Mark’s OSCR – 01-08-10

Hi everyone – just a quick post for you! Here are some photos of my bin this morning. The outside temp is 0 with a wind chill of -15 degrees F!

Ice on OSCR
Uh oh – ice on the outside of my bin!

Compost Thermometer
82 degrees F in the bin! That’s warmer than my house!

‘Mark from Kansas’ is an avid vermicomposter from…well…Kansas, and contributing author here at Red Worm Composting. When he is not tending to his OSCR worm bin, Mark also enjoys spending time with his wife Letty (who also doubles as his trusty vermicomposting assistant) and picking petunias (ok, Bentley just made that last bit up).

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  1. It has just topped 27 deg C on the Garden Route in sunny South Africa!..

    • John H. from Orlando
    • January 9, 2010

    That is awesome, this inspires me to get a new thermometer to check my bin temps. I think my smaller bin won’t be as insulated as yours, but am still hopeful that the internal temperature will show a significant difference to the outside ambient temperature. Florida is typically immune to cold weather except for right now where we were expecting snow flurries. Climate change is crazy.

    • Jeff B
    • January 9, 2010


    Thanks so much for sharing the details of the OSCR bin. Looks like you have made some modifications from the original plans. Could you describe what changes you made, and what else you might recommend? Also, how often do you harvest the castings from your bin?


  2. Hi John,
    Using a thermometer and my nose are 2 of my most important tools.
    What is ironic is, that the fan I installed was to keep the bin cool in the summer.

  3. Hi Jeff B.,
    Man that is a big question! Last spring I made a small OSCR just to see how it worked. I think the only major modification I made was the 4 inch fan. The OSCR blue print shows how to deal with leachate. I usually run a drier bin so, I left that part out. I put the fan in to cool it in the summer but, as luck would have it, it really pushes warm air up. With this type of bin, the VC is going to be of poor quality for a while due to the flow through process. That is normal because the worms will process what is on top first. When the VC comes down in the harvest chamber,
    I find worms, cocoons, and some VC that is OK. I screen it and then dump it on the top. What I add to the top from the harvest chamber does not get added to the trash weight.
    If you are confused, so am I.
    Jeff, write back and tell me if I helped, if not we can disect the bin

  4. warm Mark,
    Hello from Kansas and I love those bins you have. They look so practical.
    Are you able to cut down on the labor you put in on your farm?

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