Monday, October 20, 2008

Harvesting Vermicompost

Saturday October 18th was the final Master Composter class for 2008.
Larry W Wilson , a University of Illinois Extension Educator that provides training in community leadership and volunteerism, started out the morning. His program brings a better understanding of the Extension mission,some history of the university and the Land Grant system,and as volunteers our connection with and support from the Extension Staff.
As volunteers we get to be the link between our universities reseach findings and bringing that information out to the general public in practical daily life application. He was interesting and had everyone animated and joining the discussion.
I took from this presentation a closer look at what we, as volunteers, have a responsibility to provide. That is accurate, well presented, university provided information so that individuals may select their own course of action in using these science-based facts.

The compost demonstrations were lively and creative. Above is a picture of one teams props. Those little bags actually contain dried brown leaves.

Making the worm bins was the highlight of the day. If you want to see how to build the Worm Bins check out last years post.

Kate Weinans led the afternoon telling about worm anatomy and reproduction, showing how to build a worm bin and then how and when to harvest the vermicompost.

Above is a picture of a mesh bag ( onions or potatoes packaging) which is filled with vegetable and fruit scraps and then buried in a corner of the bin. Worms are drawn inside the bag to find food and easily lifted from the castings. This gets many of the worms out of the bin and out of harms way before sifting or separating begins.

Kate showed how to use a fine screen and large plastic fork. The worms remain on top,the compost (worm castings) are sifted through into a plactic bin. The worms can safely be added to the new bedding and you have a wonderful consistent product for use in potting medium mixes or to make a quality compost tea.

The white spots in these pictures is from the addition of egg shells. Unless very finely ground the shells will remain a long time in the bins. Check out my Non Electric Grinding Method .

I have seen the 10 gallon Roughneck at Target,Lowes and Ace Hardware.

10 gallon Rubbermaid Roughneck
23.8"L x 15.6"W x 8.9"H


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