Easy Worm Mix 2019 – Important!

March 26, 2019

As I wrote in my last post, order preparation for Easy Worm Mix has changed a fair bit this season.

Instead of relying on outdoor production beds (which translates into a later start, supply bottlenecks throughout the year, and a late fall season shut-down), I’ve been rolling out a new indoor production system. Each starter batch of Easy Worm Mix is prepared by hand (with love – haha) – although, in some cases I do have multiple batches together in a larger system – and then left to sit for at least 6 weeks.

This gives the initial stock of “breeder” worms ample opportunity to produce loads of cocoons, and for may of those cocoons to hatch out (and the young worms to start growing).


Some Important Facts to Keep in Mind

1) Adult worms can release 3 cocoons per week, 2) Hatchlings tend to start emerging after 21 days, and 3) Each cocoon averages 3 hatchlings.

Starting with 100+ breeder worms, it’s easy to see that you will end up with lots of worms and cocoons by the 42 day (6 week) mark – and so far I’ve been thrilled with how the batches have been turning out. In past seasons, the # of cocoons (which, in a lot of ways are the most important part) I ended up with in the mix varied widely, largely dependent on the time of year.

It’s amazing what can happen with a fully climate-controlled, consistent/systematic approach! There will literally be NO batches of Easy Worm Mix that don’t have lots of cocoons in them!

But this brings us to a VERY important point…

It’s critical to realize that Easy Worm Mix is what I like to refer to as a “nursery mix/culture” – much of the vermicomposting potential arrives in the form of very small hatchlings/juveniles and cocoons. Both of these can be quite difficult to see, especially for the untrained eye. The image above shows what the cocoons look like – without those red arrows, they certainly wouldn’t be as obvious, would they? And that’s close up!

And here is what a shot of what the mix might look like if you dumped it out into a bin:

Not very exciting, is it? But don’t be fooled by appearances – you are looking at some incredible worm composting potential right there.

This is probably also a good time to also mention the importance of using ALL the material – please do not attempt to separate the worms from the habitat mix (unless you plan to start a separate system for each – and even then you should simply split up everything between the systems). Not only will you lose all the valuable cocoons and countless tiny worms, you will be tossing a highly valuable habitat/food starter for your new system.

Even if you can’t quite fit it all in your bin (eg. you are using a single tray in a small stacking bin), just save what have left over and gradually add over time – or start up a separate bin!


This mix is going to be fantastic for starting a new system. If you’ve set things up properly (don’t ever hesitate to e-mail me with questions about this), it will likely seem as though the population is “exploading” (mainly because young worms are growing quickly and becoming more visible) quite quickly. And one of the great things about cocoons and hatchlings is that you end up with worms that are better adapted for their new environment (there is literally scientific research to back this up)!

As I’ve said elsewhere, the mix isn’t necessarily going to be ideal for everyone. For example – if, for some reason you need loads of bigger worms right away (eg for fishing or live food), this won’t be an ideal product for you (but you can certainly grow loads of bigger worms using this culture IF you are patient and use various nutritional/spacing etc strategies). If you are trying to start up a massive system, this also may not be ideal (again, unless you are willing to be more patient – since these worms DO grow in number quickly).


Anyway – I just want to make sure everyone is clear on this early on. Don’t hesitate to drop me a line any time with questions – and don’t forget that, as a customer, you are entitled to as much ongoing support as you need! My main goal is to help you achieve successful vermicomposting!
😎

Oh, one last thing…

Full Disclosure – There may still be cases where orders are filled more quickly by harvesting from very productive outdoor beds (i.e. the way I did it in the past). This will only be at times when I have access to material that is very rich in both worms and cocoons (at least as rich as the mix from the indoor production bins) and when demand is very high (eg during the spring).

Red Worms – Spring 2019 Update

March 7, 2019

Spring is nearly here (although, it still feels like January as I type this in early March!), and unlike past seasons, it is almost time for our “official opening” (March 18, 2019). Normally, I would need to wait for outdoor beds to thaw out and worms to get active again, but thanks to a new 4-season outdoor bed and a brand new indoor production approach, I’m already very close to being “ready” for order-fulfillment.

Aside from helping me get a nice early start, this is good news for WCC customers because:

1) It is a lot less likely I will end up with worm supply bottlenecks this year. Outdoor beds are great – but Mother Nature makes things challenging at times (to say the least), and there isn’t always a steady, predictable supply of worms available. I should be able to start seasons earlier and end them later than normal (potentially even remaining open during the winter for local pick-ups).

2) Easy Worm Mix production will now be highly-controlled and optimized, resulting in an even higher-quality Red Worm culture mix for customers.

