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Organic Cultivation Growing 100% Naturally?

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Old 09-17-2007, 09:49 AM
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bio Worm(poo)juice

My proceeding excellent results with this product made me thinking about this thread.
My initial questions however were:
"Can I do worm farming in one or two small bins?"
"How can I benefit from such a small farm?"
Ok, wormfarming in a bucket is possible, you have to drill lots of small holes. I made gazillions, actually exactly half of the bucket was perforated, untill my dremel died .
Wormfarming is easy and with some common sense it is not difficult to master. Most common mistakes imho: too few worms, too much scraps for them.
I only feed them very little, my initially 800 worms in a 25 l bucket only get 2 handfull each week, usually less. They sit in a coco based substrate and help me to get rid of old rootball cut offs from renovating. They eat paper, coffee, eggshells, all sorts of leftovers from fruits, stalks, lettuce, carrot skins, garlic skins and though they would eat it eventually, I wouldn't feed that much onion skins and potato skins, onion in general, since they don't like it that much and it starts to grow in the bin. I avoid citrus fruits and skins that have pesticides on it. I simply try to keep the diet balanced, getting them equal parts of leaves, fruit and roots, corresponding in a balanced n-p-k output. (That's what I made up from my stoned mind - sounds sensible still - you only get what you give). I always try to keep the acid - base compartment at a neutral level by adding few coffe grinds plus few eggshells from time to time. I have never had problems with too much heat or acid building up in the bin.

Further info on wormfarming can be found here, I'd suggest browsing the old OG faqs. I don't use much castings yet, I casually scrape some off the surface att.
There is no runoff from my bin to collect. I keep it always moist tho. When I'm adding shredded newspaper (worms love shredded newspaper) on top and I don't leach the substrate to get the wormpoojuice out of it, I simply use a sprayer to mist the surface.
From time to time some of the worms like to swim with my fish or turtles.
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Last edited by Don de Marco; 09-17-2007 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:16 AM
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Every odd week or even fewer, depending on the temperatures, I'm however leaching the content of the bin and adding new paper. My worms are currently kept a bit more hungry, so the actual content of the bin is even less messy, only paper, lots of worms and poo to see. I plan to divide the current bin into two, after about a half year of keeping that current worm farm. Castings should be ready now anyways.
But now to the leaching out and further processing of the runoff:

The content of the bin, well kept, it doesn't stink and there is no vermin around.

The bin's already in the bathtub with a heap of shredded newspaper on top and a bucked underneath to catch the runoff.

The finer the newspaper is torn, the better (I was lazy att. and could have done a better job). I use the local tap water (not too warm and not too cold)
directly from the shower here, which has only few of the harmful chlorine in it. It would be wiser to let it sit 24 hrs prior to use tho . This way the heap of paper is shrinked down (and moistened) to fit in the bin with the sprinkling process.

That may be around 5 L of collected runoff. I don't know whether this can be done with normal substrate without drowning the worms, I think the coco is beneficial here.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:40 AM
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The runoff is then diluted 1:4 or 1:5, vaguely pointed into the right direction, according the ph with citric acid - not harmful to the microherd - (I always try to get 5.2, but since this is a natural product I'm fine with anything close to 5, I still can dilute the solution later and the PH goes up along the bubbling) anything between 1600 - 1200 ppm is fine with me, since with this organic product you can only get a clue about the potency by measuring it, you don't excatly what you're counting in ppms anyways. (Here for such a vague encirclement we'd say "Getting a house number").
To speed up the reproduction of the microorganisms I add 1 tsp molasses and sometimes an alfalfa pellet from the pet store. They're handy and come in the size of soup cubes. One for my 25 L bucket is plenty. My worms are fed on alfalfa (the leftovers from making alfalfa extracts) or as a treat, so this point is optional. I can however only stress again the benefits of alfalfa: It has the Thiamines that are in Superthrive and is rich in Mg. Molasses have a nice ammount of sugars and vitamines, are cheap and provide the organisms and plants with Mg Ca and Fe.



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Old 09-17-2007, 11:01 AM
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After some time of bubbling and the ph around 5.1 ph I use this dilution on all plants here. My ph rises rather quick after some time with the water here, so I may usually keep it low and around 5.5 ph in overall, but then, I'm growing in coco. I think along the rising of the ph in the medium the range of nutrients that can be taken and processed by the plant varies in a beneficial sort of way.
I assume for most of you the ph in this walkthrough is a bit too low, so you may rise it a bit and work in the 5.5 -5.8 or even 6.0 compartement. I measure my plants runoff with shown meters, to keep all tracked, so I guess I know, what I'm doing somehow.
Ok, bubbled for an afternoon and with appropriate temperatures around (~24C) the ph rises (to 5.19 here)

and the surface is covered with a thick foam - an indicator for massive reproduction. This solution is now best and should be used up immediately, because the population is at it's peak att. All those microorganisms will now roam in your substrate, collecting the garbage, delivering and making new food for your plants accessible. You'll get that supernatural green glow afterwards - and your plants as well.

I have used this solution even on rooting cuttings with great success. This process is not messy and not smelly. A well kept wormbin even smells good. Some say the runoff from a bin is an unfinished product and unpredictable in it's contents. I assume the bubbling is some sort of a finishing process in the final product and by controlling the worms diet, you have a tool to regulate the output.

I just only have to add, that I've read,

...that compost and the process of composting (what a wormbin is) may be directly related with crib death. A fungus directly involved in the process of composting may be responsible for that - any concerns, please investigate further. There was higher death rate with childs that had contact with or to compost or composting matter around found - however you can measure that. Anyways, it always boils down to this: be safe with little kids!
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:50 PM
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Nice thread DDM !!!!!!!
some good reading!
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Old 09-17-2007, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big#bud
Nice thread DDM !!!!!!!
some good reading!
A bit odd and particular like always, I'm afraid. ipe2:
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Old 09-18-2007, 07:28 AM
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this whole thread is a complete trip for me.. .nice one.
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8-bit
this whole thread is a complete trip for me.. .nice one.
Like it was for me when I was browsing the organic section of OG two years before. "They're doing what???"
I never thought I would become a wormpoo digger.
But this hobby (nursing plants in general) makes you more aware of your surroundings and alert imho. When looking at nature it's always a steady recycling process like a supply chain. There are actually no bad organisms around. Usually a protagonist exists for each antagonist. Well balanced (a state which is usually targeted), they fit onto each other like the fingers in a glove or the gears of the supply chain.
Almost every time when I say things like "The process of destruction is a very constructive one", meaning the dismantling of the rotting matter into it's very elements, in order to build up beautiful plants, I get very strange looks
Worms teach recycling.
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:48 PM
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Really cool stuff. I'm always interested in learning new things, thanks for this well put together and illustrated thread!
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:19 PM
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does this have something to do with growing? is is part of some kind of hydro set-up or something?
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