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.
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!