CFT Problems, Blue Barrel Worm Farm Systems Are GO – BLOG Post

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August 28th, 2017

The Worm Man BLOG

Hello everyone 😀

WOW – I have been super busy lately.

Sorry I’ve “gone a bit quiet” on the BLOG. It’s the easiest thing to say “I will do that tomorrow” – then it’s another week goes by.

“Stay tuned” for updates on the wedges, the vermicomposting planter and the work I have been doing with schools and worm farming lessons.


The Blue Barrel Systems:

In other posts I told of how I was building some larger composting worm systems from split in half 50 gallon drums.

I finished that project off, making 5 sets, which hold 3 half-barrels each.

I still have one set of 3 to make – and 2 bath tubs to fix up. So much to do!

I had been raising some compost worms in the shed, in trays – these were each split in half and used to start most of the barrels.


You will see some hose sticking out the left hand end in the picture. I put drains in the bottom of every barrel similar to how I did the bath tub and how I taught someone to do it in a fridge. Details on the drainage:

Then I joined up the drains from the top 2 barrels in each set, to drain into that bucket.

I’ve never had a problem using leachate – but I follow simple and sensible rules with it too. Details on that here:

The bottom barrels are on the ground, so are too hard to drain from, so the leachate from them just drains out onto the concrete pad and eventually onto the grass.


Here is a pic of the completed units (please forgive the washed out look of the pic – its winter here and never a good day to take pics when I get around to taking them )


Blue Barrel Worm Farms

Problems With The BEAST CFT’s

You may remember me saying that I had a nice order for a large amount of VC to be shipped interstate.

Well, I had been madly harvesting everything I could lay my hands on, to make up a that VC order and ran into problems with my CFT’s.

When I went to harvest them recently, I found that the last time I harvested, the material didn’t “come down” like it should.

So there it was, tantalizingly out of reach for the harvest I needed to do to contribute to this big VC order.
I tried letting it dry out (the reasoning being the VC would shrink away from the walls) – but this didn’t help AT ALL! I even resorted to banging on the sides with a rubber mallet, hoping to jar the material into falling down.

I even contemplated jumping up and down on the top of them – Larry Shier kindly asked me to video THAT – lol !

The Solution!

I had noticed that the “extra bar” I had placed on each side to stop side-sheeting was allowing too much material to sit there – almost like 2 “ledges”. Admittedly, I also had not cleaned out the front and back sides of the units, where the bars go into the frames.

So, I took the jigsaw and cut those two extra bars out from each CFT.
I then almost had to “chisel out” the ledges with a large screwdriver – that stuff was SOLID (no doubt the original base of material).

Then I chiselled out the material from the front and back, where the bars go into the frame.

Before I was even finished, the material started “coming down” like it should !!



Encouraged by this, and no longer wanting to put off the problem any longer, I decided to work on the bigger “ANC BEAST”. As it no longer held pure ANC, its bars were too close together.

So, with jigsaw in hand i crawled under it and sawed off every second bar.

It was QUITE WET under there, so I put on the fan I had previously installed under the harvest area to dry it out a bit.

50 Gallons Of VC From One Worm Farm:

It’s hard to accept – I know – but that’s what I got from one harvest in this thing !

After a couple of days of letting it dry a little, I harvested about 50 gallons of VC from the BEAST1.5 ( it has 15 square feet of bedding )

I harvested the material I chiselled out of the 2 smaller, 10 square foot BEASTS – but this was not very much in comparison.


SO, now all three BEASTs seem to be doing well.


Anyway – I better go, always something to do.

Stay tuned for more posts about the vermicomposting Planter Project (with Bentley Christie), updates on the two Wedge Systems and on what I’ve been doing with my Training & Assessment qualification and the worm farming lessons for schools and garden clubs.

Thanks for reading !

Brian Donaldson


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