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In-ground unsealed worm farm

 
Posts: 138
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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    I've got an idea for the micro-scale design of a property I'm working on. Y'all know about worm farms, right? What if I install a primarily rain-watered worm farm right below a silt trap that gets catchment from the roof and chicken run, and then drains the water into the garden? I think it could be dug into the ground, held up on the downhill side by a wall formed by the soil pulled from the basin, maybe with a pipe for worm juice drainage. I know the worms won't be sealed in, but in my mind that's a feature, because they can burrow during the winter to avoid a die-off, and there's no danger that they'll run away from their food supply. The plan is that the whole garden will get the liquid fertilizer automatically, by virtue of the water flow, and the worm castings will be as convenient to spread as possible. the manure supply would be from the chicken house uphill, the manure will have to age in piles for a while first. there is a reliable source of kitchen scraps, so that's covered. Another (I think) advantage to this system is that earthworms eat compost worm's castings, so even more processing is done before the castings get to the garden. Any problems that you foresee?
 
pollinator
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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I don't forsee any problems. I have done much the same, except with less meticulous planning.

I have one of those black plastic composters that municipalities out here like to give out. I find it useless for compost, as the pile never gets large enough to heat up properly, but it's a great open-bottomed worm bin. When the ground is sodden, they can work their way up the compost column, which is at least half composed of spent wadded paper rabbit bedding, with the balance being coffee grounds and kitchen scraps.

If the type of earthworm you're talking about is the one that goes up and down the soil column, where Eisenia fetida stays to the upper strata and likes to eat compost byproducts, one added advantage is that the earthworm will be taking fertility and organic matter down the soil column with it, increasing drainage and improving soil structure far below where red wigglers like to range.

Let us know how it goes, though. No reason why it shouldn't work well. Keep us posted, and good luck.

-CK
 
Myron Platte
Posts: 138
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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    Thanks for the input. Love your signature, by the way.
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