It's been ages since I updated. I'm now composting all the organic waste in the house and garden. The can-o-worms is still in the garage and gets used whenever it's too wet or too cold to make the trip outdoors. The big green flow through is taking alot more waste than I expected, and it's getting rid of loads of cardboard and newspapers for me too. In summer heat was a bit of an isue, so I had to build a sun shelter for it. In winter it gets no sun, and I'm hoping that the heat of decomposition will keep the bin warm enough to keep my worms active.
The vermicompost has been great in the garden- I got a great crop of runner beans and carrots, and there are still tomatoes on the vine outdoors. The dog unfortunately figured out how to suck strawberries through the bird netting and got most of the crop before we managed to eat many. Next year I'll have to plan better.
I also made a few batches of vermicompost tea, and was amazed withthe results. Plants love it- aphids hate it. It even cleared black fly off a row off broad beans. I'll be putting down loads more broad beans this year so we'll have to sea if I'm as lucky again.
I made a new bin which was going to just be a well ventilated garden compost bin: (you can just about see a grate about a foot above ground level on which the compost sits for great airflow.)
But it was quickly invaded by worms and now produces the most gorgeous compost which is very rich in castings, I set it up in early june and I've taken about 100 litres of compost from it, and added a huge amount of pre-composted garden waste. I sometimes wonder will it ever fill up- my garden isn't that big!!
My worms are well and truly mixed up now. There are still e. hortensis round, but there seem to be alot less of them than the e fetida (or possibly e. andreii), but maybe the e hortensis take longer to reach adulthood. Whenever I take a batch of worms indoors to breeding bins, I usually get a few bruisers in each bin that just have to be e h. I haven't tried separatign them out, because I believe that a mixed population is probably as good an idea as any for composting as they can cope with a variety of conditions.
We're lucky in Ireland not to have too severe winters so the big flow through will hopefully operate all winter, with the can-o-worms and some plastic bins in the garage as a backup. Last winter I didn't have nealy as many worms in it as I do this year and sometimes I struggled to get all the cooked food composted. (Uncooked veggie peelings etc still went out on the compost heap to wait for spring!).
I'm not sure how brave I'll be with meat and fish though. Since summer, once I was happy that the big flow through was coping with waste quickly enough to stop smells or flies or vermin being a problem, I have been adding fish and meat without too many problems. But I don't hink I'd chance it in the can-o-worms because there's only a single door between the house and the garage in case of problems! So if lowering temperatures cause the flow through to slow down, I may have to re-consider.