Breathable Bucket Bin – 10-31-19

A little over two weeks ago I set up a brand worm bin using a bucket with some handy dandy bottle-top air vents, inspired by Mark Paine’s “vernmenting” systems.

Last week I posted a video showing how the vents were installed, and the system was set-up using worm-rich material from my “comfrey and cardboard” experiment bin.

So far I have been absolutely thrilled with this system!

My workmanship with the vents wasn’t exactly world class (lol) – and I wasn’t sure if my fabric lid secured by an elastic would actually keep pests out – so I was pretty worried when I realized that I actually have quite a few scuttle flies (links to older post on the topic) down in the basement!

They seem to have become established in our cat litter boxes (I use poultry feed as a compostable clumping litter), and then spread elsewhere.

The bucket has been sitting right beside one of these litter boxes – yet there is zero sign of the flies getting in so far!

That alone is awesome – but the performance of the bin is what has really impressed me! Any attempts to use buckets as worm bins in the past has almost always led to frustration given how poor the air flow tends to be (and how much moisture is retained) – but that’s definitely not the case with this one!

When I checked on the system yesterday it was clear the overall level of material had gone down a fair bit.

Digging down a little further I could see that the comfrey (added during set-up) had broken down nicely – and I was greeted by exactly the sort rich, earthy smell I expect from a well-maintained worm bin.

I quickly found some healthy looking worms in this zone, but it was further down (in the original food waste deposit zone) where I found serious concentrations of them!

It was clear there was no need to delay feeding the system any further, that’s for sure!

I started by adding some corrugated cardboard on top of the previous cover-bedding layer.

Next, I added a large deposit of comfrey leaves, and chopped them up fairly well (mostly so I could fit more in – haha)

I then simply added a new cover-layer and put the fabric lid back on.

I’m not sure if I will be able to add any more comfrey to this system (pretty well at the end of the season now), but I’m actually really excited to start adding kitchen scraps to see what sort of “processing power” this thing is capable of.

Hoping to get some more of these systems set up during the next few weeks as well!

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