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Worm Wrangler tips, training and Chemical Free Gardening.

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Recent blog posts

Exciting research on microbes.  This information was broadcast 6/12/2015 on NPR's 'All Things Considered'.

 

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Posted by on in Miscellaneous

This article clears up some confusion of what we can and cannot recycle and which bin to use.

http://www.oaklandmagazine.com/Worst-Mistakes-in-Waste-Diversion/#

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Worms are most active in Spring and Fall, they prefer weather in the 55-75 degree range. Lots of action in the compost pile right now.

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Soil is amazing, it is very old and changing all the time. It is made up from rock, minerals, decayed organic matter nourished by many organisms including red wigglers. Healthy soil = Healthy living.

Here is a Fantastic link to coloring and activities for young people about soil.

https://www.soils.org/files/iys/iys-colorbook-for-web.pdf

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Posted by on in Worm Facts and Information

Bioturbation is the reworking of soils and sediments by animals or plants.  (wikipedia)

Three different types of earthworms doing their job. There are about 4,000 types of earthworms, they each have different work to perform in the soil and vary in the color, size and bodies. Checkout this video:

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Have you seen this critter in your compost bin?  This question leads to....will they eat my worms? This larvae is considered a friend but they will compete with your worms for the organic matter and may overpopulate the bin leaving very little food for the worms. Checkout this link for more detailed information:    http://ipm.ncsu.edu/AG369/notes/black_soldier_fly.html

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Posted by on in Gardening

Little Pomegranate tree we planted in March 2014. We added 1 cup vermicompost to root ball and occasionally water it with worm tea. the tree has grown about 10 inches since then and is fruiting. Unbelievable but true, fruit trees usually take about 2 years to begin fruiting.

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Are you seeing mounds, holes and fresh dirt piles in and around your garden? This helpful tip from the UC Davis IPM Pest Notes has some great tips on species recognition, mechanical traps, probes and chemical bombs.

 

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7433.html

 

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The Centipede is a recycler of organic waste but no friend to worms. I found 2 in one of my bins today. I believe I introduced these rascals when I added some yard waste mulch to my worm bins. The centipede will eat the wigglers while enjoying a wonderful organic home, pick these guys out when you find them.

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We have 1 Lb packs of Red Wigglers ready to pick up this week.  Please call, text or email if interested.

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Posted by on in Wooden Worm Bins

These are our newest Worm Condo's coming out of our shop. The bottom box is the stand only. These condos are $75 for 2 working trays with stand,b2ap3_thumbnail_2014-04-13-15.52.28-2-640x521.jpg $100 for 3 working trays with stand and $125 for 4 working trays with stand.

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This little white worm is called an Enchytraeid (pot Worm). It is a type of Earthworm that never grows any larger AND stays White, this little guy helps break down the food for the red wiggler to ingest. This picture shows a pot worm next to a juvenile red wiggler. Many people mistake the little white worm for a baby wiggler. The white worms naturally appear and b2ap3_thumbnail_2014-04-05-11.14.16-640x368.jpg are not a threat to the red wiggler.

 

 

 

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Posted by on in Worm Facts and Information

This is a newly formed egg capsule, we can tell by the bright yellow color. As the egg matures it changes to brown, which can easily be seen in the sunlight. The eggs or cocoonb2ap3_thumbnail_2014-04-05-11.24.29-395x640_20140415-000228_1.jpg, become translucent in the sunlight no matter the color. A wormlet will hatch sometime between 21 days and 2 years.

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Posted by on in Aerated Worm Tea

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_20140331_105649-459x640.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_20140331_105551-592x640.jpgWe have been saving up for the 2014 Farmer's Markets in Napa and Sonoma. Season runs May thru October.

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I’ve been following a group discussion regarding a statement on the web that said ‘worm castings may be toxic to another worm’. The consensus of the group of soil experts, worm composters, researchers from Universities, environmental technology and business owners was a resounding cry of surprise. The group is in agreement that this does not sound valid for many reasons.

 

There are many issues that can reduce population growth of worms or inadvertently have a negative impact on the worm castings. Worm castings are the byproduct of the worms that started out as vermicompost and being repeatedly eaten by the worms until all the nutrient and microbes are used up. 1) If oxygen or air flow is compromised in the worm casts they become anaerobic and ammonia is released. 2) Is the worm population declining due to the decline of nutrients in the castings? 3) Are the castings or worm bin toxic, due to high salts or other substances introduced including too much food?

 

Some people reported that they place worm casts in and on fresh, rotten material in the bin to help reduce the release of bad smells and control an invasion of flies and gnats. I am aware that worms are being used in some waste cleanups with favorable results as the worms eat toxins and pathogens thereby neutralizing the environment. This research is very exciting as many of us are moving away from use of chemicals.

 

At this time we do not have an industry wide standard that is scientifically accurate and makes sense from a biological and commercial vermicomposter standpoint. Hopefully in the near future a FACT Sheet will be created from research based studies. This article is not research based but has been an open discussion for a few weeks involving people from all over the world and many vocations.

 

There is research being coordinated with of North Carolina State University, the international Vermiculture Conference held yearly sponsored by NCSU and a great book on Vermiculture with science based research published in 2011 titled: Vermiculture Technology edited by Clive Edward, Norman Q Arancon and Rhonda Sherman

 

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Posted by on in Worm Workshop

b2ap3_thumbnail_worm-egg-gazing-640x628.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_worm-egg-gazing-640x628.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_Mason-with-worm-428x640.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_AJ-and-Mason-with-worm-640x612.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_worm-workshop-640x480.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_AJ-and-Mason-worm-watching-602x640.jpgIt's time for a Worm Workshop here at our Farm. This "hands on" workshop will let you dig in our various bins, learn how to separate compost and most important learn about the care of worms and composting. Bring your questions.

It's all about recycling. We had a wonderful time this morning. There was worm egg gazing, vermicompost separator in motion, worm watching, amazing vermicompost and worm tea brewing.

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Posted by on in Worm Facts and Information

We were at dinner with some new friends last night. I was asked how many worms does one need, to start composting. The quick answer is a minimum of "2".  At the NCSU Vermiculture conference in 2012 the research suggests starting with 1 pound (500-1,000) red wiggler worms in a bin no deeper than 3 feet. Adding more worms equals more efficiency. For those of you wondering about placing worms in your garden bed, the recommended suggestion is 4 wigglers per square foot.

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Posted by on in Miscellaneous
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I am a Vermiculturalist that assists the worms in their Vermicomposting, this activity typically involves breeding worms.

Quick explanation: Vermiculture is the process of breeding worms.

                          Vermicomposting is the active process of turning organic matter into vermicompost, taking 2 weeks to 2 months.

                          Vermicompost is the byproduct of organic waste which has been transformed into a nutrient rich soil amendment

 

 

 

 

 

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This is a bit of information from the Napa Master Gardner's recent edition of the Napa MG newsletter, the volunteer coordinator said to offer this advice: California native plants should be the first priority for watering, then anything newly planted, fruit trees, then followed by large trees and plants that may be pushing buds. Dormant plants that leaf out early should be watered before later leafing ones and smaller plants, those that cost less to replace. And that constantly thirsty turf lawn...

http://lawr.ucdavis.edu/irrigation/

 

 

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