harvest in january

Yesterday it was time to reap some rewards from all the work my ambitious red wiggler friends have been doing for the last three months. It’s not a quick process. Mind-numbingly tedious, some might call it. There’s probably a better way. But I don’t mind at all.

A few weeks before harvest time, I cut back their food and entice them to one end of the bin with incentives; cornmeal in this case. Then, when it’s time, I sift through the other end, carefully checking for worms, and setting aside the precious castings made from nothing more than our kitchen scraps and shredded paper. My method looks like this:

worm dirt, bedding, worm bin

worm dirt, bedding, worm bin

And I always make sure my wife is gone before delving in. What she don’t know won’t hurt her. It’s frankly a mess. But so worth it. I’m good at cleaning up in some circumstances.

I only use a couple of handfuls of vermicompost to make 5 gallons of tea, enough to spray my whole garden, with plenty left over for the flowers or planting holes or homemade potting mix. I stockpile castings through the winter in a 5 gallon bucket with the lid slightly ajar, to keep the microbes and geegaws that make it so good supplied with air so they can continue to do their thing.


And I’ll repeat what I said to myself earlier out loud. ‘Holy crap, there’s a lot of worms’. Might have to expand to two bins. Maybe even try an outside bin if my experiment shows any promise.

It’s the best thing in life to love what you do.


16 thoughts on “harvest in january

  1. Very nice!
    In our community vermicomposting method (Bangalore), we place cow dung balls at the bottom of the pile. Most of the worms, especially small ones, get attracted to its smell and leave the pile. Before sieving, we just take out the dung balls filled with worms first and put them into an already prepared pile and take out the remaining through sieving. Otherwise, it’s impossible to save the worms when the quantity at hand is in 100s of kgs.
    I have also tried making a heap in a well-lit area and the worms automatically settle at the bottom. That also works.
    Happy composting, Dan… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a great idea Savita! I bet horse dung would work equally well, so I’ll have to give that a try. Generally how long does it take before the worms have migrated enough to be able to harvest? I’ve tried the light piles before, and that works pretty well. But I don’t mind sifting by hand either. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Even though I realize I’m reading this a little late, I still think it’s neat that I came across this post on the same day that I just did the same thing with my bins, and I had the exact same thought, except since I’m already starting with two bins, I’m going to have to find some good friend who would like to start a bin. I think 4 bins in my little apartment would be getting just a little tight. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

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