Below is some info on worm farming:
- Worms eat the same as their own body weight in 24 hours. It’s said people produce 200grams feaces a day, so Oxfam are saying 2.5 kgs of worms could cover a family of 10.
- Worms double every 55 days, so if you put 2,5kgs worms in, after 2 months, there would be 5kgs. They will only grow to the size of the space they are in though – this is based on the area not the height. (Apparently the Worm Hive stores around 4-5kg of Worms.)
- Worms need 80% moisture and plenty of oxygen
- Preferable temperature is around 22º – if it gets too hot, they will die, too cold and they become dormant. (If it gets very hot with composting material, they will move back down and stay below where it is cooler. But it does mean the container should be kept in a cooler and shaded environment, and built in a way that it doesn’t overheat)
- They need a mix of green and browns (carbon & nitrogen – carbon would be the browns – so straw/saw dust/dried leaves etc; nitrogen is the greens, veg off cuts, freshly cut grass, urine & faeces)
- Worms don’t have teeth, so it’s good to shred material at first
- For compost toilets, straw is good, saw dust will take longer to break down and is more compact which means less air. If it gets too compact – add some air by shifting things around with a fork. Shredded paper is also good. Lots of people recommend newspaper, I worry about the ink. Some have said they are fine with the ink, and that it’s a way to ‘neutralise’ it…
Bokashi systems causes compost to break down at a much quicker rate, and also works anaerobically (without oxygen). So in this system you would have an airtight container, throw your organic matter in, put cover with bokashi bran and seal. You can add any organic matter, from veg, to dog poo, humanure, cooked food, meat, etc. For my kitchen organic waste, I fill a bucket once a month, let it sit for a month, and then bury it. While it’s sitting, I have a second bucket that I am using, which I rotate. If using this system for humanure, I would definitely let it sit for much longer (possibly for a year) to ensure all pathogens and any possibility of worms were killed off before burying.
With the micro organisms acting in the bokashi though, it will (like the worm farm) be extra efficient at processing toxins, at a much faster rate.
The Bokashi system would be best used with a system that separates urine, so that you don’t collect too much liquid in it – you don’t want the bucket swimming in liquid.
Something like this sealable drum would work. You would need at least two drums (so you can rotate them while one sits), and definitely more for a family, as it will fill up quicker.
Normally in a bokashi bin, you would have a grid that lifted the solid waste from the bottom, so that liquid can all drain below and it doesn’t sit in the liquid, going rancid…. so either cut a grid of some sort of sieve that can fit into the bottom and then raise the grid it so it’s not sitting right on the bottom, to keep a drainage system, or put a bed of sticks and straw on the bottom.
I’m chatting to a couple people at the moment about making larger batches of bokashi … it can be made quite simply at home, but you can also purchase it at Organic Zone / Soil for Life / various health shops / Faithful to Nature