The Culture of Vermi and Composting (Part 3)

How to Build Your Own Composter

The easiest way is to use a rubber bin. If you want to build your own bin, the following are important basics:

  • Your bin should be around a foot in depth. (no more than 1Ω feet).
  • Your bin should be opaque and have a proper lid.
  • Make sure to make enough air holes around the side of your bin.
  • In order to drain the liquid (Compost Tea) out of your compost bin, you will need some kind of pan on the bottom.
  • You can decide your size, but 2 feet long by 1 and a half feet wide by 1 foot deep is recommended.
  • Use a 1-inch bit to make the holes on the sides of your bin and at least a 1 to 1Ω inch bit for the holes in your lid.
  • The depth of your bin is important. If you have at least a foot, your bedding is more likely to compact, especially when it turns into castings or vermicast. With less air going through your system, it will turn from an aerobic stage to an anaerobic stage which is when your compost bin starts to smell!
  • The choice of bin material is really up to you. As long as you have good air flow and proper humidity in your bin, any kind of material is okay to use. Some people use old bath tubs or even drawers of unused dressers to make their composter. Use your imagination to create your own, just don’t use anything that was previously used for chemicals and keep in mind that materials react differently. Wood for example, will suck moisture out of your system and rot with time. However, it can be a good option because you have the advantage of being able to make it exactly the shape you want, so it can fit underneath your sink or on the bottom of a closet, for example. Make sure to not use treated wood or cedar as these will kill your worms. Plywood is a great building material for this kind of project. With wooden bins, you may need to add water once in a while.
  • Plastic bins are easy to deal with and will last longer. Most people use them because they come in different shapes and sizes with a proper lid. The only problem is that they can keep moisture trapped in your bedding, so make sure you create enough air holes. Basically, do not use anything that would harm your worms. (Cited from World of Worms)

These guys said it far better than I could have for the actual building of the box itself I am no carpenter nor am I a technical expert on the box building aspect.

Back to something I can talk about very well though. Let’s talk substrates (feed mixtures) for our worm pits shall we?

Mixtures are as follows ratios are (in kilos):
manure + ipil ipil/kakawate(madre de cacao) 2:1
rice straw + manure 1:1
grasses + chicken manure 3:1
compost/ rice straw + corn bran 1:1

Pretty self explanatory.

Harvesting

After 28-35 days or 4-5 weeks harvesting commences. Refrain from watering substrate a week prior to harvest to ease in separation of castings and worms as well as avoiding compacting of the castings. Then separate the breeder specimen worms from juvenile baby worms in separate areas.