composter

cccb@tarragona

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today we have finished the cccb tool here in tarragona.

we started some weeks ago preparing the materials, having workshops about composting and cartography all the local sources of organic left overs. we are lucky in this project cause we already have a restaurant (taula amiga’s cantine) that prepare meals to around 40 families. we also located 4 vegetable stores near the farm and of course we have the left overs of all the participants of this project. now let’s make compost!! :)

 

Making a home composter with worms

I will share here a low cost solution for the recycling of organic waste, appropriate for apartments and urban housing that do not have a piece of land or an outdoor area. This construction is inspired by the Cadico earthworms nice project. The photos are from the composter I made here at home  : )  It’s called a Vermi composter because we use worms in the process, uhuuuuu big thanks to the worms, they deserve!

To make this kind of composter, it is important to use stackable supports to separate the different stages of composting.

In this case, I used 3 buckets of margarine 15L reused. You can ask for them for free at local businesses such as coffee shops, bakeries, juice houses, etc.. They are stackable and perfect for the job!

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The first step is to cut the center of the lids that stands between the buckets. Leave a border so that a bucket can stay on top of the other (this red lid is perfect for this because it comes with a delineated border):

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Then we will make holes into the bottom of the 2 buckets that will stay on top and receive the organic waste. These holes are to drain the leachate to be stored in the first bucket underneath (this one has no holes).
You can use 4 mm drills (suficient for the worms to pass through).

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Then, we use thinner drills, size 1, or 1.5 mm for making holes in the top of these 2 buckets to allow the entry of air, very important component of a good composting. (If these holes are too big, the worms will pass and it will atract some other insects in your kitchen).

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We also make small holes in the lid that will stay on top and was not cut:

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Now the suggestion is to make a very beautiful painting in the buckets to forget all that margarine past and decorate your kitchen!  : D

I made some stencils with masking tape, very easy to do :

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Now that we have our buckets beaultiful and prepared, we can start composting! uhuuuu

We’ll start with only 2 buckets, the third one will be awaiting.
So, let’s prepare the one on top to receive our organic waste.

Place a first layer of compound or forest land. This land is rich in bacteria that will help in the decomposition process:

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Now we can put our organic waste and always cover it with dry matter:

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Over time, the compound begins to seem a dark mass:

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When the bucket is already filled with this dark, pre composted mass, we put our dear worms! (if they enter at the beginning they might die with the heat generated)

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We use the California red worms. You can ask some for someone who already has a worm farm and soon they will reproduce and increase in number. You can also buy them from a producer or even through the internet.

Earthworms accelerate much the decomposition process because they can eat daily the equivalent of its own weight (!) Besides enriching the compound with their droppings, called humus.

When the upper bucket is full…

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it will be time to enter the third bucket on top of the stack! So, first, we put the other lid with a hole in the middle:

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And then we put the third bucket, leaving the system as follows:

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Now, the top bucket will receive the organic waste generated by the house. Meanwhile the central bucket, full of waste, will be resting while the worms do their work.

After eating and making compost, the worms will look for new food and then go up to the top bucket, we hope so. (or you can give then a hand!)

When the top bucket is full of waste, the compost in the central bucket must be probably ready, or almost, and can wait in other recipient. Then the top bucket goes to the middle and the middle bucket will be free to start a new cycle on top!

Meanwhile, the first bucket underneath will be storing all the leachate from the system:

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This dark liquid is full of nutrients good to get back in the soil, but also very strong… So we can dilute it in 10 parts of water to have a nice biofertilizer! : )

And there you go!

#Some important things:

. The process of composting requires air and humidity (around 50% humidity)

. Try chopping food residues to facilitate decomposition.

. There is an Carbon x Nitrogen ratio to be maintained (initially 30:1). In practice, always cover the food waste with a good amount of dry matter such as straw, sawdust or leaves.

. The composting process generates heat, reaching between 60 and 80 degrees Celsius (!). Which is good because it helps kill the pathogens. When the temperature drops, this indicates that the compound is stabilized.

