We have pondered the thought of making a larger size worm bin than the small totes like we had been using. Yesterday while raking and doing some general clean up around some of the beds I had the thought again. This time instead of pushing it to the"someday side" of the "to do" list it was pushed to the now side. So come chore thirty last evening I dragged the manthing over to the outside bunny hutch and told him what I wanted. We needed to have a horizontal flow worm bin to fit directly under the bunny hutches to catch all dropping from their cage and the ends needed to be removable so that we could harvest both worms and castings.
We didn't have much in the way of scrap materials to work with. We have materials but we try and save the better materials for bigger, better projects. A lowly worm bin was not deemed worthy of these materials. That pretty much narrowed our option down to old tin roofing. Oddly enough the tin worked out perfectly as though it was made just for that purpose. Two whole pieces for the back and front and two half pieces for the ends. The middle screen divider is a scavenged incubator rack that we have had laying around. We already had smaller worm bins so there was no cost in the worms. The only cost of the whole project was maybe 2 bux in nails. Start to finish the project took about 2 hours for the two of us to complete and to migrate the worms.
The "squiggletown manor" measure just over 5 foot long and is 28 inches wide. Height is about 30 inches. The divider is at the half way point of the bin/ hutch. There is one rabbit above each section of the bin. Most of the poops get caught in a tray under the bunnies, the urine however will go into the bin. Only one side of the bin will be used at a time. 3-4 times a year we will migrate the worms, clean out the castings and send the worms to various beds to live and work.
For the bedding we used a bit of dirt that we had removed from around where the bin was going and leaves. We made several layers of each and watered it all in with 5 gallons of water.Next we added the
worms and a bit of their casts from our other worm bin.
I transferred several thousand worms to the new bin. I was amazed at how many were in the bin I had going. Once we had them transferred into their new home I covered them up with a thing layer of dirt and leaves as they don't like light. I kept some of the worms in the small bin as well. I like to keep some up near the house rather than having to transport everything long distances. It is much more convenient that way. About a month before harvest we will fill the new side up with bedding materials and food for them. Everything I have read says they will migrate through to the other side on their own. We will see how it works out. If not, we will manually harvest, its not that big of a deal (rollseyes). I know it ain't the prettiest thing in the world but it should be functional and that is all that matters.
I cant wait to see how this works out, if it does well we may have to make more large bins for more worms. I am hoping that we can lure some big old local night crawlers in to live at squiggletown manor as well. A night crawler and trout bait business in the local area may not be a bad business to get into and certainly cant be worse than being unemployed. I have also seen the prices on packaged worm castings and that is another idea. I do sometimes wish that our driveway was a bit more able to handle traffic and that it was a bit more accessible. We could have us a very eclectic little business, unfortunately to go and rent a place it wouldn't be feasible economically. In the mean time we will keep on working toward our own sustainability, we may be broke but we are going to eat.