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letters from the worm compost

An Update For Spring Of 2023

"From what I’ve seen over the last couple of years, once home food gardeners know about all the benefits of a worm compost and they understand the 3 critical factors of success, they take to it like worms to a watermelon!"

Today’s letter is a little different to the usual letter.

Today I’d like to share with you what My Friend’s Compost, and our community, and I, have been up to recently.

Just this week a new cohort of home food gardeners began The Worm Course.

They’ve done their first live call of Module 1 and they’ve spent the week collecting various bedding materials. They’ll put it all together after our next live call, and then they’re off to bring home their new composting buddies.

This time, most of the students are already worm composting and are thinking about shifting worms over, rather than buying more.

I do enjoy meeting the new crew each time we run the course. It’s really neat to hear each persons future vision of “gardening life with regular bounties of perfect worm castings”

perfect worm castings
40 litres of worm castings 1/4″ sift.

2 or 3 weeks ago I ran a live Q&A session in the Worm Composting Australia telegram group.

It was a great conversation that seemed to be quite helpful. It definitely helped me further understand what people specifically want to know and want answers to when it comes to worm composting.

You may have heard me speak about my vision of seeing an operational worm compost at every second house of every street in every suburb of every town in every region all over Australia.

Well, that’s only going to happen if lots of people know that worm composting is even a thing!

From what I’ve seen over the last couple of years, once home food gardeners know about all the benefits of a worm compost and they understand the 3 critical factors of success, they take to it like worms to a watermelon!

So I’ve been pondering lately, how I can make a more useful and more inspiring space for our growing community of worm composters.

A place where it’s much easier for conversations to flow and worm composts to get started.

In the last few weeks I’ve been hunting around for the right platform for our community to grow on and I think I’ve found a really great place for us worm lovers to hang out! And it’s not on social media!

I’m still looking closely at how it all works but I do think this might be it. I’m this close – see me holding my thumb and index finger almost touching – to making a decision on it.

I’ll keep you updated on this, in a soon-future Letter From The Worm Compost…

african nightcrawler compost worms
African Nightcrawlers in compost that’s ready to harvest.

I’m feeling pretty curious about doing something with photos of everyone’s worm composts. Some kind of big online display, maybe a contest?

Once I get an idea, my brain just won’t stop exploring and looking for possibilities and imagining all the ways it could be a really cool thing to do!

If only sleep wasn’t a necessity! I’d get so much more done!

Watch out for more about the photo thing too then, somewhere in the next few months I hope.

finished perfect vermicomposti
Worm castings ready to use.

In the wormery, my worms are enjoying the temperature change now that we – at least up here in FNQ – are definitely in the spring season.

A few of the worm bins seem to suddenly be ready for harvest. Yay!!

I usually bait harvest first, then about 2 weeks after starting the baiting I’ll finish the harvest with sifting.

Today I’m putting together 2 x 50 litre mini hot composts in tubs.

Pre-composting the worm bedding.

Making bedding, then putting it through 2 or 3 fast cycles of thermophillic heating, and then letting it cool off before using it in the worm bins.

The whole process takes about a week.

I’ve had worms turn pre-composted bedding into finished worm castings in only 3 weeks!

It’s a great way to get excellent quality worm castings in a hurry.

I’ll be sharing the “how to” of this either in a video I’ll post over on Telegram or in the new community space once it’s up and running.

Need some specific information?

Is there something specific about worm composting that you’d like to see a video about? Or have instructions for? Or downloadable a checklist of?

If there is, I’m more than happy to make it for you. Just reply to this email and tell me what you need.

Or if you’re reading this on the website and you’re not yet getting the Letters, at the top and the bottom of this page you’ll see a place to subscribe to the Letters. Do that, then reply to any Letter you get From The Worm Compost.

I’m always keen to help with anything about worm composting that you need. Don’t hesitate to put your request in 🙂

worm farm in a cut down wheelie bin
Worm compost in half a wheelie bin.

My Friend’s Compost recently started an Instagram account! Crazy!

