Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler

The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

More discusion re: the new wormery!

Sunday I had my second meeting with Mr. Paul Schellenburger of New Albany. As you may remember from my previous post regarding the new wormery, Mr. Schellenburger is a veteran of vermiculture and at the top of the list of local and probably national experts regarding vermiculture. This time my fiance Kim Ratts was also on hand for the meeting of minds and we discussed many things about the new wormery, most notably Mr. Schellenburger (a much more organized man than I) had taken the time and had the foresight to draw out some blueprints of different layouts that the new wormery could be based upon, he also brought us the first of our new worm bedding boxes.

We finally decided upon a particular design using a set of 15 38" X 38" X 38" plastic lined wooden boxes, leaving plenty of room for sorting tables, our home made harvester, a green composting/pre-feeding box and room for the stove and dry heating wood supply. We also discussed the layout and feeding procedures of the boxes themselves which will be lined with black plastic and equiped for harvesting compost tea (bear in mind that this is not worm tea, just raw compost tea, mostly for inoculating new compost heaps and soil). The boxes are very nice large wooden boxes and will last for years, I am very excited about the layout which will make harvesting, feeding, and manual labor much easier.

The harvesting and sequential feeding system will be based on feeding/inoculating sets of three boxes two weeks ahead of starting the next set of three, to be repeated every two weeks, once you finish the last set of boxes you start over from the beginning, using the top six inches of worms and compost from the previous set of three to start the next three boxes, this sequential harvesting works out very well as I have calculated volume of the boxes (in sets of three) to match exactly the dimensions of one load of my manure spreader!

While we were discussing where we should locate the green compost box (necessary for keeping feed the same temp as the worm bins themselves, lessening shocks to the system) I pointed out that my loading area (the area with the largest space for unfinished compost) was at the front of the building while the back of the building is reserved for wood loading and has a space perfect to back the tractor and the manure spreader into for loading. It occurred to me that in this concept the greenhouse (roughly the shape of a worm) was now being considered a super-organism all it's own, complete with a mouth (front door) for unfinished material loading and a tail (back door) with a posterior for finished material unloading, as well as a middle section for worm consumption or a "digestive tract" if you will, as such I quickly dubbed the new project and subsequent wormery, "The Wyrm" (sic). By Feb. we should have all 15 boxes and the greenhouse retrofitted for worm growing. I will see if soon I can't get the blueprints online and also take some pics of the work as we go.

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