The Beast – 02-27-14

As touched on in my last “Beast” update, I decided that my VB48 system was in serious need of an overhaul. I thought I might get to it sometime in the spring, but turning it into a fun business project (also touched on last time) has motivated me to get going with it a fair bit sooner.

For one thing, there are plenty of people up here (in Canada) getting in touch about buying composting worms, so I knew it wouldn’t be hard to sell off any bags of worm mix (aka “worm culture” – be sure to check out my recent worm business podcast/report if you are not sure what that is) I can prepare*. I’ve also decided to start making/selling seed balls (and related products) up here in Canada – thanks to the inspiration and assistance provided by Dr. Blake Ketchum – so having a supply of nice vermicompost will definitely help in that department.

I started with the two catch bins sitting down below the VB48. I placed the tubs under a lamp (one at a time) and simply scraped away material from the top. The really coarse/unprocessed stuff was immediately separated (and I’ve been adding it to the Worm Inn Mega) – the rest of it placed in a bucket and periodically screened to ~1/8″ using one of my “Super Simple Vermicompost Screeners“.

I’ve been blown away by how beautiful the screened material is. So far I have filled a large plastic garbage can about half-way with the stuff – already more than enough to make countless seed balls etc.

The coarse screen-separated material has been collected as well. It could easily be used as a nice mulch or compost in my garden or in potted plants, but I am stockpiling it for use as a “living material”, primarily for creating optimized worm food mixes.

I would say that I have processed about half of the material in the bin already (the image below is a bit misleading – but, FYI, the hand fork is touching the false bottom). From that I have been able to harvest 10 bags of really rich worm mix. I will likely end up with another 5-10 by the time I am finished with the VB48 (the catch bins were especially loaded with worms, so that’s why I won’t likely get quite as many from the rest of the bin). I’m sure I’ll have no trouble filling the garbage can all the way with screened vermicompost, and I should end up with a heaping mound of the “living material” in one of my concrete mixing tubs as well.

Obviously, this isn’t QUITE how the VB Series bins were intended to be used – lol – but I’m not going to feel too guilty about it! I’m still getting loads of beautiful vermicompost – and even a bountiful supply of worms that can be sold (this certainly isn’t the only time I have harvested worms from the system).

Next time around I will definitely do things a bit differently (less of a false bottom etc) so I can actually test it out as a flow-through system.
Stay tuned!

*All Red Worm Composting worm orders (reserved for U.S. customers) are fulfilled by U.S. suppliers. My Canadian business is a separate venture altogether.

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    • John W.
    • February 27, 2014

    You could also sell the vermacompost from this system. I get a lot of sells from people who just want the compost. They don’t care about worms and don’t want to deal with it, or they want to try the compost and if “it works” then they want to buy worms.
    That of course would be taking the profits of one bin to the extreme.
    Also, I don’t have a garden. I have no real use for the compost other than filling and leveling out our yard. So it’s easy for me to sell the compost. Horse manure is free, and levels out the yard decently enough!

    • Bentley
    • February 27, 2014

    Oh absolutely, John – but I would go through it very quickly. I suspect my total profits from the seed balls etc will be quite a bit higher (and I’ll have even MORE fun! lol).

    • dmenfam
    • October 19, 2014

    what are seed balls?

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