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VermBin48 Reboot

It’s been almost exactly two and a half years since my last VB48 update! Although I did set the system up again after that (my last post talked about cleaning out the bin), it has been used almost exclusively as a holding bin for the worm mix material I sell up here in Canada.

Seeing as it is currently my “off season”, and since I’ve been feeling pretty vermi-inspired lately, I thought it would be fun to finally start using it as a “normal” worm bin (aka Compost Guy experimental bin – so likely not normal at all! haha) once again.

The first thing I did (another day earlier in the week) was harvest a big bag of living material (in this case, A.K.A. unscreened vermicompost) for use in my Worm Inn Mega system. This was accomplished via a basic “light harvesting” approach.

You can see in the first image below that the overall level of material in the bin was quite low once I was finished. It probably doesn’t look all that exciting, but I can assure you there are loads of small Red Worms (along with other composting critters) down in that dark material. I am actually really eager to see what sort of worm densities I will find in the system once it really gets going again!
:cool:

As is usually the case when setting up any sort of vermicomposting system, I started with a layer of dry bedding (shredded corrugated cardboard).

Next, I dumped in a bunch of frozen food scraps that had been sitting out in the snow on my deck. I didn’t weigh the material, but my rough estimate for total weight would be somewhere in the range of 5 to 10 lb.

After that I mixed in some of that same lovely living material I had previously removed from the system – lol. This is a great way to kickstart the decomposition of the waste materials – while also serving as a pretty effective odor sponge, in case some of the wastes (such as cauliflower and kin) give off some funky smells before the worms start processing them.

I topped everything off with a cover layer of “scrunched up paper” bedding (as some of you may recall, this is going to be my main bedding in the Mega) since that’s basically all I had left.

Lastly, I put the garbage bag cover I’ve been using back over top.

I thought it might be fun to try feeding this system fairly heavily early on, before switching over to a bedding-only diet for the worms. As some of you will know, I’ve been fascinated with Brian Paley’s “100 lb of worms in a single room” concept for quite some time now, so I was thinking I might try something along the same lines (as what he did with his large indoor system).

Whatever the case may be, I will definitely keep all of you posted!

Stay tuned!
:cool:


NOTE: To avoid confusion relating to my friend Brian Donaldson’s “Beast” flow-through bins, I will no longer be using that nickname for my VB48 as I have for past updates. I’ll just call her VB48 (“Veebs for short”? haha) until such time as I come up with a better name – assuming I feel the need to do so.


Written by Bentley on January 13th, 2017 with 4 comments.
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4 comments

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Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Verity Grace Turner
#1. February 1st, 2017, at 4:17 AM.

I found this very interesting, seeing how you do it. I have been using coconut fibre because I had lost so many worms and the cardboard did not seem to get processed.

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Bentley
#2. February 1st, 2017, at 10:13 AM.

Hi Verity,
I have had great success with cardboard and other paper-based bedding materials. Worm die off is almost always caused by other factors.
Re: the unprocessed cardboard – this is definitely not a “bad” thing at all – screened out you end up with some fantastic “living material”.
:cool:

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Joe
#3. February 20th, 2017, at 12:38 AM.

How much does it cost to build a bin like this?

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Bentley
#4. February 27th, 2017, at 10:19 PM.

Hey Joe – supplies for a VB48 will likely cost between $100 and $200 if brand new. But you could certainly cut costs significantly if you use reclaimed materials.

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