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Medium scale vermicomposting

16 years ago

I generate a lot of compostables, and maybe up to 10 yards of compost in a year. Now I grow hay for my few indoor rabbits, generate lots of weeds, and save shredded leaves (from other people's trash, as well as my yard).

I'm hoping to make a small-scale windrow, wedge, or large bin vermicompost system at home. I say medium scale in the title because it's larger than a few home-style bins- but nothing commercial scale that I need machinery to handle.

Step by step:

1)I ordered 2# worms. I'm told they're bed run, and come closer to 2.5#.

2)set up a small bin. Bought a 32 gallon Rubbermaid, leached out hay with bunny poop in it, loaded in maybe 8" (had a heating issue, have corrected).

3) multiply population. I guess this is vermiculture rather than vermicomposting. I read that more food and managing the population to between 0.5 and 1# per square foot is the way to go.

4)Split beds, repeat 3.

Then we move to an outside/on-the-ground bin. Hoping to use a heated composting core and insulate with Other People's Leaves for the winter (hold back a couple pounds in case I kill them all).

This is the part that's exciting to me. I have an interest in finding ways to use waste heat from composting to do work for me. This year I had a small experiment in accelerating winter-sown hostas in a very simple "hot bed" arrangement (next year I'll expand the experiment and try to start veggies in my compost-powered micro scale greenhouse).

Does anyone have experience with this? I've seen a couple threads on wintering bins outdoors- I'd like to see them thrive in the winter outdoors on a reasonable scale- rather than sort of "making it". My biggest worry right now is managing moisture in the pile.

Any comment or advice is welcome!

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