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to compost with worms? I live in an apartment, so this is the only composting option available to me. I'm starting an organic veggie garden in my tiny space, and I really want a totally chemical free (and manureless) fertilizer for my veggies. not to mention that composting will cut down on household wate, even if just a teeny bit.<br><br><br><br>
I'm generally opposed to caged animals as pets. I feel kind of guilty for having a housecat, but she really does NOT want to go outside, so I guess we're all in agreement on her being here. (She's sleeping on my feet right now)<br><br><br><br>
I have what I hope will be a cozy home set up for the worms. They will be well fed. I'm purposely under populating so that they will be able to reproduce without over crowding. It is a very small box, and once the garden gets going I may get a larger crate for them. It has a tight fitting lid to protect them from scavengers. I think it is well ventilated, and they should not be too hot or too cold. (I will bring them in for the winter, but we're in Louisiana and it doesn't get cold). I will put them in the shadiest corner and keep them moist and cool.<br><br><br><br>
Even with all of my precautions, I am still learning, and they may not survive. I hope they do, of course. I believe this is an envrinmentally responsible thing to do. What do you all think?
 

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I believe that the environmental benifits are huge, and outweigh any slight objections to worms being kept in captivity. I don't even think the worms will notice the difference between living in the wild and living in a composting bin. Of course, this is VB, so you'll get plenty of differing opinions. Also, I think this topic has been posted before...you could try a search.
 

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Threads on this topic:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=38011" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=38011</a><br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=38109" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=38109</a>
 

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I'm all for it. I'm thinking of doing it myself. I'm not vegan, though. But I feel fairly confident that the suffering of well-cared-for worms is likely to be either non-existent or tiny enough that the benefit to the planet of worm composting will outweigh it. I would check carefully on how likely they are to have a population explosion inside your bin, though. The last thing you want is thousands of extra worms and no appropriate home for them.
 

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OK, People actually object to composting with worms? My composter is full of worms and I did not place a single one in there. They went there from their own "free will" (LMAO). Please, I cannot believe that there would be an issue with composting with worms. I say, go for it.
 

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Yes, agreed. But be sure that it is VERY well ventilated... because my mom had a big tupperware with a tonne of holes punched in and we kept it in the coldroom all summer... they did very well (they were HUGE) and it really wasn't hot (because it was in the coldroom, duh) but the heat that's produced from the compost ended up cooking them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("> Now our compost is in the backyard and the worms are free to come and go, probably better for our situation.
 

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Its great thatg you are so concerned for them, I'm sure they'll be fine. Worms are tough. I mean they can survive "in the wild" and even during winter, so don't worry.
 

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I live in a condo, and have a Worm Factory (<a href="http://www.allthingsorganic.com/Products/worm-factory.asp" target="_blank">see one here</a>). The worms only have to be held captive temporarily, because even with the different levels in the bin, lots of the little guys are always hiding out in the lowest level, which contains compost/castings you can put back into the earth to nourish plants.
 

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FYI: Earthworms often take up residence in regular compost piles, but the red worms used in vermicomposting aren't regular earthworms like you find in your garden. They are a different species. You have to order a startup batch, which is where the animal welfare/rights issues come into play. I'm not entirely certain, but I also don't think they are native to many of the areas where they are being used, so there are potential ecology issues as well.
 

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Vermiculture worms need very particular conditions of warmth, moisture, and organic material. I don't think they will tend to compete well with native worms, which are capable of burrowing deep into the soil to escape cold and drought. These composting worms are the hot house flowers of the worm world, and will tend to perish in the wild.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nigel</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I think worms would look on compost like it was Disneyland.</div>
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I howled with laughter when I read this. I really think you are right!! Thanks for the laugh!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tesseract</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
FYI: Earthworms often take up residence in regular compost piles, but the red worms used in vermicomposting aren't regular earthworms like you find in your garden. They are a different species. You have to order a startup batch, which is where the animal welfare/rights issues come into play. I'm not entirely certain, but I also don't think they are native to many of the areas where they are being used, so there are potential ecology issues as well.</div>
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Oh, ok! Thanks for telling me, I didn't know that different types of worms were used. Now I see what the issue is. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Hey SnowNose, I liked your old avatar better <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ludi</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Vermiculture worms need very particular conditions of warmth, moisture, and organic material. I don't think they will tend to compete well with native worms, which are capable of burrowing deep into the soil to escape cold and drought. These composting worms are the hot house flowers of the worm world, and will tend to perish in the wild.</div>
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Which I think brings up the other potential ethical issue-- suppose you order some worms, and they love your compost bin and breed like crazy. You now have excess worms on your hands. You are presumably responsible for these worms, and if they'll die in the wild, what do you do with them? I'm not sure how likely that is to really happen... maybe someone who has done some vermicomposting can tell us.
 

