy habitat, an environment conducive to arable growth, the very same type of growth that feeds us.  Almost all our edible plant life relies on the soil web to sustain it.  These are simple examples of the macro vrs micro elements to the “web”, it’s the journey of discovery that counts.

A fabulous way to begin that journey is to enjoy and understand the simplicity of vermicomposting.  We’re more passionate that most of course but anyone can get a kick out of watching worms at work building soil.  It’s a cycle that starts with waste and ends in the most valuable of products, a sustainable cycle we can all use to grow, eat, compost the waste then grow, eat, compost the waste, on and on.  There’s comfort in that assurance of continuation.

WORMS + SCHOOLS = BIG TIME LEARNING

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New foodVermicomposting bins fit perfectly into a classroom environment.  They provide an in-house laboratory for experiments in chemistry, biology and environmental studies.  We’d like to see a bin in every classroom and by golly, we’re getting closer to that realization every day.  Indeed, schools and those who teach in them are about half of our new customers during the cold winter months.

If you are involved with any educational institution and would like to see more sustainable organic waste management look no further than an indoor worm bin.  They’re easy to set up, economical and big time fun.  A standard 38 L Rubbermaid bin is under $10.00 to buy, 100 mL of worms to get started will set you back $20.00.  Play your cards right and this is a one time cost to start your school or work place off on a path of sustainable, environmentally responsible waste management program.

Young people are very aware of the 3 r’s, reduce, reuse and recycle.  Life’s stressful enough for these kids without worrying about the future of our planet.  A worm bin offers a simple way for them to feel more in control of their environment.  Not only are you helping young minds to feel better about their classroom, they also feel better about the world around them.  Win, win!

 

LIVING WITH WORMS (THE GOOD KIND)

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Easy Indoor Worm BinOnce you’ve decided to take the plunge into vermicomposting and have an indoor bin for the organic waste produced in your home you’ll need to find your own balance.  It’s a personal comfort zone that works for you and your bin.  We’ve often equated bin maintenance with the same commitment you’d have with a tropical fish tank.  Both need to be cleaned, checked for moisture/water levels and fed.

Indoor vermicomposting can be as complex or simple as you choose to make it.  Everything composts eventually and left to it’s own devices a bin will function to some degree all on it’s own.  Because of the “closed” nature of an indoor bin however, we do recommend a certain level of standard bin maintenance.  The most important aspect to this is moisture, really wet bins tend to get a little smelly as anaerobic bacteria thrives in a wet airless environment.  http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2014/11/29/how-wet-is-too-wet/

You’ll need to find a balance in the amount of food you’re producing for the worms and the amount the worms can compost.  Luckily freezing excess scraps not only makes them easier for the worms to deal with, it keeps them “fresh” until you can put them in your bin.  That’s by far our number one hint, freeze those scraps.  The vermicomposting formula is one way to keep on top of your bin, find it with this handy link….http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2012/09/21/whats-your-worm-count/

There’s also bedding to think about, bedding is crucial to bin moisture and worm happiness.  You won’t get much breeding without a layer of dryish bedding on top of your active compost, this is where the worms head to find a mate.

All this info and more can be found here on our web site, if you have more questions or suggestions please don’t hesitate to drop us a line through our contact page.

Happy Worm Farming everyone!

QUALITY CASTINGS

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Harvested VermicastPeople vermicompost at home for different reasons, some just want to get rid of kitchen scraps as quickly and sustainable as they can.  Some have no space for an outdoor compost or want to continue composting through the cold winter months.  Others are in it for the castings.

Technically any casting that emerges out of the back end of a worm will be perfectly balanced organic fertilizer.  A tiny “drop” of brand new soil.  Complete with all the macro and micro nutrients growing plants need.  It can be beautiful fluffy black gold, it can also be a sloppy, mushy glob of wet “mud” in your bin.  If your goal is to produce instantly usable soil for your home and garden you’ll need to maintain your bin to fill that purpose.

