Tyler Ludens wrote:If you're able to visit Ben Falk's place in Vermont, that would be great. I think he has one of the most interesting small farms in that region. http://www.wholesystemsdesign.com/visiting-wsr-farm/
Skandi Rogers wrote:
Rachel Hankins wrote:I am planting borage with the strawberries this year - it's supposed to be a good companion plant for them.
I don't really understand this, I've seen several people mention it but still, strawberries are low growing plants and a single borage plant will get to 4ft high and 3ft round before flopping over to around 6ft round.. how it can be planted anywhere near anything short I do not get. It also self seeds very very well and you will soon have all borage and no strawberries. Having one somewhere near might help with pollination if you have an issue with that.
Ralph Kettell wrote:Hi Rachel,
Sorry for the delay in responding, but the weekends are a busy time here. As Annie said you are off to a good start. Also I agree with her comment on cardboard although I shred my cardboard in a paper shredder. It is my primary bedding material. Coco coir and peat moss make good bedding but they don't have much nutrition for the little guys. That's why I I prefer cardboard. It is bedding that turns into food and then worm castings. If you have a source of manure, try composting the cardboard with the manure. Once it is no longer hot, add it to the bin. The cardboard will have begun to break down and the manure will have gone through its initial break down which is too hot for the little wigglers.
I clean of all the tape and labels and use mostly unpainted cardboard. I have a medium size paper shredder and it does just fine shredding most cardboard. You have to remember to lubricate it, and feed reasonable sized pieces into it and it should shred for you. Mine over heats after a while and then I give it a rest and start again after it has cooled down. I now try to do it in smaller batches and rarely have it over heat.
With the worm setup you have purchased you will not have the problem that is common in many start-up worm bins which use plastic bins. The problem with plastic bins is lack of ventilation. You will, however, have to keep your bedding moist in the worm tower by adding water every few days. Don't drench it, and check it after a day or two to make sure it is not too wet. If it is too wet mix it up a bit, move the wettest bedding to the top where it will dry out more readily and if need be add some sprinkles of dry bedding to the wettest spots to soak up some of the excess moisture.
The biggest problem most people have with their worms is over feeding. At the moment you only have 250 worms. They will not die of starvation and if you add some cardboard they will have something to munch on if the preferred food, scraps, run out. You will know if you are overfeeding if the bin starts to stink. Check the old food and make sure most of it is gone before adding more. Feed in a different location from the last feeding. Keep then moving around.
The trick to speeding up the castings production process a bit is using a blender to grind up the food before feeding it to the worms or freeze it which will help break down the food when it thaws. In summer time it is not a bad idea to add the frozen food to the bin when still frozen. It will act as temporary cooling for a warmer summer bin.
Never ever place your bin in the sun. If it is outside, keep it in the shade.