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My new Wood worm bin (insulated & outdoors)

The old Rubbermaid-type worm bin set up...

...and the new, improved wood worm bin...

Which I made myself and which has now survived quite nicely through one cold, snowy winter! Hooray!

Note the pvc inserts (with wire mesh holding drainage gravel) to protect the insulation from getting saturated. I used (natural silicone rubber) caulk to make the seams, corners, and around the pvc inserts; all watertight around the insulation. I raised the whole bin on a pallet to increase airflow through the drainage holes and to keep the bottom frame of the bin from rotting out. Air flow does not seem to be a problem (yet. My opinion of this may change after summer).

See below: the center divider is made of 1x4 slats in a U shaped channel that I can remove if I decide that I want one big bin; but l think I will probably stick with two sides for ease of harvesting.

These pictures were taken in late January (between snow storms). The left side of the bin is now full of nearly finished vermicompost and I will shortly be sifting & moving the unfinished materials to the right side with new straw bedding and the worms, and using the finished VC harvest to prep/fertilize my raised garden beds. I'll give a quick update after I harvest.

And, yes -- I still have one rubbermaid type tub in the kitchen just in case the outdoor bin is a summertime hundred degree- plus disaster- wish me luck, and I'll give you an update after the California summer heatwave test.

Views: 4547

Comment by Jennie on March 4, 2010 at 6:15pm
WOW, man that is one nice looking worm bin. I am very impressed.
Comment by Nic on March 4, 2010 at 6:31pm
really cool
Comment by Iker on March 4, 2010 at 10:02pm
I agree, it looks very nice!! I must ask is the insulator aluminium? Aliminium is a kickass thermal conductor, so it would have the opposite effect of what you need... it looks awesome though haha. The wood in the sides is kind of good to hold the heat, so it's not all bad. Keep us posted on how it works out!
Comment by Mark from Kansas on March 5, 2010 at 8:24pm
Comment by Andrew from California on March 6, 2010 at 11:09am
Bravo! Did you ever check the interior temp vs outside air temps this winter? I imagine the insulation would also help keep things cool during the summer heat.
Comment by Garden Citizen on March 7, 2010 at 3:05am
This is a very beautifully built bin. Would you be willing to share your building plans for the bin?
Comment by ForestGardenGirl on March 8, 2010 at 1:18pm
Thank you everyone for your kind comments!

Garden Citizen: I will post a blog detailing the plans. I didn't take pictures as I constructed it, but between my pictures and the plans, you should be able to create one for yourself.

Andrew: I didn't check the temps, I'm a pretty lazy vermimommie and I have yet to purchase a compost typer thermometer. I can say that when there was ice and snow on the ground, the bin was still active, albeit not as active as it is now. I know for sure that they aren't overheating (the vermicompost temp won't register on my espresso thermometer ;-) and they are certainly not freezing... but maybe I will go get myself a compost thermometer this afternoon. I certainly will need one to moniter them come summertime.

steamyb and Iker: The insulation is 1" rigid foam insulation, and yes, it comes with an aluminum foil type wrap on both sides. I am aware that aluminum is a great thermal conductor, however, this is the type of insulation that is put between wood roof sheeting and the roofing material where there will be no attic and usually where there are open rafters (I used left overs from our shop construction, but the same stuff is used in my house). i.e. as I look up to the ceiling from my laptop, I see beautiful exposed beams covered with tongue and groove oak. Above the oak is a layer of foam core insulation, then a moisture barrier (tar paper) then a metal roof. The insulation value of 1" foam core insulation is typically 2x the R value of other types of insulation (of the same thickness) In this case R 5.5. The shiny aluminum foil actually acts as a radiant heat barrier more than a conductor because conductivity is so low through the insulation. Hope this answers your questions.

I will post a how-to very soon.
Comment by Andrew from California on March 8, 2010 at 1:30pm
This thermometer has worked for me. Most grocery and general stores carry something like it. The longer stem of a compost thermometer is great for a compost bin, but is a bit awkward for smaller worm bins.
Comment by ForestGardenGirl on March 8, 2010 at 2:46pm
Thank you for the suggestion, Andrew. That would probably work perfectly -- or at least much better than my espresso thermometer!
Comment by ForestGardenGirl on March 8, 2010 at 2:47pm
By the way, I just posted a quick how-to blog entry for this wood worm bin. Let me know if anything is unclear.


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