NCSU Vermiculture Conference topic: Produce Distributor Vermicomposts Produce Scraps in Hand-built Bins
Speaker: Roger Grosswald, Re-Organics, Sustainable FoodCycling with Foster-Caviness
Here are my notes on the talk:
Re-Organics is a composting company that handles freight waste from produce industry freight-waste. They compost produce for nitrogen and food grade cardboard for carbon.
They grind food waste to increase the surface area and get some moisture out and feed it to worms. Precomposting is not being done at this time by Re-organics. They use a chopper for cardboard (in a machine used to chop horse hay) Chop produce with a garbage disposal.
They built a flow through digester to handle their compost with lots of moisture. It has plastic laying on top. They use bars instead of mesh. Use a rake that rakes between bars and compost falls out the bottom. But now they use a new system — see below.
For startup composter – Use dairy milk crates stacked like a wall with tarp over top to build a compost bin.
Another startup composter – Wooden cage with a tarp laid inside — zip ties hold the sides up so you can lay down the sides to harvest. You can grow a lot of worms but harvesting is a lot of work.
Larger scale composting – Now they grow worms inside a refrigerated shipping container in bins. They can dump a whole bin in the trommel. Bins are lined with landscape fabric for easy cleaning. In one trailer — 700 square feet of bins. He recommends this system for up to 2000 square feet.
For harvesting trommel – Spray vegetable spray on wire of trommel to help with harvesting.
For fruit flies – spread lot of shredded cardboard on top
Idea for bedding – use cardboard dust from a manufacturer to apply in later stages of the process so it can be sifted out better.
To control red mites — fry them with a propane torch or lay damp newspaper on top and throw the newspaper away if they get on there. Red mites are a predator to red wiggler worms
To add feedstock – grind into a slurry, measure, sprinkle it on. After 2000 square feet, you will want to automate.