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Curious. What's everyone's favorite methods of harvesting vermicompost from a worm bin?

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On a small scale I like two methods....

1) the Table method - dump contents of worm bin on a table or tarp or flat trash bag.  Shine a light on the  pile.  Wait about 5 minutes and scrape the top  layer of matter off until you come to worms.  Wait a while, and repeat.  DO this unitl you have one pile of matter and another pile of worms.  Put worms back in a freshly prepared bin. 

   If you wish you can further screen the matter as in (2) below.

2) You can skip   step one above if you wish.You can  put the matter from the worm bin on a frame covered with 1/4 inch hardware cloth.  Screen the castings through. I use my hands to do this.  You can do a second screening using a window screen to avoid letting worms and cocoons  into the castings pile.

When doing very large amounts of castings we use other equipment.

Hope this is helpful.

- Converse

Thanks Converse :) I've had plenty of practice with option 1; I've found it to be rather time consuming amd wanted to see what else was out there. I think screening may be the way to go this time. Do I need to let the compost dry out a little to screen it properly?
Alex, take a look at Glen Martinez's worm casting videos.. I don't have a link for you, but his stuff is super simple and supper productive.. as with all his stuff./

Lol, I literally spent all day yesterday watching his videos trying to get a better grip on his plumbing technique :) I've watched a lot of his tea brewer videos, but I haven't any just on worm castings. I'll have to take a look.

Rob Nash said:

Alex, take a look at Glen Martinez's worm casting videos.. I don't have a link for you, but his stuff is super simple and supper productive.. as with all his stuff./

I suppose it would be "supper" productive if you were planning on eating the worms. ;) 'Cause I've got this recipe for worm brownies...

Rob Nash said:

Alex, take a look at Glen Martinez's worm casting videos.. I don't have a link for you, but his stuff is super simple and supper productive.. as with all his stuff./
lol

I use a frame on which I place a 1/4 inch screen at an angle on a bar.. I use a 2X2 square rod that I turn with a cordless drill that makes the frame bounce. I have catch basins under the frame for small stuff while the bigger material goes down into another tray.

I got this idea fromold vacuum cleaner designs where they used beater bars to slap the carpet with the idea that dust and dirt would be bounced up into the air for the vacuum to pick up. This was before brushes became popular

Material that falls through the  1/4 inch screen is then sifted over a 1/8 inch screen.  I get a far bigger yield this way than I do by skipping the 1/4 inch screen and trying to use only a 1/8 inch.

All the bigger material is returned to the worm bins.

Hey Pat do you have any pics of that set up? I have used a small DC motor with an out of balance flywheel for the vibrator you describe for other screening jobs and it worked like magic. I like your method and will want to build a set up like it this Spring. Damn it's cold outside as I write this. How's the pool doing?

Jim, no pics showing enough detail! but it does appear in a video of thebayougarder get together.

Hi, been out of the USA, and now back again...For those of you who want to build a small separator, here are a few links to help you out.  We use a much larger separator, but the idea is the same.  Hope this helps some of you out.  There are different options for you to look at.

   Do you need to dry the castings first?  It depends on how 'moist they are to start with, and  how fine you want to screen the matter.  You do not want dry worm castings, since that would mean the live microbial population will be compromised.  It does need to be dry enough to be able to go through the separator and not stay in packed chunks as it works its way through the separator to the other end., falling through the screen on its way through.

Hope these links are helpful.

 - Converse

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pbHzA7ZQEY

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/worm-composting/diy-worm-harvester/

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/the-share-board/john-ws-rotating-screen-harvester/

Thanks Converse! I think I just developed a crush on this video....Man, where am I gonna put something like that?


Converse said:

Hi, been out of the USA, and now back again...For those of you who want to build a small separator, here are a few links to help you out.  We use a much larger separator, but the idea is the same.  Hope this helps some of you out.  There are different options for you to look at.

   Do you need to dry the castings first?  It depends on how 'moist they are to start with, and  how fine you want to screen the matter.  You do not want dry worm castings, since that would mean the live microbial population will be compromised.  It does need to be dry enough to be able to go through the separator and not stay in packed chunks as it works its way through the separator to the other end., falling through the screen on its way through.

Hope these links are helpful.

 - Converse

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pbHzA7ZQEY

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/worm-composting/diy-worm-harvester/

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/the-share-board/john-ws-rotating-screen-harvester/

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