Moisture content and bedding are the tools for high quality castings and there’s plenty of tricks for drying out wet bins.  Raw food vrs. frozen food is a good place to start.  Freezing your organic waste plays a duel role.  Keep in mind that worms can’t “eat” anything until bacterial decomposition has begun.  Anything you can do to increase the surface area of your worm food will help speed the composting process.  Freezing actually bursts the individual cell walls and allows the bacteria instant access to begin decomposition.  It also is a great way to control the moisture of your bin.  Once thawed this material will shed some of it’s water.  If your bin is to wet simply discard the liquid before using the solids.  Raw food tends to compost much more slowly and will retain the water longer leaving your bin a dryer environment.

Bedding eventually composts too.  Newspaper will disappear faster than straw or cardboard.  The bedding to food ratio can change the texture of your vermicompost.  Keeping an eye on moisture and bedding is the key to having instant castings, it’s an interesting balance and a personal choice.  Each vermicomposter will find the system that works best for them.  It depends on your needs and goals.

 

THE WORM NEW YEAR

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fireworks             HAPPY NEW YEAR!

If you’re reading our posts you’re likely interested in sustainable living and protecting our environment, we thank you for that.  This is why you’ll understand that WORMS WILL SAVE THE WORLD.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, when you need to grow food, who ya gonna call….. the unsung heroes of the plant world of course…. the tiny quiet workers who create the very force of life, worms make soil.  Without soil our planet couldn’t grow anything.  Every year is Worm Year and every year we can thank them.

 

A TURN OF THE WHEEL

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Worm season!SEASONAL GREETINGS TO YOU AND YOURS!

That’s right Wormers, another turn of the great wheel in the sky is upon us.  It doesn’t matter where you are on this Earth, we can all enjoy the passing of the seasons.  Here in the North we’ve just enjoyed our longest night.  The Sun’s only rising now at 8:30 am and will be gone by 4:30 this afternoon.  It’s tough on some folks so remember to be extra understanding and kindhearted if someone’s a little grumpy.

NATURE’S PERFECT PLANT FOOD is happy to announce a successful year with many new friends and plenty of excited novice worm farmers starting their vermicomposting adventure.

While there’s a great deal to remember in thanks this past turn of the wheel, not all is well in our world.  Unrest has rocked vast groups of people both across our wide oceans and nearer to our homes than ever before.  We must work together to set aside differences and find common ground.  Our planet is sinking under a sea of dirty oil, needlessly, a shift to sustainable energy has never been more important.  The time has come to embrace alternate energy sources.  We have the technology to accomplish this in the next year or two.  Do not be afraid of change.  Let petroleum products fade away into history.

There’s much to be saved from our past year and to remind you of the advances in a movement for a sustainable environment check out these few links http://vermicomposters.com/wormbin?id=2616   more and more people are working for a better future one worm bin at a time.

Don’t forget about the brave environmental activists either….http://350orbust.com/ 

Together let’s make sure the next turn of the great wheel is going in the right direction!

 

HO, HO HO, GIVE THE GIFT OF WORMS!

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happy wormsHave you considered giving the gift of worms this year?  Vermiculture can enrich the lives of everyone in your household.  Just think about the wonderful changes you can bring to your friends and family by gifting a indoor worm bin to your loved ones.  You will be the hero of the festive season!

If you are worried about the more squeamish in your crowd there’s no need to fret, worm bins are clean and (we can’t say this enough) they DO NOT smell bed.  http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2011/10/27/indoor-worm-bins-qa-2/

Indoor bins are easy to set up!  http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2011/11/15/easy-worm-bin-photo-essay/ 

Most of all people feel great using their bin, they can rest assured they are helping the environment by keeping organic waste out of landfills, they’ll eat better, more veggies for them and the worms….http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2014/10/04/worms-make-you-eat-better/

It’s a win, win all around.  Give this gift idea a chance, order today here on the contact sheet!

