Posts Tagged ‘Vermicompost’

Compost Experiment

A couple days ago (5/24/08) the boys and I started a new experiment. A while back I got a couple large 55 gallon plastic barrels from a neighbor and I’ve been trying to finalize what I want to use them for. I have quite a list, rain barrel, recycle bins, chicken feed tub, and probably a couple others that I’ve already forgotten. The idea I came up with was to mix the fresh grass clippings and fresh alpaca manure in one of them, similar to a compost tumbler but much cheaper.

The first thing I did was have the boys drill a bunch of holes, don’t know the exact sizes, but somewhere in the range of 1/4 to 3/8, on the sides and bottom. There probably should be more holes but my help got tired or lost interest. We then gathered up the fresh grass and scooped the paca poop. We then layered it into the barrel. I had been hoping to get the barrel half full, but in reality it was full to overflowing. It would probably work better if it was only half full so could get mixed around when the barrel was rolled, but I left it full. The extra grass I sealed into the second barrel that had no holes drilled in it. I did also dump several gallons of water in with the grass clippings and manure. All the water must have gotten absorbed by the grass and manure though since none or very little of it has drained out.

Today (5/26/08), we checked the barrels and the one with the holes in was cooking pretty good. It was composting quite nicely. We actually busted up a couple dozen guinea eggs that I didn’t have room for in the incubator and added them to the mixture. It was actually probably reduced down by about 10% or so already. The mixture will work better if it does get mixed more thoroughly. The boys do enjoy rolling the barrels around. The sealed barrel with only grass has done virtually nothing in the way of composting.

Now that I have some garden planted it sure would be nice to find a way to process the alpaca manure into a more useful compost. I had been just dumping the alpaca manure into the garden and just got it tilled in (no I won’t be doing any root crops this year), but since I’ve started planting in the garden I need to do something else with the poop. What I would really like to get worked out would be to process the manure through a quick composting then process it through a worm bin. I think the output from this process would be a wonderful soil addition, a mixture of vermicompost and regular compost.

I think the next barrel will get used as a big worm bin. Attempting to get it setup as a layering bin, at foot or so of material for the worms and more added on top once that portion has been processed by the worms. I’m just not quite sure how many barrels I’ll need to get going to process the poop from seven alpacas.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by astoner - May 26, 2008 at 9:47 pm

Categories: composting, Vermicomposting   Tags: , , , , ,

Introduction to Driftless Ramblings

The more I use this web site name the more I like it. Hopefully as the name ‘Driftless Ramblings’ implies readers will understand that I don’t have any one topic that I’ll be focusing on in this blog. There are lots of blogs out there about making money on the internet and seo, both topics I’m interested in, and may post on occasionally but usually referring to others that are more experienced than myself. As I figure it out I’ll try to pass on the experience I gain.

There are several projects I would like to work on. Some of the projects are getting a worm bin going. Another is building a Heat Grabber, to see if I can reduce the amount of propane that we’ve been using to heat the house.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by astoner - December 13, 2007 at 9:14 pm

Categories: Uncategorized   Tags: , , ,