Inner-city Exterior Worm Bin
My name is Heather and I live, work, and garden within 10 square blocks in the south bronx. I currently have two worm bins. One in my apartment (for my houseplants and windowboxes) and one on a nearby rooftop (where I grow vegetables in containers- without permission)
I have acquired another site where I plan to plant ornamentals only. It's a local front and backyard that has been unbelievably neglected. The soil is so compacted that I broke a trowel on the first day digging. I have dug up just everything terrible that you can imagine.
The small front yard was so time consuming and it was so expensive to buy soil amendments, that I haven't touched the large back yard yet.
I am going to need a LOT of compost.
I've never had to worry about an exterior bin before. On the roof, it's pretty sheltered and I don't have to worry about roaches, rats, stray cats, or raccoons (seriously, where do they even come from?)
I would also really like to start vermicomposting the kitchen prep waste from the restaurant where I work. I'd start slowly of course, but I'd really like to step up the scale and turnover compared to my other two bins.
My idea so far is to build a 2x4x2 toy-box style wood bin, with two chicken wire compartment screens so I could do a flow-through style harvesting. For my other bins, I pick out all the little worms and eggs by hand. For this I'd really prefer not to do that.
I really like the vertical stacking bins you can buy online, but I feel like I could more easily put a padlock on the toybox. I don't know how tough raccoons are?
The other thing is that I see "SuperReds" for sale online and they are supposedly more temperature tolerant and active than the normal reds I'm used to. New York City snaps hot and cold- are they really worth the extra cost?
Any advice at all is much appreciated.