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How does BSFL frass compare to worm casings in terms of waste conversion efficiency?

 
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I've got a more or less conventional compost pile with red wriggler worms in it. I don't really turn it, and just let time and the worms break things down.

I'm considering building a BSFL bin to break down my garbage, or at least the high nitrogen subset of it.

(Part of my motivation for this is that animals, including bears, are getting in my compost pile, and I don't really want to build a bin strong enough to lock out bears, because that's a serious job. I'm thinking that the larvae bin could be indoors, and they could reduce the garbage to something that bears wouldn't eat, and I'd stop composting anything that would attract them.)

I'd add the BSFL frass to the garden, but I don't (yet) have chickens or anything that would want to actually eat the larvae, so I was thinking of just drying them out and adding them to the compost or else the garden, to recover the nutrients that were in the garbage.

I'm wondering if this would be good for the garden, and how the output of a fly bin compares to the output of a worm bin in terms of nutrients for the garden, taking into account all the nitrogen that you lose to the air in slow decomposition and what the scavenger animals are taking.

 
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Red wigglers love BSFL frass. They don't like to coexist, probably something pheromonal or enzymatic, but as soon as the BSFL are out, the red wigglers eat that shit up.

It's not an either-or situation, to my mind. But if you add your frass to the garden and you have worms in your soil, they will eat it. Likewise, I bet that if you were set up to just freeze the BSFL when they were done and then crush them frozen, you could probably add those to the frass, and the worms would eat both.

Personally, I want a staged system that works so well that I can dumpster-dive for old produce, or have local organic produce vendors drop their waste to me, or have me pick it up.

-CK
 
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I have nightcrawlers, red wigglers and black soldier flies. All of them were here when we took over but I did dump the remainder of our indoor bins into the composting areas. Black soldier flies came in on their own. They really took off back when we were getting lots of coffee grounds. They have dropped off a bit but are still present...just not in huge numbers the way they were. I may have just secured another coffee source. I'm going to try and set the stage for them again. Anyway, all of them seem to have done fine together. Nightcrawlers down deep, wigglers shallow, and BSFL mainly at surface.

I think the BSFL were absolutely the speediest processors. Worms need things to break down more before they can use the materials. I don't remove them as I want the BSFs to continue processing at higher levels.

What about a solar hot wire around your compost bins?
 
Joshua Frank
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What about a solar hot wire around your compost bins?



Part of the animal problem is bears, and stopping them reliably with electricity isn't so easy. But also, composting isn't ideal anyway, as a lot of the nutrients are lost to the air as gasses. My understanding of the situation is that BSFL will convert a lot more of the carbon and nitrogen into solid form, which can then be added to the soil and stay put.
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