reclaiming a bourbon barrel, or other repurposed wooden bins

smellemaOctober 24, 2013

Hello Vermi Community,

I am interested in starting a bin out of a pre-existing wooden structure. I came across a bourbon barrel and I am thinking I can use a chain saw to halve it at the belly, and have two bins right there (needing lids and some casters or bricks to elevate).

The barrel starts as untreated oak and then has bourbon in it for a decade or so. The bourbon has been out of it for at least a year. Good idea or bad idea? What do you all think?

Any other suggestions for items to reclaim/repurpose? ( I would prefer something natural that I can eventually return to the earth, so not plastic.)

Thanks! -Sam

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you could try those wooden shipping crates or reuse some wood from pallets and create your own.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 6:46PM
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I do not think any residue in the barrel will bother the worms. A well running bin should be able to handle a tiny bit of well ripened fruit and the non worm friendly things it may be fermenting into. Lots of bedding and areas where the worms can escape into are the foundation that will help the bin deal with these types of things. I think you can treat your barrel just like any plastic bin. I would not even rinse it out. I would just enjoy the scent of any residual aroma while enjoying working with the worms.

Bourbon scented vermicompost would be a selling point :-)

My biggest concern would be the chainsaw vs. the barrel safety issues.

You would certainly win the award, if there was one given, by the "Vermi Community" as the most attractive bin.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 8:17PM
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That's a great idea.

Make sure you brace the barrel in the middle or make sure the rings are still on it because they staves(i think they are called) will all let go of each other with the motion/vibration of the chainsaw and the whole barrel will be ruined.

I made one from pallets, it seems to be working great so far not rotting yet, I have had it about 4 months ran one side of it for composting and I just waited to fill the other side with bedding until I was ready to harvest.

I am like you I only want the stuff that the worms will turn back into earth.

Alternatively, if you do end up messing your barrel up when you cut it you can just dig a whole in the ground and use the wood to make a type or worm tower.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 9:33AM
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If you have an in tact bourbon barrel, you can sell it for like 100 bucks. People pay good money for those things.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 10:21AM
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Thanks, All! I will let you know if I am able to start this reclaimed vermicompost bin. I already snagged a table top sitting out for garbage for one lid, and am sure I will come across another potential lid for the other alf hsoon. (By the way, Ian, I love the sound of a "worm tower!")

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 9:00PM
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The diversity and innovative ideas that spring from the minds of worm farmers sometimes remind me of the futility of sharing my experiences doing what we do.

But I'm not complaining because I think what we do we do because we have all that independent thought.... uh...... squirming around in our heads.

But sometimes a lot of the "revolutionary" ideas that spring from our creative minds only wind up confirming what becomes increasingly more evident each time those "wonder if" thoughts cause us to try to make worms more.........perfect.

What we keep learning is that the wormies do really great no matter what environment we put them long as it doesn't include drowning, burning up, nuking, or using as fish bait.

So anyway, anytime I here about revolutionary techniques, or "new" methods, I just say....well, YEAH, I know that will work too. Because worms make it work.

If only we were as adaptable.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 10:11PM
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