. What CAN go :::
– Fruits, vegetables, grains and seeds;
– Tea bags and coffee grounds (with filter).
– Leftover cooked or spoiled food (no exaggeration) and eggshells.
– Straw, dried leaves, wood shavings, sticks, garden pruning.
– Paper towels, paper napkins, bread paper, cardboard, newspaper.

. What MUST NOT enter :::
– Meat of any kind;
– Dairy products, oils, fats;
– Feces of domestic animals and used toilet paper.
– Excess of citric fruits (orange, lemon, pineapple, etc.);
– Excessive salt (leftovers), garlic and onion.

REFERENCE :::
. Cadico earthworms

Composteira Caseira

(will publish this in english as a new post)

Vou compartilhar aqui uma solução de baixo custo para a reciclagem do lixo orgânico, apropriada para apartamentos e habitações urbanas que não contam com um pedaço de terra ou área externa. As fotos são da composteira que fiz aqui em casa  : )  Vermicompostagem (com minhocas!)

000_0005Para fazer essa composteira é importante utilizar suportes empilháveis para separar os diferentes estágios da compostagem.

Neste caso, utilizei baldes de margarina de 15L reaproveitados. Você pode pedi-los de graça em comércios locais como lanchonetes, padarias, casas de suco, etc. São empilháveis e perfeitos para o trabalho!
O primeiro passo é cortar o centro da tampa que ficará entre os dois baldes. Deixe uma borda para que um balde possa encaixar em cima do outro (essa tampa vermelha é perfeita para isso pois já vem com a borda delineada) :

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Então faremos pequenos furos no fundo do balde que ficará por cima. Estes furos são para drenar o chorume que será armazenado no balde debaixo. Utilizei brocas de aço rápido tamanho 4.

100_2783 100_2784100_2787Usamos brocas mais finas, tamanho 1 ou 1,5 para fazer furos na parte de cima do balde que receberá resíduos orgânicos. Estes furos são para permitir a entrada de ar.

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Agora a sugestão é fazer uma pintura bem bonita nos baldes para tirar todo aquele passado de margarina e fazer com que enfeitem a sua cozinha!

Como fiz essa composteira durante o carnaval, escolhi o dourado para evocar o calor do egito para dentro da composteira! (sim, ela vai esquentar muito!)

100_2793O balde de cima ganhou um stencil em espiral com fita crepe, bem fácil de fazer:

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Agora vamos preparar o balde de cima para receber o nosso lixo orgânico.

Coloque uma camada de matéria seca, nesse caso usei folhas, e depois uma camada de composto ou terra de floresta. Essa terra é rica em bactérias que ajudarão no processo de decomposição :

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Agora podemos colocar o nosso lixo orgânico!

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Algumas coisas importantes:

. O processo da compostagem precisa de ar e humidade (em torno de 50%)

. Procure picar os restos de alimentos para facilitar a decomposição.

. Existe uma relação Carbono x Nitrogênio a ser mantida (inicialmente 30:1). Na prática, procure sempre cobrir BEM os restos de alimentos com matéria seca como palha, serragem e folhas.

. O processo de compostagem gera calor, podendo chegar entre 60 e 80 graus (!). O que é bom pois ajuda a matar os patógenos. Quando a temperatura cai, é sinal de que o composto está estabilizado.

 

. O que PODE entrar :::

– Frutas, legumes, verduras, grãos e sementes;
– Saquinhos de chá, erva de chimarrão e borra de café (com filtro).
– Sobras de alimentos cozidos ou estragados (sem exageros) e cascas de ovos.
– Palhas, folhas secas, serragem, gravetos, podas de jardim.
– Papel toalha, guardanapos de papel, papel de pão, papelão, jornal.

 

. O que NÃO DEVE entrar :::

– Carnes de qualquer espécie;
– Laticínios, óleos, gorduras;
– Fezes de animais domésticos e papel higiênico usado.
– Excesso de frutas cítricas (laranja, limão, abacaxi, etc);
– Excesso de sal (sobras de comida), alho e cebola.

