September 12, 2008

As the Bin Turns

The concept of the worm wigwam bin is to feed in layers, and then cover each layer of food with a few inches of peat moss and shredded newspaper or cardboard.

By the time all of the layers reach the top of the bin, you can give the handle on the side of the bin a few turns and all the good, soil conditioning poo will get sifted out to the bottom.

You lift off the "door" and collect the poo. The pile consequently goes down in the bin, and you continue the feeding/covering/sifting cycle.

The time needed to get to that first handle crank is kind of a mystery since I didn't begin with the prescribed pounds of worms. They suggested 30, I started with around 10 and probably have a little more now- we'll say 15 to 20.

With their suggested amount, they estimated the first crank should occur at 90 days. I estimated mine would take about 120 days- I started in mid-May, so that puts me around.....right about soon.

You can see the crank on the side and the trap door where you can get the goods out:worm wigwam
Here's the height inside when I started:inside of worm wigwam
Currently, my herd is about a foot from the top:worm wigwam
I estimate the first crank in about a month, which puts me a few weeks behind- but, whatever! I guess worms aren't an exact science!

In other news, a friend forwarded me a really cool blog written by her friend's little brother, Jake. He is also environmentally friendly, and sells some nifty handmade stuff, too. Enjoy!


Mary@SimplyForties said...

I love your vermicompost system. I've never seen one like it before. You really started with a lot of worms. I was interested to see that you don't think your worms are eating 1/2 their body weight either. I know mine aren't. I'll look forward to keeping up with your production!

Lilli said...

Thanks! I have been watching their food intake closely, and even though they process different items at different rates, I can safely say they aren't eating half their body weight by any stretch of the imagination!

Jen (SLC) said...

That is an awesome bin. It looks like a much easier process than having to sort through everything and pull out the worms and eggs from the castings. I'm totally curious to see how harvesting goes.

Lilli said...

Me, too! I can't wait to see how much drops out at a time....just a few more days.