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care and feeding

This version was saved 16 years, 1 month ago View current version     Page history
Saved by unityfire888@...
on June 20, 2008 at 8:16:05 am

Feeding and caring for your tropical vermi-forest compost pile.




You need to know this:

NITROGEN= greenwaste, kitchen scraps, green leaves, wet fresh food/herbs/etc.....30% of pile

CARBON= Dry/brown; dead leaves, paper, woodchips, cardboard, sawdust, dry grass.....70% of pile

Feed vermi-forest compost piles/rows in layers = 30% nitrogen and 70 % carbon, alternating and never letting too much nitogen accumuate in one spot.

Build rows up to 12-18". Diversity is key, in size, shape and material. Enough but not too much moisture, also oxygen. Imitate a very active tropical forest floor. This is beyond vermiculture because it includes all the other participants in the soil/nutrient web; fungii, millipedes, beetles, microorganisms, worms,






Compost all kitchen scraps                                                                   Transfer food & organic waste to buckets...or barrels...

                                                                              ...whatever's appropriate scale and easy to carry to compost place.


Gather food scraps and paper            Seeds sprout vigorously in castings so be careful. Great compost, but

when you go to gatherings                untended feeder roots will take over compost bin/row


All paper; junk mail, to-go containers, newspapers, old journals....shredded is best           


(more surface area) If you can get your own shredder, it's awesome... also businesses often shred paper and will give it to you                                                                                                                               



  Cardboard is great. It's easy to tear up when wet. (sprinlers work)   Corrugation is great habitat for worms and mychorhizzal.

    Cardbaord is trees. It needs to go back to the earth.




Woodchips are the basis. Brings in the millipede family and fungi too.


Most kinds are good, some kinds so/so and some no-no. Be aware of what chips you get.

                                                                                                                        Coconut is premium, hands down.

                                          Get good clean mulch wherever you can to start with, and for the future--grow mulch.

                                          Grow coconuts for mulch! Grow NFTs, bananas, trees, etc...plant 50-70% for mulch!

 Dry leaves are important carbon source too.


Chickens are a great companion for forest-style vermi-compost systems. They help you mix.

Worms and bugs are very good for chickens too but don't let them eat too much. You know how they are.

They'll also eat all the maggots if your compost should ever (heaven forbid) get anaerobic and disgusting. (gross prevention).

Anyway, try never to go there. Remember, keep your pile cool, never hot. Disperse, layer, don't let nitrogen get too deep or compact. And moist not soggy, not dry. Misters are the best.




Beneficial Active Microorganisms...great to add this, or something like it, at least as a starter. If your pile stays healthy, they will thrive on and on: BAM is similar to EM but needs no activator besides water. The microorganisms in BAM were developed to be more specific for Hawaii soils' needs. It's made in O'ahu and distributed locally by Jimmy Piretti in Kilauea (PHONE #)


Bedding first                                                  and layer


Always top with all carbon, no raw food scraps showing. Cover pile with shade cloth. Then no flies.


The pile doesn't need much attention. Awareness and wise observation is where it's at. Stay on top.


that's feeding....

and later....happy harvest............................. happy harvest


A word about mulch:

Most people never get enough. Use more.

And make sure it's getting AIR. (big chunks help, hollow cardboard tubes with holes is way cool....Keep it fluffy)


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