 

Com o tempo, o composto começar a parecer uma massa escura:

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Quando o balde já estiver cheio com essa massa escura pré compostada, podemos colocar nossas queridas minhocas! (se elas entram no início podem morrer com o calor gerado)

100_2825Utilizamos as minhocas vermelhas da califórnia. Você pode pedir algumas minhocas para alguém que já tenha um minhocário e em pouco tempo elas irão se reproduzir e aumentar em quantidade. As minhas minhocas vieram do TEAR onde eu e Hernani demos uma oficina de irrigação no ano passado. É um bom lugar de referência no Rio de Janeiro.

Você também pode comprá-las de um produtor ou até pela internet(!).

As minhocas aceleram em muito o processo de decomposição pois são capazes de comer diariamente uma quantidade equivalente ao seu próprio peso (!) além de enriquecer o composto com seus excrementos, o famoso húmus de minhoca.

Quando o Balde de cima encher…

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É hora de introduzirmos um terceiro balde no topo do sistema!

Começamos novamente furando o fundo dele:

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Fazemos furos laterais na parte superior para a entrada de ar:

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E cortamos a nova tampa para ficar no meio entre o segundo e terceiro balde. Corte um círculo deixando no meio, deixando uma borda grossa o suficiente para sustentar o terceiro balde (lembre que vi estar pesado, cheio de composto).

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Agora, outra pintura para encantar : )

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deixando o sistema assim:

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O balde de cima vai, então, receber os novos resíduos gerados pela casa.

 

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O Balde do meio, que está cheio, ficará agora descansando enquanto as minhocas fazem o seu trabalho.

Quando o balde de cima também estiver cheio, o balde do meio já deverá estar com o composto estabilizado ou perto disso, passe então composto mais velho para um outro recipiente e ponha o balde vazio no topo para começar um novo ciclo de compostagem!

REFERÊNCIA: Cadico Minhocas | http://cadicominhocas.blogspot.com.br

day#2 at TASML

in the morning we went to buy some electronics. amazing place this zhongfa market :p

then we spend the day knowing each other, sharing knowledge, speaking about everything green related, building the farms and getting some more materials

we even started a mini composter, a fundamental piece on the urban farm scenario. what would be of us if the worms didn’t give us a hand (or a bite:) on closing the cycle ??

andes composter

with a structure inspired by nature the idea was to make a huge composter or aka the worm palace:)

build with local harvested materials and equiped with a refarm on vacations board with 4 sensors of temperature (3 inside, 1 out side) connected to the house by radio and uploading data to our servers.

this has a community build project by the refarm group ny  and all the andes sprout society has participate :) 6 days of very relaxing labor lead to this

now we just need to wire this and start to get data in the server.

the nycR re:farm group will go upstate this weekend again, we will have a worm party and , you are more than welcomed to come, just bring some food to the worms ;)

waste or food

by traveling from city to city I find different sources of the stuff I need, different ways to get to them and big differences on how its each city manage the inputs and outputs of resources. one of the outputs that we have been very concerned here on re:farm is the organic material that a city produce and it’s mostly wasted in big cities. more than wasted, is being mixed with paper, plastics or glass making the “eventualy” recycling process even more painfully. all the organic material produced by our kitchen, restaurants, markets and their super relatives are the raw material for your first step into farming.

you need to get good soil and cheap and this is very easy and simple: our organic waste is food for worms and their waste is food for our vegetables. with this in mind we are gonna setup this new mega composter at Andes and monitor the life of the worms and friends.

the winter is coming so we don’t expect a big grow in the worms population. as everything in nature this will take time. we will follow the live of this object and also see how the materials applied evolve. I’ve design a house for worms with places for them to rest, feed and live. a hexagonal frame?! why not? inspired by nature and a link to the global ecological disaster that is happen right now in the bees superfamily and with their unique position in our live cycle. hard days for our vegetables and belies will come without the bees ;( follow the evolution of this project on this dedicated page