Spring Compost/Vermiculture Cleaning!

Breaking down the strawbale walls

It’s Spring! And that means it’s time to harvest the rich black soil from the Compost/Vermiculture system.

First let’s review what the system is and how it works. All of the organic waste on the ranch is digested by the system. It is similar to a compost pile, but it’s supplemented by vermiculture — which is to say worms — red wigglers to be precise.

The worms consume everything that the composting bacteria don’t — which includes paper, cardboard, human and animal waste, and nearly anything else.

The straw bales provide insulation to keep the worms comfortable, and the placement under the south side of the tree provide shade to keep the worms cool in the summer and sunshine to keep the worms warm in the winter.

The old bales are used to cover the compost, and to line the bottom of the composting toilet buckets

Each spring we remove one wall, move the compost, take the enriched soil from the bottom, and rebuild the walls.

The soil created by this system is dark and rich. We put it into our cold-frames and container gardens and use it to grow vegetables for the ranch.

 

 

What the finished job looks like

 

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