• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Rob Lineberger
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Ash Jackson
  • Jordan Holland

Volunteer worm bin?

 
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6308
Location: SW Missouri
2833
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Is this a good idea? Cutting the bottom off a damaged plastic bin (I get them out of the trash) and pushing it into the soil a bit. Put the kitchen scraps in there, keep the lid on. Volunteer worm bin?

If I build it, will they come?
 
pollinator
Posts: 806
174
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I sure think they will if the area is already over some decent soil that likely has worms in it. You may want to mix in some forest duff or leaf litter or something a little more broken down to draw them in as well. But I know that there are lots of kinds of worms in my compost and my worm bin (which sits on the ground with worm sized holes in the bottom) that I never added.
 
pollinator
Posts: 340
Location: SW Missouri • zone 6 • ~1400' elevation
89
goat fish books chicken sheep ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Diane, If you have a small space where you can dig a hole you can use an in-ground composter setup. I used a plastic waste bin (garbage can in the USA) buried it a little deeper than half way, cut out the bottom and planted it lid up.
Now I can simply toss anything I want to compost into this bin, put the lid on and wait until I have something else to add to it. I never turn never have to remove anything but, if I wanted to get the compost from this bin all I'd need would be a dog poop picker upper and a bucket to drop my compost in after I grabbed a scoop full. Worms will do a good job of moving the decomposed goodies under ground for you. (my old one that was used for 20 years, had quite a large circle of superior soil around it starting at 1 year and the circle just kept growing larger every year after that.

Redhawk



Dr Redhawk says so. link
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6308
Location: SW Missouri
2833
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cool. I am thinking of putting it in the garden. This soil has a good number of worms, including night crawlers. It was warm the other day, then rained really hard and the patio was covered with worms.
Thank you :D  
 
T Melville
pollinator
Posts: 340
Location: SW Missouri • zone 6 • ~1400' elevation
89
goat fish books chicken sheep ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd been considering a worm tower like this ever since I read the Dr. Redhawk post I linked above. I finally decided to just do it. I put it in the rockiest (poorest?) soil on the place. The building you can see has a basement, but it sits on a mound about a foot and a half or two feet above the rest of the yard. I can only assume that these rocks mortared together with clay used to be underneath. My shovel couldn't penetrate until I broadforked, and I had to start with it at half depth so I could pull it back. There's a big patch that won't even grow grass. That's either because the soil is poor, or because we're a household of five with one bathroom, three of us are male, and this spot isn't visible from the house or the road. So far I've put in a few inches of old sawdust, which stunk of dead mouse, so I covered it with about six inches of hay my sheep didn't think was good enough to eat. I'll probably add a bucket of manure soon. I don't know whether to add worms, or wait for them to just show up.





 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6308
Location: SW Missouri
2833
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My life got weird, I'm doing multiple gardens, and knowing what was said above about the worms take the nutrients to the area around it, and with what I can find to use (I'm a dumpster diver,) I'm doing a bunch of 1 gallon ice cream tubs with lids, with the bottom cut out, that I'll be throwing food scraps into, and letting each area get fertilized. I'll group my heavy feeding plants around them. Some of my gardens are going to be very visible Yes, you may and this keeps them looking well behaved to others, who don't understand what I'm doing.
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6308
Location: SW Missouri
2833
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

T Melville wrote:I'd been considering a worm tower like this ever since I read the Dr. redhawk post I linked above. I finally decided to just do it. I put it in the rockiest (poorest?) soil on the place. The building you can see has a basement, but it sits on a mound about a foot and a half or two feet above the rest of the yard. I can only assume that these rocks mortared together with clay used to be underneath. My shovel couldn't penetrate until I broadforked, and I had to start with it at half depth so I could pull it back.
I'll probably add a bucket of manure soon. I don't know whether to add worms, or wait for them to just show up.


Cool! That looks good!
I think if it were me, I'd seed it with a few worms, to jump start it if nothing else. There may be worms in the rocky area, but it might take them a while to get through it all to the worm munchies.
 
