ANCs vs Eggplant – part 1

I recently started a new bin with African Nightcrawlers (ANC). I have heard how ANCs process wastes even faster than red wigglers but I wanted to see this for myself.

Before I dive into the topic of this blog post, I wanted to make a few notes about ANCs. ANCs (Eudrilus eugeniae) are a much larger composting worm compared to red wigglers. The challenge with raising ANCs is the temperature as ANCs prefer warmer weather. In the Northeast United States, ANCs a better suited for indoor composting as they wouldn’t tolerate outdoor winter temperatures well. However, outdoors during the summer ANCs can thrive and can process wastes faster than reds. For a more detailed description of ANCs, check out this page from Worm Farm Facts which goes in further detail.

I set up a new tote system for the ANCs about a month ago. I started with one pound and wanted to see how they would compare against reds in a similar tote system. It is not my plan at this time to run an experiment to compare them but just note down some general observations.

The tote was set up with bedding material that consisted primarily of sawdust, cardboard, oyster shell flour, and some worm chow. I occasionally check in on the system and have only fed small amounts of scraps (less than a handful) for ANCs to acclimate. The tote is set up in my basement where the average temperature is around 67F. I know ANCs would do better at a slightly higher temperature (70F), but I’m not going to keep my heat up just for the worms.

For this feeding I happened to have an eggplant that I forgot about in my refrigerator. I’m a bit disappointed on missing out on eggplant parm but hopefully the worms will enjoy it! The eggplant is going in whole without any chopping or freezing. This will delay the decomposition a bit but I am interested to see how the worms will attack it.

For the feeding, I created a small hole and added some brown paper (grocery store bag). The eggplant was placed in the hole and covered with the material already in the system. Then I topped it off with some additional bedding.

Stay tuned to see how the ANCs will do!

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