I’ve been completely torn about putting My Friend’s Compost and all things wormy out on any social platform beyond Telegram. I want the worms to reach lots and lots and lots of people.

But I very much dislike social media. And that’s saying it nicely.

I don’t even have a mobile phone!

Soooo… my awesome and instagram-clever friend Mel has come to the rescue. She’s all over how to use Instagram! Woot woot!

I use my old phone (which is nothing more than a camera since I threw away the sim card – that’s actually a good story I’ll tell you one day) to make the videos and photos, then I send them to Mel.

Mel gets them onto Instagram the right way and in the right places and just all round looks after the whole Insty thing for me. It’s the perfect solution.

All I have to do now is remember to take the jolly videos and photos!

If you’d like to follow My Friend’s Compost on Instagram, you can use this link to go straight there >>

Here’s a bucket of worm castings tea I made and used a bit earlier this week. I’ve got lots of new plants and seedlings growing and they all got some of this goodness.

worm tea ready to use
Worm castings tea ready to use.

I’m hoping to take a group of worm composters on another learning journey, this time to support them in creating impact and income in their sphere’s of influence, with their compost worms.

Several community members have expressed their interest in this and I’d love to make it happen for everyone!

We’ve got someone who is thinking about developing a community garden with the benefits of worm castings,
someone else who lives on a road frequented by people going fishing and is interested in producing and selling bait worms,
someone who wants to run worm composting workshops in her local community and get everyone in her realm worm composting,
and even someone who has no solid idea “what” yet but is simply inspired to somehow be sharing the power of worm composting.

If we could all come together in a working group…. With everyone sharing ideas and taking action…. Me bringing a bit of worm business experience to the table….. And regular masterminding sessions…. I think a bunch of amazing things could happen!!!

Holler if this is something you’re interested in too.

worm cocoons
Compost worm cocoons.

And I just have to share this 🙂 Another of our members has just had a spectacular 14 weeks on the course.

Rose originally thought worm composting was small time, for people with no space, and of no real impact. She came along to one of the intro workshops I run, and happily learned a thing or two. Enough for her to decide the course was right for her to do.

So Rose began with 2 bins, sort of by accident. She mean’t to start with 1 but made waaaay to much bedding so went with the 2.

At first, one of these 2 bins got quite wet and Rose easily learned how to manage that and how to bring it back to an ideal moisture level.

Then I think something must have clicked. About 2/3rds of the way through the course, Rose suddenly had 8 worm composts underway, and her first harvest of perfect worm castings right on the 12 week mark!

It was awesome to watch unfold!

Now Rose has a whole different view of worm composting. She’s a long term gardener with established gardens who somehow didn’t find out about worm composting until just this year.

I don’t believe anyone could stop her from worm composting now 🙂

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Well, I think that about covers it for all we’ve been up to recently.

I’m excited about the community upgrade that’s about to happen. I nerd out a bit on the tech build. And I’m keen to see whether people will use it or not, how it will get used, and how many expert worm composts it ultimately creates.

It’s OK if it’s a flop. Lots of things can’t be known until you try them. But, actually, I’m quite optimistic that it’s going to be a lot of good solid learning fun for all of us!

I’ll let you know when it’s all go and you can have a look to see if it’s something you’d like to be a part of. Or not.

Either way, don’t stop worm composting. The impact your worm compost has reaches beyond your garden in ways we can’t even measure.

Some of the upcoming topics in the Letters From The Worm Compost are

  • soil microbiology,
  • going on holiday and keeping your worms happy and fed while you’re away,
  • some worm book reviews.

Plus oh my gosh there’s so much more to come!

If we sat down together, I could talk your ear off about all things worms! I just love the little fellas and I’m so inspired to encourage and help and cheer on hundreds of thousands of new worm composters!

Thanks for reading todays Letter. I hope you’re inspired too.

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Hello friend! I’m Val
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My Friend’s Compost is my Walk of Life where I talk, write, teach and do all things Worm Composting.

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