T Melville
pollinator
Posts: 340
Location: SW Missouri • zone 6 • ~1400' elevation
89
goat fish books chicken sheep ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Pearl Sutton wrote:I think if it were me, I'd seed it with a few worms, to jump start it if nothing else. There may be worms in the rocky area, but it might take them a while to get through it all to the worm munchies.



I added three or four inches of sheep and goat manure. Capped that with about two inches of wood chips. There were a few worms on the manure, but I just picked 'em up about thirty buddies from a bait fridge. European nightcrawlers. Didn't see any red wigglers. I doubt it's warm enough to keep 'em happy yet anyway. I just scraped back the wood chips, dumped the worms on the manure, and put the chips back.
 
pollinator
Posts: 297
70
dog trees books bee medical herbs
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What a great idea! I would perhaps also put cardboard on the bottom. I have found that worms seem very attracted to cardboard.
 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 2007
Location: mountains of Tennessee
796
cattle hugelkultur cat dog trees hunting chicken bee homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Worms like coffee grounds too. They will eat just about any type of kitchen scraps but be conservative with citrus & onions. They don't seem to like much acidic or spicy things at one time.
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6308
Location: SW Missouri
2833
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Doesn't look impressive, but here is the first volunteer worm bin!!
1 gallon ice cream tub, bottom cut out, shoved into the mud, filled with kitchen scraps, some worms carefully moved over there (I told them they were going to heaven!) Another one is in place too, will be putting a bunch, and add waste to them in rotation. Really look like they'll work well, the lids hold on well, but come off easy to fill them back up. Yay recycled trash! We don't buy that ice cream... :D
There is Blue Doll squash planted in that leafy area.

 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6308
Location: SW Missouri
2833
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Update on these little bins: They are rocking!! The food waste level in them is going down, and the soil underneath is all tunneled up by worms! YAY!!
 
T Melville
pollinator
Posts: 340
Location: SW Missouri • zone 6 • ~1400' elevation
89
goat fish books chicken sheep ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm thinking of scooping the litter box and burying the results in my worm tower. It that's a stupid idea, now's the time to talk me out of it. I understand from reading these forums that cat excrement tends to have worse pathogens than other manures I'm likely to encounter. Aside from this potential burial, I don't dig in this, so I won't be exposed directly. There are no edibles within 20 - 30 feet. My only cause for concern is my comfrey right next to the tower. I don't plan to disturb the roots anytime soon. But I would like to use some of the leaves. Probably mulch with them, maybe make a fertilizer / tea with them, and possibly experiment with it to stop bleeding or heal cuts. So how mobile are these pathogens? Might they make it down through the worm food, horizontally through the clay and rocks, then up the plant to the stems and leaves? Do I need to keep tossing my cat waste into the unused pasture, or is it safe to bury near comfrey for the worms to break down?

For what it's worth the litter is unscented and made of clay. I think the package says it uses fuller's earth, but that might be a different brand.
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6308
Location: SW Missouri
2833
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
T Melville: I don't know... Cats poop by things, as do all animals. I have buzzards at the property that poop all over, I'd think they'd be much more pathogenic than a cat... Not sure. You might post the question to the dogs and cats forum, maybe someone there would know more than me, and I'm not sure who else is paying attention to this thread. I think cat poop can't be much worse than anyone else on the planet.
 
T Melville
pollinator
Posts: 340
Location: SW Missouri • zone 6 • ~1400' elevation
89
goat fish books chicken sheep ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just re-read some of the other thread I linked above. Turns out my question was already answered:

Bryant RedHawk wrote:..You can compost just about anything organic in one of these, including pet poop with no worries about contaminating your soil, the bacteria and fungi along with the worms working will take care of the pathogens should any be present.

Redhawk



I guess then I'll give it a try, and just handle carefully. Thank you!
 
I am Arthur, King of the Britons. And this is a tiny ad:
Rocket Mass Heater Manual - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/8/rmhman
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic