Category Archives: General

Vermicomposting a Dead Mouse?

The cat presented me with a mouse the other day, right when I was heading downstairs with my food scraps to the Worm Inn system.

I always put dead animals in my outdoor compost piles, but this time I wanted to try something different.

I added the mouse in the middle, followed by my week’s worth of food scraps and then additional bedding on top.

It’ll be interesting to harvest the worm castings in a few months…

Collecting Worm Castings…and the Other Stuff, Too.

Emptying the Worm Inn vermicomposting system is a breeze- check out the gorgeous castings!  I don’t miss my old worm bin at all.

The contaminants are pretty funny, too- a few fruit labels, a shredded envelope window, and some uncrushed eggshells didn’t make it.

Sifting out the extras is easy when using a basket with 1/4″ to 1/2″ spacing.

Are you getting the results you’d like with your worm bin or outdoor composting system?

Lots and Lots of Worm Poop – Now What?

worm inn castings 1

It’s been six months since I’ve emptied the Worm Inn system– I admit I forgot about the worms for a bit, but now I have a ton of castings.

Every time I empty the Worm Inn, I’m always so impressed with the quality of the castings compared to the results from a standard worm bin.

When looking at the outlying “contaminants”, it’s like looking back in time at mistakes that were made- as you can see, I have a few!

worm inn castings + contaminants 2

  1. I’m such a stickler about removing labels from fruit, but I guess I wasn’t on a few occasions.  Luckily, these are easy to spot.

2. All those plastic shreds were clearly from an envelope that has a plastic window.  I like to shred my paper, but I must have shredded a whole junk mail envelope without looking inside to remove a return envelope.  Whoops!

3. I read everywhere that worms like crushed egg shells… clearly I haven’t tried that yet.  I’m going to crush these egg shells as fine as I can and then throw them back in.

The screening process is pretty easy- Empty the castings until some unprocessed food or worms pop up, then throw them back in the top of the system and zip up the bottom.

I have a wire basket that I dump the castings through, which removes the larger pieces.

The resulting materials are those excellent castings we all yearn for… if you’re having any challenges with vermicomposting, the Worm Inn really makes the whole process pretty easy.

Video to come shortly.  🙂

No-Rules Compost

This dude makes a great point about composting that I’ve never heard anyone say before: “…success seems to be that people will continue to compost…or in other words that the rules are there to help people avoid things that might stop them composting.”

YES.

My focus is to get people to avoid the landfill and minimize displacement of necessary nutrients…I don’t want people to be misled about what is critical for our society to sustain itself.

Composting is made easy with a few basic tips, but “No Rules”.  🙂

Have an Idea for a Compost System?

compost contest

Have you ever wanted to design your own composter?

The Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council is seeking designs for neighborhood-scale, in-vessel composting systems that can be used by schools and community organizations.

Successful designs will be:

• Fully-enclosed and rodent-proof
• Able to function year-round outdoors in Philadelphia’s climate
• One to three cubic yards in capacity
• Easily constructed and maintained

The winner receives a $500 prize and recognition for their design by the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability and the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council!

Compost is the nutrient-rich, earthy-smelling material created by the managed decomposition of organic matter. Community composting transforms organic matter into valuable soil amendments, keeps organic waste in a local closed-loop system, and engages communities through participation and education.

Submit designs by March 15, 2017.   Finalists’ designs will be selected by March 29.  If you are a finalist, we will provide funding for you to build your design.

Finished compost systems will need to be transported to a testing site in Philadelphia by April 26.  Finalist compost systems will then be tested over the summer, and a winner will be announced in Fall 2017.

Visit www.phillyfpac.org/compost for more information, including a full list of specs and requirements.