Friday, March 12, 2010

details of the indoor vermi-composting worm-bin

Hi all,

For ya'll's reference, I thought I'd post the details of my indoor composting worm bin:

(This is what I'd decided on switching to, after realizing that the iPhone Mighty-Minty-Booster would be too much of a learning curve for this Winter term.)

I chose it because it seemed easy to do, and very, very practical.

Coincidentally, the resident services person at my apartment complex recently decided to make planter bins available in the courtyard for all residents!

As I live downtown with no outdoor soil or earthy spaces -- I hadn't entirely planned out how/where I would grow things with the soil I received.
So this is a happy coincidence of timing!
I'm really looking forward to growing spices, such as Rosemary and the like ^_^

The instructions were pretty good overall, and I really liked her style of instructions -- she made them very personal and relevant to the reader. :)

That said, they could be a little confusing...
So make sure you read through *all* of the steps, in detail, *before* building!

Or at the very least, read *several steps ahead* before completing your current step.  She often alludes to future steps at the end of the next step, which can make it a little confusing.

While one specific step was simply a mistake on my part, I made a clarifying comment here:

In addition, here's the author's
info about [smelly] composting concerns:

"It won't stink, really! Not even the worm tea. It smells like nothing. My husband is very smell sensitive and complains about how our pet rabbit smells, but he does not smell our worms.

Okay, if you are careless about putting meat, or if you put in rotten veggies, or put in too much stuff and it rots, it will stink. I've made a few of these mistakes, but I've just thrown some extra shredded paper in and things end up correcting themselves and it goes back to a lovely state of non-stink.

The question about capacity is tough for me to answer, as I've never really measured it. Anecdotally, I'm in a 2-person household where we don't cook much, but we do feed each of our 3 bins lots of coffee grounds, some fruit and veggie clippings, rabbit poo and paper once a week.

I think our bins could probably be fed more than we offer, but no one complains. So maybe one bin to handle one person's weekly food waste? I usually harvest some castings out of the bottom of each once a month or so. I think if I fed them more, I'd get more castings...

The worms stay around the top of the bin, reason is, they are top feeders. They are not into making deep burrows like nightcrawlers are, but they do go where the food and moisture are, so if there is food in the middle or bottom, they'll go there too. The bag tends to stay drier around the bottom - more airflow - so they generally avoid that...."

-- One other note on the worms (mentioned in another comment):
When you first purchase them, they may be traumatized from the move and crawl out when there's not much light (e.g., at night, or if you have the curtains drawn and the lights off).
... So a solution to this:  Shine light (like lamps) at the tops of the bins to keep the worms from crawling out...   Somewhere, if you read through the comments (it might be on the step about worms or at the intro, not sure),  there are details about these things. :-)

All in all, an easy and fantastic project!!
My mom wants me to build one for her, if this one doesn't stink. ^_^

So I'm pretty stoked!

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