Mike Long

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since Aug 23, 2015
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Recent posts by Mike Long

Arron Hendrix wrote:I need a few more pictures please. I'm tired of sorting my worms from the castings...kills my back

Hey Arron, Do a search using the term "OSCR worm bin" or "OSCR Jr.". Plenty of pics will pop up for you. Probably the most famous flow through design. That is if there is any fame associated w/ worms!
5 years ago
Hi Rob,

By worm wee are you speaking of the liquid that comes out of a worm bin? If so, this liquid should never even exist in a properly maintained bin. What's worse is people bottle and sell this anaerobic liquid as fertilizer! In my opinion this is akin to selling snake oil.


I'm glad you like my bin. Where did you come up with the info to build yours? I have a friend who spent over 350 dollars on a bin similar in size to mine! Airflow, I believe, is the key to why the vertical flow through works so well. It concentrates the worms so well up top that I have a very good idea how many worms are in each 'handful'. This makes selling my worms by the count very easy. I also pack the actual material from the bin (full of cocoons) to my customers. This helps the worms to ship safely and allows them an easier time adjusting to a new environment. Similar to you I began using worms to process my backyard compost further. It seemed no matter how 'done' my compost looked it would still burn up small starter container plants. The worms completely solved this problem. Not having to separate the worms kinda makes it a no-brainer as far as worm bins go, not to mention how much material it can process. Have you found a good system for harvesting? I've noticed the material can get hung up well above the EMT at times making a shorter tool ineffective. I literally poke mine with a stick sometimes. Still easier than screening worms, stressing them out and slowing down production.

Anyhow....here's a pic of an outdoor horizontal bin I have. I use this one to replace worms and provide feedstock for my vertical flow through. The two work really well used together this way. One side of my horizontal doesn't usually contain worms but is used for hot composting.
5 years ago

Dave Dahlsrud wrote:I like it! Seems simple enough, do you have any basic dimensions and spacing for the EMT conduit, etc.

The bin itself is 2'x2'x4'. I have a 2'' spacing on the EMT. I have a tiny worm business that I've started and I really just like worms! Started my own lil website... http://bigskywormcompany.com/ Check it out if you have time!
I would like to post more here as well if people are interested in this sort of thing. Hope it's OK that I posted that. The only rule was ''be nice'' so I think it's OK. Really I just want more folks to talk to about worms!

5 years ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau, Lazlo the only real problem with simply putting fish leftovers in the ground is skunks, which will come and dig them up for a snack.
My ancestors used whole fish, this was buried about one and a half feet under the seeds.
At that depth, there is usually no animal that will dig that far down, so the new plants are safe.

The reason people make fish emulsion is convenience and for house plants it is a must if you want to use fish fertilizer on them.
When I make compost that is where just about every thing that will decompose ends up. My heaps get very hot from the extra nitrogen that ends up in them so all pathogens are rendered harmless (dead)
My last heap reached 197 f. for four weeks (when a heap is heating, I do not turn it till it starts to cool).

Hi Bryant, You might find this link interesting from Cornell University. http://compost.css.cornell.edu/physics.html 65C = 149F

" Regulations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specify that to achieve a significant reduction of pathogens during composting, the compost should be maintained at minimum operating conditions of 40°C for five days, with temperatures exceeding 55°C for at least four hours of this period. Most species of microorganisms cannot survive at temperatures above 60-65°C, so compost managers turn or aerate their systems to bring the temperature down if they begin to get this hot."

55 gallon drums of fish certainly do attract bears. Been there done that. Not worth it or the awful smell. Alfalfa/kelp tea is much easier to deal/work with.
5 years ago
It's actually my T.V. stand! Except I don't watch T.V!

Yeah it's in my house. I have some horizontal bins as well. Both inside and outside. And some windrows. And a manure pile or two.

I'm kind of a worm nut.
5 years ago
So I think you'll be able to see the bottom of my vertical flow through bin. This is where I harvest my castings from. I made the bin out of some old barnwood and a couple two bys. I had some tile around and tiled the inside. EMT conduit is used for the 'floor' of the bin. I believe this same basic idea came from Clive Edwards if I remember right. It works really well.
5 years ago
Hey thanks! Appreciate the welcome. I've been lurking here for a few years off and on.

5 years ago
Great post! Absolutely no need for 'magic activators'!!! This is from Washington State University. http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/fundamentals/inocula.htm

I'd like to add that the 'ideal' compost will have close to a 30:1 C:N ratio. I used to have a chart that gave the ratio for specific materials.

Chicken manure
Horse manure
Coffee grounds

Those are listed in order. Fish being the highest N source. Coffee grounds the weakest. Be very careful with fish. It might be something you try when you have more experience or in very small amounts. Have some extra C materials around!


Again leaves weakest C source. Sawdust highest. Although sawdust can very greatly.

I try to add biodynamic nutrient accumulators to my piles ie. dandelions, comfrey, stinging nettles, borage, yarrow, burdock etc. I gather rock dust from time to time from the mtns and rivers too. I also make my own bio-char and add this to my piles as well.

Good Luck on your compost pile. Compost happens!
5 years ago
Hello everyone. I am a Montana Master Gardener. I love raising Red Wigglers. This is my first post mostly just to say hello. Here are a few pics though.

5 years ago