Continuous Flow Through (CFT) Worm Farm
Vermicomposting, or worm farming, is one of the best ways to recycle excess nutrients. Be that nutrients from your kitchen, from the garden, or even from your neighbours. Of course there are multiple ways you can keep worms from simple containers (old bathtubs are often used) through to elaborate mechanical worm farms with stainless steel breaker bars, electric winches, and a large price-tag.
In this post we will review what Continuous Flow Through (CFT) vermicomposting is; and in the next article we will make our own (inexpensive) CFT system from a 240L Rubbish Bin.
What is Continuous Flow Through (CFT)?
Continuous Flow Through (from here on CFT) is a vermicomposting technique where you maintain a 'head' of vermicast in a container; feeding from the top and harvesting from the bottom. You do this by installing some bars or mesh at the bottom of the container, which contains the castings, and then periodically scraping the bottom to 'harvest'. It's a rather elegant approach.
What are the benefits of CFT?
There are numerous benefits of CFT vermicomposting/worm farming. For example;
- Minimal Worm Disturbance - since we are harvesting from the base of the bin, and compost worms tend to live towards the top, we disturb our workers and their homes very, very little.
- Minimal Castings Separation - when using traditional farms there are usually quite a few worms still in the castings which will require us to make efforts to separate. CFT on the other hand pretty much does away with this effort.
- Super Efficient - CFT bins are able to support an astounding number of worms and are therefore able to cope with a prodigious amount of food.
- Sexy - OK... this might be in the eye of the beholder; but CFT systems are kind of like modern architecture for worms.
What are the Downsides of CFT?
There are some downsides to CFT such as;
- Complicated Build - No doubt about it... CFT systems require a little more thought and effort to build than simple container systems.
- More Complex Operation - Once you get the hang of running a CFT they are pretty easy; but there is more to learn initially than a more simple model.
Should I Build a CFT System?
Cutting straight to the point... YES! CFT systems, whilst they have a bit of a learning curve, are arguably the single best system for a household vermicomposting operation. Once you have built the unit (see upcoming article), and learnt the basics of operation, you will have a high performance vermicomposter that runs almost without effort... awesome!
Learning to use a CFT is easy too... just follow our simple guide below.Click Here to Download a PDF of the Infographic