Vermicomposting is a great way for farmers and outdoor enthusiasts to recycle waste and increase self-sufficiency. Flow-through worm bins help compost with worms to produce a highly beneficial product for the farm or yard.
While traditional worm bins are an excellent starting point, more and more people are turning to flow-through worm bins that aim to overcome the problem faced otherwise.
In this guide, we try to understand all you should know about flow-through worm bins, their working, and their benefits to give you a better idea of this new way of composting.
Flow-Through Worm Bins – A Complete Guide
When you use traditional worm bins for composting, your harvesting involves some type of mess-cleanup task. A flow through worm bin is designed to provide a continuous supply of finished compost in a short time without much effort.
Moreover, you don’t disturb the worms or take any part of the bin out of production during the process.
Flow through worm bins have a clean and convenient setup and make it easy to harvest the finished compost. Since it is a highly effective and easy to maintain system, most worm farms use them for vermiculture.
The setup relies on the use of worms’ natural instincts to dwell in the topsoil. A flow-through worm bin is large enough to compost a huge amount of waste and optimized to do it efficiently.
This type of worm bin reduces the effort you make to harvest the finished product. You can fill the top of the bin without having to move any weight like in traditional bins.
When you want to harvest the vermicompost, you can do it from the bottom without interrupting the worms and they can keep working all the time.
Hungry Bin Flow Through Worm Farm
A fast and efficient way to compost waste, Hungry Bin uses an innovative design and processes up to 2kg of waste per day. It is a flow through worm composter that does not rely on stirring, mixing or turning but uses a continuous-flow technology to compost continuously without supervision. Its unique design is intended to create an ideal environment for worms.
The worms convert organic waste into castings and a nutrient-rich liquid both of which make excellent fertilizer. This liquid easily drains from the bin into the tray below it.
The bin has a unique tapered shape that compresses the castings to make them easy to handle and worm-free. This design also makes sure the worms move to the surface to access food.
Hungry Bin Flow Through Worm Farm can be placed right by the door in any setting. The lid is tight-fitting to prevent any insects from entering and makes it easy to put in scraps.
There is no need to lift any heavy trays. You just have to harvest the castings from the tray as they get ready. This unit does not have a tap that gets blocked or needs replacement.
Continuous Flow Worm Farm – How It Works?
A simple continuous flow worm farm is made up of a flow through bin that generally contains a winch-powered knife to cut the compost from the bottom. In this method of vermicomposting, the worms are fed organic matter from the top and castings are harvested from the bottom tray. This type of setup requires one of these things:
- A bin that allows harvesting from the bottom so that worms can work in the top layers to remain uninterrupted.
- Removable trays with perforated bottoms to facilitate upward migration. Top layer trays can be removed over time to collect vermicompost from lower trays.
Though continuous flow bins vary in dimensions, they all allow upward migration of worms to access fresh food. They can be made up of a single compartment or multiple stacked boxes. A cutting bar is pushed above the mesh to release 1-2 inches of the finished product through the mesh. The bar is powered by electricity or a manual winch.
Commercial Vermiculture Bins
Commercial-scale flow through worm bins are designed to be resistant to moisture generally present in a worm setting. These large systems range from simple, ventilated boxes to stacked models that make it easy to harvest finished compost.
They work on the assumption that once the worms have finished the material in one tray, they move upward to find fresher food sources.
The trays are used in succession and each one comes in line after the one below it gets filled up with compost. When it is time to move the worms, bedding and food get shifted to the next tray.
These stacks are designed to make it easy for the worms to migrate to the next level. A continuous flow bin saves a lot of effort as there is no need to empty the bin like traditional methods.
A flow through worm bin with about 20 inches of depth would produce worm-free worm castings as worms are likely to stay in the top 6-8 inches of the habitat. This type of system is more efficient because it allows harvesting without disturbing the worms above it.
Large Scale Worm Farm Design
With the growing demand for vermicompost, particularly as more farmers look for ways to reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers, countries are embracing large scale worm composting methods.
Composting on a grand scale occurs on farms that raise poultry, cattle, or horses. These systems rely on flow-through reactors that contain raised boxes with bedding. The worms feed near the surface and a bar added towards the bottom harvest the compost.
Each of the worm beds is designed to serve as a healthy residence for the worms. Conditions like temperature and moisture levels are constantly monitored to get ideal worm reproduction, population density, and feeding rate.
The finished product is screened to an even size to ensure easy handling in gardening and farming. Flow-through bins take anywhere between two and four months to convert the material into vermicompost.
Some advanced farms even use automated, computer-controlled systems that take 1-2 months.