Berkana Farm

My EFP identified several areas of improvement in regards to the ability to use the farm wastes so that I do not have uncovered wastes accumulating for more than 180 days (EFP  questions  # 46, 50, 100, 116 and 135. high priority). I have been addressing these issues and would like to improve on the system in place.

I would like to add biodigesters to my manure and yard waste compost piles. This would enhance the efficiency and also increase the nutrient value of the compost. I would like to use worms and Bacta-pur as my biodigesters. The use of biodigesters would allow me to compost over the winter months which would mean I would have much less manure and farm wastes (newspaper, cardboard, scrap paper, and produce scraps that the chickens do not eat) accumulating over the winter months. Bacta-pur is a product that contains over 21 strains of natural bacteria. The product can be incubated by myself which makes it very economical. Once the compost is sprayed with the Bacta-pur the bacteria go to work. The use of bacteria eliminates odour and speeds up the process twenty-fold. The worms eat the bacteria which has attached itself to the wastes, which again increases the composting rate by five. The worm castings provide much better compost than any other compost. The worms are able to continue composting even in the winter. The worm’s rate of reproduction is to double their numbers every 60-90 days during the warmer months. This would mean that after a couple of years I would be able to have a shallow bed for feeding the robins excess worms. Using worms to compost ensures the piles are aerobic which reduces the methane gas released into the atmosphere. The resulting compost is seven times richer than regular compost, and has the ability to destroy pathogens and suppress disease. The worms provide below ground biodiversity and a high level of beneficial microorganisms. I would be willing to keep records and share the results as I feel it would be very beneficial to other small farmers. I have done extensive research and am excited to implement both the Bacta-pur and composting with worms.

**FYI    Bacta-pur is the perfect product for turning the solid manure into slurry for ease of spraying directly on the fields. It will turn the solids of a pit toilet into slurry in under 3 days. In ponds that no longer support life because of the sludge, Bacta-pur in one season can usually digest 12 inches of sludge. In ponds that have high algae growth, it can help there too. For growers, by spraying Bacta-pur on soil and, or adding to fertilizer, and or spraying plants helps to eliminate disease and pest problems because the bacteria attaches themselves to the roots and aid the plant in the absorption of its requirements.

Project Location

The composting site is 220 feet from any water source. The site has southern exposure, a slope to divert runoff away, and a clay type soil to minimize leaching.

Project Size and Materials

I will require the purchase of 30 straw or poor quality hay bales which will be used for lining the existing bin. I will require 5 gallons of Bacta-pur and 20 lbs of worms (1/3 of recommended amount). I will also require 4 sheets of plywood, ¼ inch hardware cloth and a stock tank heater (keep the worm bin from freezing in the winter). I will also require a container and heater for incubating the Bacta-pur. As I compost the existing waste, it will be placed on the orchard as both a fertilizer and mulch for the berry plants.

Project Schedule

I would begin upon notification of funding approval with completion estimated at May 30, 2007. After this I will be providing ongoing care as required.

Site Preparation

Site is already there, I am just adding a liner/cover to it.

Construction

No site restoration will be required. I will be doing the work. Using the existing bin I will cover the bottom with ¼ inch hardware cloth to prevent damage from moles. Then all four sides will be lined with bales. The bales will be placed on edge, two high. I will have a divider wall made across the middle using bales so I will have 2 bins 6 x 8. I will rent a shredder and shred all manure and farm waste. The Bacta-pur will be applied during shredding to ensure good coverage. This material will be partially composted in the compost tumbler to ensure the temperature is reached to kill weed seeds. The material will then be placed in the front bin. Once the bin is full, the material will be placed in the back bin. Half will go in each bin. The worms will be added to the front bin. By fall they will have completed the first pile and will have moved to the second pile. This pile will have the sealed five gallon bucket in the center with the stock heater to eliminate the possibility of freezing. Both parts of the bin will be covered with the plywood. I am using plywood as the research indicates that wood is the material of choice for its breath ability and moisture absorption. The bin used for the winter will have bales placed on top for added frost protection.

Invasive Weed Prevention
Variety Of Food Waste Fed To Worms