3) I should end up with even more time for customer support (unlimited support is included), and hopefully new website content creation as well.


Pre-ordering opened up back in early February, and quite a few people have already reserved their bag(s) of Easy Worm Mix. If you are hoping to get yours by late March or early April I highly recommend getting your order in soon. Once the snow really starts to melt, a lot more people will be thinking composting, and demand may outstrip even the improved supply.

Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!
😎

Splitting The Easy Worm Mix Test Bin

April 22, 2015

Earlier today I “split” my Easy Worm Mix test bin and then created a video to show you how it was done (and to provide you with some info on “splitting” in general).

I had hoped to get to this last week, but alas things have been pretty busy (tis the season! lol).

Everything still looked great inside the system. It looked as though the worms had literally processed ALL the food waste I’d added. There even seemed to be some roaming around on the sides of the bin (likely due to higher moisture levels up top as the upper bedding layer became moistened – but also could be an indication of hunger).

With the worm population split between two systems, my hunch is that there will be a LOT of worm reproduction going on over the next couple of months.

As touched on in the video, I’ll probably wait for at least a few days (realistically, it will probably be early next week) before adding more food to both bins.

I’ll definitely keep you posted!
😎


If you haven’t been following along, these other Easy Worm Mix posts may be of interest as well:

Feeding My Easy Worm Mix System
Straw Bale Gardening With Easy Worm Mix?
Easy Worm Mix Update
NEW – Easy Worm Mix

Bag Equivalents

August 14, 2014


IMPORTANT UPDATE: March 17th 2015

We now sell a product called Easy Worm Mix – it comes in a single larger bag (like the white bag shown below). It is no longer based on “bag equivalents”.



ALL INFORMATION BELOW IS NO LONGER RELEVANT – Refer to the Composting Worms page for up to date product information.


Yesterday I opened up a box of (what I thought were) my usual breathable worm bags, only to realize with horror that I had ordered a much larger size by accident. After some initial cursing and teeth gnashing , I reached the conclusion that I could still use the bags. I’d simply switch from individual bags to “bag equivalents”.

What exactly are “bag equivalents”?

I will fill the smaller bags (luckily I still had a handful of them when the new bags arrived) with Composting Worm Mix and then transfer the worm-rich material into one of the larger bags before packing and shipping, or handing directly to a customer.

Same quantity of worm mix – the only difference is that it comes in a single bag (or two bags, in the case of larger pick-up orders).

What’s funny is that I actually think this could prove to be a superior approach. The single bag is easier to pack (and protect), and the worms have even more of a consistent, supportive environment to dwell in before being transferred to their new home.
😎

Worm Inn Update- Limited Quantities Available

August 6, 2014

IMPORTANT UPDATE – APRIL 2015 – For current information relating to Worm Inns please refer to the Worm Inn Page (the blog post below is now outdated)


I decided to start selling Worm Inns again this year – including the new Worm Inn “Mega”.

But since I really wasn’t sure how much interest there would be, I only shipped up a small quantity of them (with two color options each). Interest in the regular Worm Inns hasn’t been all that strong, so I won’t be continuing to sell them (for the time being). In light of this, you can now get a regular Worm Inn (plus special corner pieces for building PVC pipe stand) for only $75 + shipping.

Interest in the Mega has definitely been higher – and I will continue to make them available (also since I have one of my own set up right now, with plans to set up another very soon). Nevertheless, I have still slashed the price from $145 + shipping to $125 + shipping (includes special corner pieces for PVC stand + plans for the easy-to-build wooden stand).

Here is ALL That is Left:


Regular Worm Inns

Green – 3
Port – 3


Worm Inn Megas

Port – **SOLD OUT**

More Megas are on the way, but 2-4 of them are already accounted for. If you are interested in a Mega make sure to get in touch ASAP.


I’ll be so bold as to say that there is no better vermicomposting system for home-scale indoor use than the Worm Inn. They are forgiving (tough to “overfeed”), you don’t need to deal with “bugs” and worms escaping, and they are very effective for turning kitchen scraps into beautiful vermicompost. Learn more >> HERE <<!

Kitchen Scrap Holder – FREE with Local Worm Orders!

May 31, 2013


IMPORTANT UPDATE (SPRING 2015) – This promotion has ended


We have a limited number of BioBag kitchen scrap holders available as free gifts for those who place pick-up worm orders!

These breathable pails work great with small paper bag inserts that are readily available in regions where “Green Bin” programs exist – and really, any small paper bag should be fine (we actually don’t recommend using biodegradable plastic bags since these can take a lot longer to break down).

