Vermicomposting @ Arcosanti


Vermicomposting is one thing we have been looking at for the Energy Apron Greenhouses. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermicompost

While this has been experimented in the past at Arocsanti that management team that managed our garden operations has long done. So we are doing fresh research on the subject. Still in the early stages of research, we have began to look more closely at how this process can improve our agricultural operations. Vermicomposting can offer several key advantages over traditional composting including:

  1. More rapid decomposition of kitchen scraps/biomass
  2. Higher levels of nutrients needed for rapid plant growth
  3. Incorporation of worms into the process (food for the chickens or fish in an integrated farming/permaculture system)

Lindsay who is one of the march workshoppers did some research and we ordered some red wigglers for about 35 dollars online. We’ll be getting these worms this week These are common worms used in vermicomposting systems because they work efficiently in breaking down biomass into more basic elements of soil.

The Dilemmas of Dealing with Meat Compost at Arcosanti

Certain Vemicomposting systems can be used to for meat as well and we’ll be looking into that as well. This is a relevant subject because there is a lot of meat consumption at Arcosanti. However we have found that while we previously separated the meat, we determined that we had few problems mixing the meat with the vegi compost. Some of the issues include putrid smells, stronger acids and chemical excetions and longer decomposition processes. Apparently the bacteria used to  decompose meat is different than vegis. The problem was that we did not have an efficient system for putting the meat into a proper disposal system and so it has been accumulating onsite in buckets. We finally decided to take action due to possible adverse health issues (flies and other nasty pests like decomposing meat) and we used one of our compost beds to serve as a permanent home for the meat compost.

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