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Refrigerator Worm Bin/SIP...

 
William Bronson
Posts: 1220
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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forest garden trees urban
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Hey all! I am kinda new here so for give me if this is the wrong place but i had soem questiosn/ ideas, and wasn't sure where to put them.

I have stripped a side by side refrigerator, and intend to use it as an insulated worm bin/Sub irragated
Currently the doors are in place, and the fridge is laying on it's back.
My idea for a the set up looks like this:

TOP
-Cardboard
-Manure+ Peat Moss
-Cardboard
-Fabric
-Gravel
-Gutter Heat Tape
-Gravel
-Perforated Air Hose
BOTTOM

Into the top 3 layers I would insert 2-4 perforated buckets or pipes for introducing the kitchen scraps.
The gravel is to maintain the water reservoir and also heat from the gutter tape.
The perforated hose is to keep the reservoir aerobic, and would be attached to a small air pump of some sort(suggestions welcome)

The idea is to build soil over the winter, and grow in the spring. Of course I have thought it wold make a nice hoop house as well, but then the doors could not be closed.
My main question is about warmth. I live in Southern Ohio, zone 6, and the winters get cold.
Is the gutter tape necessary or do you think the decaying food would do enough on its own?
Could a bank of light bulbs do just as well?
I am also working on a Biochar retort that I will be piping heat off of, should I just run a loop from that? Until it is don, i am considering cannibalizing a coffee maker and putting that on the loop , with a timer.
Should I go with a hoop house and grow Broccoli and radishes?
This will be in the side yard, not much light, but also no prying eyes.
Should I go with 4 pvc pipes at the corners? There are two compartments, tied together with rather small holes. I was thinking If I feed at a ndiffernt point each time, I could encourage migration, thus enriching the soil.


Any ideas would be great, thanks for the feed back.
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1220
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
9
forest garden trees urban
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Oh, one more thing: Is pee bad for worms? I'd like to add some to the bin , for the plants, and I would hate to harm the worms in a the process.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1356
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
8
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I currently have a worm bin myself, however it is inside.
If you are going to spend money only spend it on worm 20/lbs.
The biggest problem with a worm bin is too much water, not enough drainage.
They dont need water, never put water in it.
They can live off just moist cardboard for a month, so dont use peatmoss.
All you need is sand/dirt thats 1/10 the weight of the worm. Crushed eggshell would be even better.
Then add the worms weight in greens every other day(or 3 times their weight once a week)
The cardboard is added to keep down odor esp indoor and to absorb excess water.
The only thing that the worms eat is the aerobic bacteria that eat plant stuff. The worms does eat vegetation they are "carnivore".
If your worm bin get too wet, the worms die due to lack of O2. So dont close your fridge and cut off O2
Also if the O2 level goes down the aerobic bacteria die off, and the worm starve. Anarobic bacteria will however take over and the compost will get hot and smelly.
Once the temp of the compost get below 40F or over 86F the worms hibernate. If it gets below 31F or above 95F they die.
Fridge have alot of hazardous chemical in it. I would not want to leach that stuff into my soil.

So what I would do is. buy lots of worms. Find away to keep the temp at least at 45F(bring a smaller bin inside)
Then I would bring in compost to add ever other day. After keeping the compost outside above freezing.
You never want the bin to be more than 8 inches deep, you want maximum surface area
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1220
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
9
forest garden trees urban
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Thank you for your reply!
I can see concern about leaching from the plastics( ABS, polypropylene and polystyrene ) that make up the interior of a fridge, but I am not sure that a standard worm bin would be better,since most of them seem to be made of plastic as well.
The other chemicals are in the cooling system, which has been removed.
Card board instead of peat moss sounds great,and I have plenty of eggshells.
A preferred 8" depth leaves lots of room for plants/grow lights etc.
I have been researching the cost of heating devices, and I think I could use this:18" 126watt pipe heat cable

Or maybe this:18' pipe Heating Cable

Either would be run inside the pipe , to protect the heat tape from moisture.

But given the space that will be available, plants and lights might be a better choice.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1356
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
8
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They dont do too well if the air and soil temperature are different .
They hate light, so its not a good idea to use grow light to grow anything.
The most i woul do is let a few seeds sport to aerate the soil and to movefrom a hard seed to a soft tender sport then kill/compost the plant
 
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