Thursday, May 28, 2009

Welcome to Verne-ville, population one billion

The retail planter wormery pictured is about thirty inches high. Sexton's approaching that now, and while he is smaller--twelve inches in diameter as opposed to the Garden Planter's fifteen--it's not so much smaller as I'd thought, which leads me to wonder...Sexton's one of two outdoor tower wormeries, and I'm half-seriously considering adding a third. Just for me. Do I really generate that much more waste than other vermicomposters?

My planter-tower wormeries do get fed bunches of dried leaves, but it's not only that; I'm feeding about a third of my bokashi to the worms, so with no leaves at all (if that were feasible) I'd still be short on tower-space. Not the leaves alone. What else, then?

I think it's the increase in foodstuffs eligible for vermicomposting with bokashi. The meats, aromatics, oils, and grains that are either not appropriate or appropriate only in small measure in their raw state are all apparently quite acceptable to wrigglers once fermented. Whereas, back when I was feeding Verne only the recommended vegetarian chopped-frozen-and-thawed stuff, it seemed like he got a bit less than half my kitchen waste. Which would fit rather more easily.

What can I say? I like citrus! And every member of the allium family I've ever met. -G-

As for the leaves, no doubt the retailers assume that someone with the space for a "garden" wormery also has the space for a traditional compost pile, so dried leaves and other non-food compostables won't end up taking space in the wormery. But that's not always the case, and it's hard enough asking people to house and feed a collection of worms without insisting they keep a compost pile as well.

[Says the person with compost bin, three different wormery designs, bokashi buckets, and a bucket full of black soldier fly larvae. Ah, well.]

Two pounds of worms, they say, can handle up to seven pounds of waste per week. Which is apparently what the "average" family of four is expected to generated, if the Family Size Wormery is any guide. That's comparable to the Jr. Wormery figures I saw some while back, that said half a pound of worms per person's kitchen waste per week.

I generate a gallon of bokashi in an average week. Plus the odd contribution from the coffeehouse, an occasional bucket from a long-suffering friend, etc. How much does a gallon of bokashi weigh? Depends on what's being fermented! But judging by the cocoons(!) and small wrigglers I saw last time I fed Trey, it's more than his current population can eat.

The worm-boom goes on.

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