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As a result of the older vermicomposting threads posted above I decided to bite the bullet and get a worm box for our deck. I did not purchase the worms [feeding the Exploitative Capitalist Worm System] but did have my mom mail them to me [no lie!]. She was taken aback by my concern for the worms. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"><br><br><br><br>
They arrived safe and sound with no casualties that I could see and have been hale and hearty ever since. This is one of those applications of AR that I find theoretically fascinating, but in practice: my worms are happy, I am happy, I have a healthier garden...it would seem on the surface that we are all winning.<br><br><br><br>
And Tesseract, if I have "extra worms" I put them in the garden boxes themselves along with the compost, but I haven't noticed any overpopulation problems. I don't know if that counts as "in the wild" but they seem fine. No worm corpses have come to my attention.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thinking.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":think:">
 

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As a result of the older vermicomposting threads posted above I decided to bite the bullet and get a worm box for our deck. I did not purchase the worms [feeding the Exploitative Capitalist Worm System] but did have my mom mail them to me [no lie!]. She was taken aback by my concern for the worms. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"><br><br><br><br>
They arrived safe and sound with no casualties that I could see and have been hale and hearty ever since. This is one of those applications of AR that I find theoretically fascinating, but in practice: my worms are happy, I am happy, I have a healthier garden...it would seem on the surface that we are all winning.<br><br><br><br>
And Tesseract, if I have "extra worms" I put them in the garden boxes themselves along with the compost, but I haven't noticed any overpopulation problems. I don't know if that counts as "in the wild" but they seem fine. No worm corpses have come to my attention.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thinking.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":think:">
 

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There's a bit on here : <a href="http://www.wormpost.com/worms/biology.html" target="_blank">http://www.wormpost.com/worms/biology.html</a> about invasive worms, down towards the bottom.<br><br><br><br>
Presumably, if you use a species of worms that naturally occur in your region there are fewer problems, although you will still be introducing a new genotype...<br><br><br><br>
A friend of mine started her own worm bin with worms she found in her garden in leaf litter, they were red tiger worms, Eisenia fetida, I think.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>madder</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
There's a bit on here : <a href="http://www.wormpost.com/worms/biology.html" target="_blank">http://www.wormpost.com/worms/biology.html</a> about invasive worms, down towards the bottom.<br><br><br><br>
Presumably, if you use a species of worms that naturally occur in your region there are fewer problems, although you will still be introducing a new genotype...<br></div>
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Oh, I should have clarified that I have a container garden only, on a deck in an apartment building. So basically I'm just turning all the containers into "worm boxes" of sorts; I guess they COULD shimmy down the posts to the other decks and the dirt below. But if they are as fragile as Ludi said they'll probably prefer to stay where they are.
 

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This has piqued my interest!<br><br><br><br>
Here are some tips for ecologically friendly vermiculture:<br><br><br><br>
from <a href="http://www.bbg.org/gar2/topics/sustainable/2004su_worms.html" target="_blank">http://www.bbg.org/gar2/topics/susta...4su_worms.html</a><br><br><br><br>
What's in My Worm Bin?<br><br>
With invasive earthworms wriggling amok in our forest soils, gardeners who use worms to decompose kitchen scraps and plant waste may want to take a closer look at what they’ve got growing in their compost piles. Some of the traits that make worms ideal for vermicomposting—such as high reproductive rate and adaptability—may also make them potentially successful invaders.<br><br><br><br>
The worm predominantly sold for composting is the red wiggler or red tiger worm, Eisenia fetida. It has a rusty brown color with alternating yellow and maroon bands down the length of its body; a pigmentless membrane separates each segment. It grows up to three inches long and is highly prolific. Though the worm has established itself in the wild here, so far it has not been identified as a problem species.<br><br><br><br>
Another popular compost species, the red worm, Lumbricus rubellus, is causing trouble, however, and should be avoided. It also grows up to three inches long and has a history of being confused with E. fetida. This worm is dark red to maroon, has a light yellow underside, and lacks striping between segments.<br><br><br><br>
In The Earth Moved (Algonquin Books, 2004), a wonderful new book on earthworms by Amy Stewart, forest ecologist Cindy Hale advises worm composters to freeze their castings in air-tight bags for a least a week before adding them to garden soil, no matter what worms species they use. "It won't hurt the soil microbes, but it will kill all the worms."
 
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