Breathable Bucket Bin – Update

At the end of September, I set up my “breathable bucket bin” using a 5 gal pail with a pair of old long johns secured to the top.

The idea is to keep flying pests out, while still allowing plenty of air exchange.

So far, I have been pleasantly surprised with the results! Although I can’t really dig around as much as I’d like to (at least not without completely disturbing the whole system), what little digging I’ve done has uncovered an active, healthy worm population – one that is readily processing all the waste materials I’ve been putting in.

Although I dumped in a small bin of worms containing “mostly Euros”, it’s pretty obvious now that there must have been plenty of baby red worms and/or cocoons – since there seems to be a LOT of Red Worms in there now!

The Euros are still thriving as well – the ones I’ve been finding looking big and juicy – although they seem to be congregating all in one area of the bin (from an ecological/breeding standpoint this kinda makes sense).

With everything going so well, I thought perhaps that I should see if I can push my luck a bit (lol), by adding quite a lot more food at once.

I started by adding a layer of “living material” (well-aged, partially worm-processed horse manure).

Next, I added some more shredded cardboard.

Then it was time to dump in the kitchen scraps. In this case it was a big bag of frozen scraps, pretty well straight from the freezer. Normally, I would let the material thaw first, but I’m not overly worried.

Lastly, I added a bit more of the aged manure before covering with one last (thick) layer of shredded cardboard.

As you can see, the overall level in the bucket is now getting up towards the top. My hunch is that it will drop down quite a bit over the next week or two, however.

Once the level stays consistently near the top I will dump out the bucket and perform an overall assessment (worm abundance, vermicompost quality etc).
Should be fun!

Stay tuned.

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