Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Compost/Zero Waste Facility update

Some improvements have been made or continued since the first post about our facility. Take a peak at the pictures below...and enjoy! If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or stop me the next time you are out at the course.

Here is the worm bin. The right side is filled with ~100 lbs of worms chowing on food waste. The left side of the bin will be used for storage later and eventually more worms as our population grows. The worms double in number every 90 days, so we have the potential to have a 1600 lb population after the first year!

Here they are munching away!

Jack-pot...the stuff we are after! This photo is taken from the vents in the front of the bin looking up at the bottom of the screens below the worms and their food pile home. As you can see the worm castings (poop) is beginning to fall through the screen mesh. This material will be harvested and used to steep our compost tea that will then be sprayed across our greens and eventually injected into our irrigation system for course wide applications.

The Earth Tubs take center stage.

Here is an over view of our facility. The building on the right is our pumphouse for the golf course. The silo on the far left was originally used as part of a gypsum injection through the irrigation system. That system had issues from what I am told as the gypsum would bridge and never truly worked to its full potential.


  1. This is really great stuff Josh.

    How is material mixed and then moved to storage in the worm bin, manually? w/Shovels?

  2. Josh,

    Sounds like a great system! I will be following along with your progress. Please keep us updated.


  3. richard McConaghayMay 31, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    Scott, the earth tub composters have large augers that stir and aereate the compost. but the fact is that most of the work is good old fashioned farm work...shoveling and wheelbarrowing. the good news is that it only takes less than an hour a day to load the composter, run the auger for 10 minutes or so, wash out the food waste containers. once the compost has run it's course in the vessels, it needs to cure for a couple of weeks outside before it gets used.

    the worms actually take very little attention on a daily basis. harvesting the worm castings is a process of tumbling the vermicompost through a screen tube...anything larger than a quarter inch and the worms pass clean through and tumble out the other end to be placed back into the worm bin. then, the castings are sun dried for a couple hours so they cure like little raisins. while they're drying, we pick out any worms that fell through the screen and as many cocoons as we can. from a 4x8ft worm bin we can usually harvest about 40 gallons of castings per month.

    Our compost tea experience is with a 100 gal brewer, which requires about 2 gallons of compost to make 100 gals of tea. we're working on the construction of a 500 gal brewer from a recycled plastic vessel we have. we plan to inject it through the irrigation system. using compost tea is not a form of fertilizer, it's actually adding microscopic biology that create soil conditions conducive to plant vitality. the good news is that the microbes sustain themselves and multiply. once you have a good population of the critters, you shouldn't need to continually add additional fertility