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A New Beginning

I am back to feeding my worm bins. After months of steady growth and dedicated gathering(vegetables, brewer’s spent grains, and cardboard). I got discouraged by an invasion of rodents. Mice, or more likely, rats got to into my garage and were tearing up the bins. They ate my herd and suddenly bins of writhing earthworms were just boxes of half finished compost. The mice didn’t just eat the worms, they also messed with my ‘paperwork’ system.

The only documentation I had was plastic tags left in the bins. The tags showed start dates, notes about bedding or feeding or notable differences, and eventually date of harvest. Well apparently, the rodents found those tags were good for their own bedding! They stole the tags and suddenly I couldn’t tell how old the bins were. I couldn’t tell which bins had been half harvested versus those that just weren’t doing well.

That little break in my tenuous bit of organization just wrecked me. Feeding and splitting stopped because, what was the point? I instead focused on poisons and traps which didn’t ever seem to finish the job. I had to finally pull everything out of the garage to find and destroy their nests and physically evict them from my grow room. So now it feels like there is some control again. While that battle was going on, I was also working on a cardboard/paper shredder. So suddenly both the rodent attack and bedding bottleneck cleared, I have no excuses for neglecting the herd.

So, I am back to grinding food and feeding the bins. It exposes the next couple of bottlenecks because both tasks are time based.

First, preparing food enough for ~ 15 bins is time consuming. For now, I am grinding in a Vitamix blender. Each tiny batch is blended and drained in a sifter to remove excess water. Each blender full might feed two bins. I definitely need a faster food prep. I have an insinkerator food grinder( see the whiz bang website), but it needs a much more efficient water drainer. The plan is to assemble a food trammel to fix the problem. Second, is my time, or more correctly, my lack of organization. One man’s spare time is hardly enough to establish success in worm farming. I need to keep breaking bottlenecks and making more efficiency.