HOW WET IS TOO WET?

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Bin moisture level control. 001Over the years opinions have changed as to how wet is too wet for an indoor vermicomposting bin.  While the standard advice is to keep your bin at a moisture level akin to a damp sponge, “standard advice” often does not translate to reality.  Most bins tend to be on the wetter side of the equation.  It’s safe to say the damp sponge analogy is the minimum moisture requirement for a bin.  On the other end of the scale you do not want any standing water at the bottom of the bin.

There are numerous “tricks” you can use to achieve a healthy moisture level in your system. This starts with the material you input, food for the worms is the most important factor in moisture control.  During decomposition organic material will release varying amounts of liquid, to control this we suggest freezing your “scraps” before using them.  Freezing holds a duel benefit for feeding, once thawed the material will have seeped a great deal of it’s liquid.  If your bin is too wet you can discard the liquid and use only the solid organics.  Freezing also busts open each individual cell of the food stuffs, this allows the bacteria to enter the cell and begin the composting process.  Worms can’t digest anything until bacteria have broken it down for them.

Bedding is your next best friend in moisture control.  In a worst case, too wet scenario, in which the bin is a soupy mess, prop up one end an inch or so and pack the downward side with new dry bedding.  Repeat this procedure everyday until the extra liquid is absorbed and leave the lid off.  Once the bin is balanced, it’s relatively simple to keep it closer to an optimal level of moisture by using the feeding “trick” we wrote of earlier.  In the rare instance that a bin becomes to dry the solution is even simpler just add water.

ITCHY FINGERS STRIKES AGAIN

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VermicastLonging for the sight of something green?  Deep sighing at the touch of snow flakes on your cheek?  Sniffing back a tear when the cold air hits your face?  These are all signs of “itchy finger” syndrome.  If you’re the type who relishes in your backyard garden and spends many happy hours turning the compost, you are at risk for the cold weather reality check called “itchy fingers”.  This is the feeling of sadness associated with the end of the growing season.

Do not despair!  We have the cure.  Imagine being able to plunge your hands into deep brown loamy soil once again.  The feel and smell of the life giving goodness of perfect compost can be yours all year long, all you need is a worm bin.  That’s right folks, indoor worm bins are the best remedy for the winter blues.  Not only will you be leaving the guilt of not composting behind, you’ll be starting a whole new world of adventure for you and your loved ones.

An indoor worm bin is easy to maintain, has no bad smells and produces perfect organic fertilizer for your inside planting projects.   http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2011/10/27/indoor-worm-bins-qa-2/

 

SAVING INSECT HABITAT

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garden scraps 002How is your garden growing now that it’s time for the snow to fly?  If you think there’s no action during the frozen months you’re wrong. Plants may be finished for the year if perennial or forever if annual, but some insects are just getting going.  Many beneficial pollinators and pest predator insects need your garden scraps to hibernate or procreate during the winter.  Please allow them the time and space to try and make it into another spring season.

By totally clearing your garden waste you are also completely destroying valuable beneficial insect habitat!  Unless you live in a rural area with lots of other nesting materials available, we strongly recommend a spring clean of your garden as opposed to a fall clean up.  In the city it’s a must.  Ladybugs for example over winter under the leaf mulch, butterfly’s lay their eggs on the stocks of plants.  Nature has designed these systems to allow for safe passage through the coldest of times.  If you have composted your butterfly eggs along with your garden waste…. well, that’s it for those tiny baby butterflies.  Don’t feel too bad, there’s also plenty of insects who have used your compost to lay eggs for next year.

Some Bee species use loose compost and matted grass areas to build nests to over winter, it’s just a matter of understanding and promoting the type of creepy crawlies you want in your garden.  Finally, there’s the mulch, we can’t say enough good things about mulch.  Mulch not only protects your plants during those dark days, it will protect insect habitat too.

Check it out; http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2012/05/26/the-power-of-mulch/