I am interested in vermiculture (raising worms) on a level that would be a source of actual feed for my chickens, hopefully through the winter.

I am interested in thermophilic composting on a scale that would provide at least part of the heat for a greenhouse through the winter.

I have realized that, with just these two goals/plans, I have one significant problem – we don’t make enough garbage.

I’m going to have to start collecting organic waste from outside sources to “fuel” this compost plan.



Much of our composting is now being done right in the garden with our lasagna methods. The biggest issue we’re facing right now is lack of “raw materials”

I plan to rent or borrow a chipper/shredder this year and shred the Pampas grass instead of burning it. We have a fairly steady source of horse manure, and I now have a source of fine wood chips that works for animal bedding. What we don’t have yet is a good supply of coarse wood chips for the bottom layer of our garden plots. We got several truckloads this year from a neighbor and it still wasn’t enough to quite finish the first garden.


Vermiculture is another composting technique – using worms instead of (or in addition to) bacteria and heat. We’ll be working with this, I hope in the coming year here at Big Oak Ridge.

Human Waste Management

As we all know handling our own waste is one of the major challenges that faces us, especially if we want to move forward with the idea of housing more people on our land.

The Humanure Handbook is the best answer I’ve come up with so far.

We need to see how that pans out. This summer we are planning on building a “test” compost toilet.