My vermiculture adventure started in November 2018 a couple months after I returned to Texas from my eco-road trip . Having spent the previous seven months up at an intentional community in Oregon, I wanted to continue my greener living with something easy I could do.
I saw a DIY worm bin class advertised online with the Texas Worm Ranch, and figured it might be interesting. Little did I know how big these little guys would become in my life after I got my first worm bin going!
This is a collection of my personal projects, most of which are gardening-related. I also have a few projects related to vermiculture, a hobby I picked up years ago trying to improve my waste practices. Check out each project blog post to see more details and follow my creation process.
Project: The [RE]verse Pitch Competition
I decided to participate in the [RE]verse Pitch Competition through the city of Austin. It’s an entrepreneurial competition like Shark Tank, only the difference is that materials are pitched in reverse to the entrepreneurs. I created vermicomposting bags made from Austin Eastcider’s excess sugar Supersacks.
I built a worm casting sifter, or a panning trommel, to help better separate my worms from my castings. I found a worm casting sifter DIY video online and recreated it. Overall, I would recommend a different style and have it mechanically powered instead of manual.
I took on another personal project which was to build a worm casting sifter, or a panning trommel, to better separate my worms and my castings. I found this worm casting sifter DIY video from Planted by Chris, which I followed to build my very own sifter. After I completed my sifter, I would recommend probably a different style with an electric motor. This works better than by hand, but still requires lots of work and sifting for small juveniles/eggs.
I started off by buying the video’s purchase list requirements to make the sifter. This included mesh wiring, PVC pipes and joints, bots and washers, and extra buckets. I cut the pipes using PVC snips and dry-fit the rotation frame together. This was partially done during the snowmagedon. I had to wait post-storm to get certain parts because hardware stores were sold out of PVC for plumbing issues.
I came across these sawhorse brackets at a hardware store and thought they might work to expand my hanging planter garden! Basically I made oversize sawhorses or A-frames with some 2×4’s and some hinging clamps! I screwed in seven eye-hooks to attach the Topsy Turvy bags.
Inspired by my previous experiences making seed bombs, my excess old used worm newspaper, and a bag of wildflower seeds I was holding onto – I decided to make my own seed bombs. Ideal seed bombs have soil, clay, and compost with seeds inside acting as an explosive seedling environment to flourish. However, they can also be made with used newspaper because it will melt in the rain releasing the seeds, just like a soil-based seed bomb.
For this experimental project, I followed an instructional YouTube video on how to do with newspaper – including how to add dye to color the seed bombs! I had most of the materials on hand except the small blender and cactus silicon mold – both found at Goodwill!
After finding and collecting a sizable stash of Topsy Turvys from Goodwill, I found an idea from Pinterest on how to hand and use them! What I did was find a FREE swing set on Craigslist, disassemble it, drive it home, and them reassemble it in the backyard. This would serve as the semi-mobile vertical planter hanger without digging into the yard as a renter tenant.