The Beast – 07-04-14

Happy 4th of July to all my friends in the U.S.!

A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was finally time to remove all the remaining material sitting at the bottom of my VermBin48 system – and then, to create a brand new false bottom.

It honestly didn’t look like much material at all, so I was quite surprised when I ended up with 4 or 5 rubbermaid tubs full before seeing my floor bars completely exposed again.

(LOTS of material yet to be removed when I snapped this pic!)

Although there was a lot of really beautiful vermicompost, the stuff sitting directly over top of the floor bars was compacted and seemed to have a fair amount of unprocessed leaves etc. There were also a lot of worms still living in this zone. As touched on in earlier “beast” posts, I really went all out with my original false bottom – adding multiple layers of corrugated cardboard, plus many layers of newsprint – so I’m not overly surprised that everything wasn’t perfectly processed.

Interestingly enough, other than fragments of newsprint, the false bottom itself was completely gone.

Unfortunately (as far as fun flow-through vermicomposting projects go), I’m not quite ready to stop using this bin as a temporary holding system for worm-rich material prior to harvesting for customers. It has been especially useful in this capacity during the heat of the summer, when outdoor systems can be a lot more challenging to work with.

Of course, even a holding bin needs a bottom! I do have catch bins down below, but I’d prefer to minimize worm migration, for obvious reasons.

Similar to last time, I started by laying some sheets of corrugated cardboard across the bottom. I then added multiple sheets of newsprint, before starting to fill with worm-rich material.

Once the bin was fairly full, I added a couple of trays of worm-rich material on top as well so as to maximize my vermi-real-estate!

I must say I’ve been really impressed with the increased capacity of the bin with all that bottom material removed, but the false bottom has been a bit of a pain to work with so far. As you might guess, the newsprint has just ended up in tatters since I continue to remove the worm-rich material from the bin. I may try lining the bin with something like landscape cloth (obviously not a great idea if you plan to use VermBin as a flow-through system – lol) so as to keep everything nicely contained, but we shall see.

Stay tuned!

P.S. I almost forgot…in case you are wondering what I am doing with all the bottom material from the VB48, it will be going into a brand new vermicomposting trench I’m in the process of digging in my garden. Something I’ll be writing more about very soon!

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  1. Cool, that system looks like it could really compost some food wastes if you really wanted it to, especially if you did all the Food Optimization and such. Good Job with the System!

    • Bentley
    • July 5, 2014

    Yeah for sure, Dermy! When I WAS using it as a proper vermicomposting system, it certainly worked well.

  2. That’s good to hear! I like how you always start something so “Normal” and then never stays “Normal” for long, you must be thinking: Hmm wonder what would happen if I did that? or maybe this? LOL!
    Keep up the great work!

    • Wjason777
    • April 15, 2015

    I’ve been out of the loop for a while since late last year all my worms escaped due to heat and BSFL. I still have my VB48 which last year I removed the pips from the bottom and replaced with it with wood that I stapled plastic, and sealed all Corners and sides to protect me from BSFL. It didn’t help at all.
    Just recently I brought home euros and reds right now they are in Rubbermaid bins. I really would like to transfer them to the Vb48 but before I do that I would like to make some improvements to the Vb48 to help with the heat issues im going to have here in Ga.
    Is there any recommendations you guys could give me, to help improve my bin? Should i take the bottom off the been and put the pips back in and use a false bottom?

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