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spacester334 karma

Indoor composting with Red Wiggler worms converts your food scraps into the best compost in the world, putting the carbon fixed in that food into the soil to grow more food. We need more and bigger worm bins.

It does not stink. The worm bin just sits there and slowly does the thing.

Yes, there are worms in your garage. Why is this a problem? Get over it. They are not going anywhere, they like life in their wormbin.

The problem with worm composting is the difficulty of scaling it up. Actually, it is not difficult, it just takes patience and committment and a desire to scale it up.

I have designed a large worm bin that would handle somewhere around 10 households' food waste. I am unable to build it myself due to covenents etc.

If anyone here is interested, I can make you the local worm guru and you will do your planet proud. This is an easy thing to do.

(edit: I am not sure how to proceed in following up on the interest expressed here. Where would a new thread belong? How do I direct attention from here to there? Chat does not work.)


spacester111 karma

I had the great fortune to watch TOS when first broadcast, having been born in 1958, so age 8-11. I distinctly remember the debut of Lt. Checkov, and I know that it blew my little mind a little bit.

You didn't have to be very old to know that Russia was the enemy, and Checkov's accent may not have been accurate, but was dead-on in terms of identifying himself as Russian. So I can safely say that his introduction caused me to start thinking about this utopian future ST presented, and probably also started me on the path of understanding that Russians and others were people too, and not the stereotypical evil commies the rest of the media portrayed.

Not only that, but right about that time is when I started reading science fiction voraciously. I read everything I could get from all the old masters, and then moved into Harlan Ellison and all the SF rebels he introduced.

I adored Babylon 5, and I also remember getting a real thrill from the introduction of Bester, because JMS loved paying tribute to the masters, and one of the lesser known ones was the prolific and brilliant Alfred Bester.

Thank you, Walter Koenig! Know that you have made a great contribution to the world of Science Fiction!

spacester72 karma

What if all you wanted was Mars-level spin-gravity?

Based on this paper archived on Space Future, which states:

"In brief, at 1.0 RPM even highly susceptible subjects were symptom-free, or nearly so. At 3.0 RPM subjects experienced symptoms but were not significantly handicapped. At 5.4 RPM, only subjects with low susceptibility performed well and by the second day were almost free from symptoms. At 10 RPM, however, adaptation presented a challenging but interesting problem. Even pilots without a history of air sickness did not fully adapt in a period of twelve days."

A rotation rate of 3 rpm would be not too fast. So that reduces the spin radius quite a bit.

Here's the formula:

G = [R * [(pi*rpm) / 30]2] / 9.81


G = Decimal fraction of Earth gravity

R = Radius from center of rotation in meters

pi = 3.14159

rpm = revolutions per minute

Rearranging it:

R = (9.81 * G) / [(pi*rpm) / 30]2

If we plug in rpm = 3,

R = 99.39 * G

Which is pretty cool because it means you need a 100 m spin radius for 1 G spin-gravity and it's linear, so you would need a

38 meter spin radius to simulate martian gravity.

A higher spin rate could get you higher G, if you wanted to acclimate the astronauts to Martian-level gravity.

In a world with Bigelow Habitats, NASA's ISS experience, and a complete lack of knowledge of biology existing in reduced-gravity environments, am I crazy to think that building a spin-gravity ship should be at the top of NASA's manned space flight list? Isn't it time to declare victory in NASA's efforts to ameliorate the 17-odd deleterious effects of microgravity? Isn't this the thing that best utilizes NASA new hard-won launch capability once it is in place?

(edit: deleted redundant formula)

spacester53 karma

You have NAILED the problem. (Long post, but there is an answer at the bottom.)

I tried to start a worm bin business at the previous transition from red prez to blue prez, 12 years ago.

That question is what killed my aspirations. I did not have an answer. The plan I will present is all about an answer.

That question is why the very first thing I said here was that worm bins do not stink.

And why the next thing I talked about is that the worms are not going anywhere. (typically ;-) )

The bottom line is that people are squeamish. They just are, and they may not admit it. Even some of the hippies and vegans and most of the germ-alert people are just not actually comfortable sharing a roof with wiggly little life forms. The worm bin is literally full of bacteria, that's what the worms are actually eating.

Happily, I believe enough people are enough un-squeamish to scale up vermicomposting. They are wise, one thing science knows about Eisenia Fetida is that it is impossible for a pathogen to survive passge thru a red wiggler's gut. Running your bare hands through the whole wonderful mass is IMO one of the healthiest things you can do. I would go so far as to predict much lower Covid rates among those who keep worm bins.

Everyone reading this is likely totally un-squeamish, so I will move on. But the whole psychology of answering the extremely reasonable and practical question of "where do I put it?" is at the absolute deisgn heart of the particular worm bin I have designed. btw I am a mechanical engineer by profession.

So, to be clear, there are a lot of correct answers for setting up a worm bin. Worms are not picky, once the basics are provided. I am going to describe one particular design for a very large box to vermicompost at scale. The big and tall worm bin I have designed is going to need to be in a semi-heated space, a bit of a chill is fine but not if you want max productivity.

Mostly, what I want to do is co-develop this big bad boy with other people. But single-family sized bins are a huge part of the overall solution to scaling to a meaningful capability to sequester carbon.

The fundamental problem with scaling worms is the time scale needed to grow the massive colony required, plus you cannot just go out and buy 250 pounds of worms and start up a mega bin.

So for purposes of this thread, let's talk about setting up your first wormbin. Even if your intent is to go big as soon as possible, you are going to need to get started now raising the population.


Regional differences and individual circumstances will of course have a lot to do with figuring out where it goes.

I do not know how many people have tried leaving their worm bin out in a cold winter but with a full-time heater inside the bin. If you are willing to try that, then maybe put the bin next to where you have the garbage cans, outside the back door. Buy a 25 Watt aquarium heater, seal it up in a glass or plastic container, bury it in the heart of the bin, and leave it on 24/7 all winter. Check it periodically. Let us know how it went. :-)

That strategy also works for the apartment dweller with a porch.

They do not like vibration, that can drive them out of a bin. Don't freeze them, don't cook them, don't dry them out, don't drown them. They need access to outside air but not a lot and they take care of the rest. So poke quite a few holes in a plastic bin, but wood is better and gaps between boards is usually all you need. You should not have to worry about seepage except when you intentionally give them a needed soaking. If using newspaper, get everything pretty wet and then put dry strips on top, next day check to see if still dry, if damp but not soaked you are good to go. Cardboard, egg cartons and newspaper are great bedding materials. Strips, not confetti.

Indoor composting means the bin is in a heated space, and a garage or porch is often close enough. MUCH better is to actually let the little guys enjoy normal room temperture. Laundry room? Basement? Spare bedroom? Under the kitchen table? I do not have an answer for everybody.

spacester34 karma

Exhibit A fails the test.

How many of those members of the WH press corps even once prioritized taking a stand for truth over their continued membership in the WH press corps?

IOW I do not remember anyone ever getting banned from the room for going too far.