Murphy’s Law

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Sifting through the worm castings

The very first problem we faced was when went to sift through the worms. The previous day we moved the worms and their soil from the old worm bin and kept them in plastic tubs overnight. We were told that the worms would burrow to the bottom of the bins where it would be moist and dark overnight, making our job the next day easier. The day after when we went to separate the worms from their castings, to our surprise, the worms had crawled up the sides instead of burrowing to the bottom. It was a mess; the majority of the worms were up at the rim of the tubs and falling out onto the ground when we opened them. Some of the worms crawled between the lid and the rim and were crushed. The rest of the worms that were not slipping out were mixed up in the detritus, making it more difficult to sort them out.

After some thought, it wasn’t hard to determine which factors contributed to the problem. Not only was the soil not moist enough, but we stupidly didn’t think to add air holes; the worms were suffocating. We later learned that worms also crawl up the sides of the bin sometimes without reason; a good solution for this problem is to have a light over the bin to drive the worms towards the bottom.

Aside from fiberglass splinters, the only other big problem we had was fixing the insolation pads to the undersides of the lids. Allison and I spent an afternoon gluing them to the lids with liquid nails and then finding rocks to hold them down. It looked good when we finished, but in the morning the pads fell right off. We finally solved the problem by reversing the pads so that the fiberglass sides were pressed to the wood and then we bolted them down.

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3 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law

  1. It’s really interesting that they crawled up the sides, but you guys figured out a lot of solutions for the messy problems. I like how you explain why these problems happened and how to fix them in more than one way. This post is informative and gives good insight on how to progress in this project. I think people will definitely benefit from knowing these techniques for sifting the worms and creating worm bins, if they were to make their own. Can you also explain what the insolation pads are and what they are for? I think you can improve the post by adding some more pictures to show the mess (if you took any more) and maybe explaining what each step of this part of the project, but other than that, this post is great!

    Thats a great picture, too!

  2. Vermiculture is a very tough concept to get the first time. I love how you used trial-and-error to make this worm bin the best Academy has ever had. I know that you were working together and had to split up what to write on for the blog, but could you go into just a bit more detail on what other methods of trial and error you used for the worm bin. I was wondering what is Murphy’s Law. I felt that you probably should have explained it in the post so that people would know how your title fits into the blog post. I felt that this blog post was very well done. Maybe you could document more over the summer of the work that you are doing. Keep up the good work.

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