Here is a link to an interesting fact sheet from the Region of Waterloo, including information on how to make your own origami liner insert!
Make Your Own Kitchen Pail Paper Liner

This promotion will last only as long as our (limited) supply of these pails lasts, so if you happen to live in Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge (or really any location you are willing to drive to Elmira from!) and are in the market for composting worms – be sure to get your order in now!

NOTE: These containers offer a great way to collect kitchen scraps for you backyard vermicomposting systems.

European Nightcrawlers

March 27, 2013

I’m pleased to announce that we’re adding a NEW worm to the Worm Composting Canada line-up this (2013) season – the European Nightcrawler (Eisenia hortensis). If there was ever an “ultimate” all-in-one earthworm, this would be it! Euros (also sometimes referred to as “ENCs”) are a larger (as you can see above) cousin of the Red Wiggler (Eisenia fetida and Eisenia andrei), so they are also excellent composting worms. Some might even say they are “superior” composters to their well-known counterparts in some ways.

Due to their size and resilience, ENCs they are also a fantastic fishing worm. Unlike Canadian Nightcrawlers (“Dew Worms”), Lumbrucus terrestris, which are often “too big” for a hook, and Reds which can be a bit on the small size, Euros tend to be closer to “just right”. Add to that their vigorous wiggling action and durability, and you’ve definitely got a winner in the eyes of even the most stubborn bait fisherman.

Initially, our Euros will be sold in mixed cultures with Reds (we’ll continue to sell pure cultures of Reds as well) – in essence, providing customers with the best of both worlds (“worms”? lol). In the past I haven’t recommended that these two species be kept together since I was under the impression that Reds would out-compete the Euros over time, but recent testing has completely changed my opinion on this.

That being said, Euros ARE much better suited for certain types of vermicomposting systems than others. They prefer diving down and hanging out in zones with higher moisture content, so they are not well suited for stacking bins and other types of flow-through units. Where they can excel is in typical enclosed plastic tub systems, and backyard composters (set up and maintained for vermicomposting).


UPDATE: `We only sell Red Worms now – you can learn more on our Composting Worms page

Early Spring 2013 Update

March 17, 2013

IMPORTANT UPDATE – APRIL 2013 – We are now open for business. If you would like to order Red Worm Mix you can do so on the “Shipped Order Pricing” or “Pick-Up Order Pricing” pages (the latter is of course intended for those who plan to drive to Elmira ON to pick up their worms).

I am currently (mid-March) gearing up to start selling composting worms again. Hoping to be back in action by the end of the month at the latest.

If you are interested in purchasing our Red Worm Mix, be sure to sign up for the notification list. I will keep everyone posted!

Worm Castings 2012

April 3, 2012

I’m happy to report that worm castings are finally available for sale! I have sent an notice out to the email list, but figured I should probably post the message here as well.

I’ve decided to extend the “Crazy Castings Sale” from last year
as a reward for all of you patiently waiting. This means you
can purchase 11 litre sacs of castings for only $5 (total) each
.
If you know anything about the price of worm castings, you will
know that this is a truly “crazy” bargain (actually had a fellow
castings seller telling me off when he saw what I was charging).
[UPDATE: The $5/bag pricing is now only available on orders of 40 or more bags. Our pricing on smaller quantities is still low, but not as “crazy” as it was.]

Very important to keep the following in mind, however:

1) This is a limited time offer – once my current stock of
castings is gone (don’t worry – there will be more), I will
be raising the price. [UPDATE: The $5/bag pricing is now only available on orders of 40 or more bags. Our pricing on smaller quantities is still low, but not as “crazy” as it was.]

2) At this time we are only accepting online pre-orders for castings. This really helps to streamline everything, and means you will end up with a faster turn-around time (since the bags can be left out for pick-up even if we’re not around).

3) The PICKUP12 discount code does not apply to castings orders
(but if you order worms for pick-up at the same time you can
still apply it to them)

4) As you might have guessed already, I am not shipping castings.
They can only be picked up here in Elmira, Ontario. It would
cost customers FAR more for shipping than for the material itself!
I’m thinking about potentially creating some smaller specialty
castings products (castings tea bags etc), but we’ll have to see.

5) I have order buttons for 1-10, 15, 20, 30 and 40 bags. The pricing for 1-10 bags is $7 each, but there are discounts for larger quantities.


If you are interested in placing an order for pick-up, just follow this link:
WORM CASTINGS

Thanks for your interest!
8)

Closed for the Season

December 22, 2011

I just wanted to let everyone know that red worms won’t likely be available for the next couple of months. Be sure to check back in February if you are still looking for worms then.

Happy Holidays!
8)

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