Cassie Langstraat wrote:What's your favorite design?
I like the simplest approach. I have a plastic tote with some worms at work in it. Compostable stuff goes in. I add paper and leaves to soak up moisture, and if that doesn't work it goes outside in the shade with the lid open. Periodically I take out worms and vermicompost. Ta-da!
nice overview... but i think, the best way to compost is to compost in place / chop n drop.
except for when you actually need compost as a seperate thing
what i miss in many concepts: a solid foundation like concrete pavers to ease the shoveling of the compost. it s easier to shovel, when the shovel slides along the hard surface and gets really under the compost
I found the care and feeding of a worm bin to be tricky.
By contrast, chickens are easier and more rewarding.
Obviously this isn't an either or proposition.
I am in fact getting closer to completing a greywater vermifilter, for my kitchen sink,waste water.
Vermicompost would just be a bonus in such a system.
Meanwhile my chooks do more for me with the scraps than worms could.
Any dedicated worm bin would need to be fed cardboard or something of equal value to be worth while to me.
I built myself a CFT (Continuous Flow Through) bin this winter. So far it's been amazing. Not having to worry at all about a too-wet bin or overfeeding has made the whole process a lot lazier. I'm also looking forward to dead-simple harvesting without any of the shoveling or worm-sorting nonsense. I added in some heating wire on a thermostat for mine since it's in the garage where it gets pretty cold for 6mos of the year.
Personally, I love vermicomposting. It's accessible to anyone (even if you live in apartment without a yard), entertaining (kids especially love worms), and in my opinion produces the best compost possible. It's also a super easy way to make use of cardboard from Amazon boxes. I never had any faith that trash companies actually recycle cardboard.
i m thinking about building something like that. but with a plastic trash bin. for heating i am thinking about a plastic bottle filled with water and a heater for fish tanks.
i think, a bigger system + some insulation on the outside would reduce the need for heating.
i was thinking about a similar setup as a flow-through-worm-composting-toilet. with urine diverter and a fan to suck away odors. but this would need to be either sunk into the bottom of the bathroom or to be a really high throne with some steps leading up to it.
The first two pictures are of wire cages in a small Back to Eden garden that has sage, rosemary, thyme, crab appletrees, pear trees, phacelia, borage, carrots (seeding), sunflowers, zinnias, yellow squash, corn, tomatoes, basil, borage and dwarf irises. I think that's all. It's a long skinny area so it wouldn't fit in one single picture. I gather leaves in the Fall that jam up in sections of the creek. I layer these with soil and kitchen scraps into cages all the way to the top. You can see how much they have decomposed. They're loaded with worms. Just for fun I tucked a couple of potatoes into one (they're dying back now since blooming) and I put some corn seeds in the other. After harvest I'll distribute the contents and start in again when the leaves fall into the creek.
The third picture is another one beside a cold frame and a raised bed. It has potatoes just starting to come up in it, as does the bed behind it, because it's a picture I took earlier. Has lots of chickweed growing up the side of the cage too.
With forty shades of green, it's hard to be blue.
Garg 'nuair dhùisgear! Virtutis Gloria Merces
Tobias — If I did it again, I'd probably go something similar to what you mentioned. Some kind of tubing hooked up to an aquarium heater. That kind of setup also allows cooling in the summer if needed and provides a lot better heat transmission than my heating cables. That being said, my cables worked fine and I doubt that they'll be needed next year now that I've got more material in the bin.
I don't see my favorite method represented. 2 logs laid parallel, flat on the ground 8 to 12 inches apart. Food waste is dumped in the crack between the logs. A wide board can be used to keep out some of the rain and the sun. The logs rot out, which is part of the plan.
I started with three rubbermaid storage totes and have since combined them into one giant plastic/rubber watering tank. I've been stuffing it with charcoal recently and then using it as a seed starting mix, probably the highest value I can get from it directly--composting tea as a secondary product. A lot of times it's a feast or famish situation with my worms and they've proven to be resourceful.
The downsides are I haven't figured out a realistic set up for drainage so I occasionally flip that ish to distribute that liquid throughout the castings, and it is tedious separating the worms out of the castings. It's simple, every few months I get 2 or 3 five gallon buckets of material, and it really freaks people in my hood out when I tell em I breed worms to eat.