“We are a family on a very small budget and cannot afford to purchase the tumblers that separate the castings from the worms and bedding so our question is are there inexpensive ways to make a home made version that can last us through this gardening season?” ~ John C.
You’ll be happy to know that are some instructions online for building your own worm harvester. Like yourself, I want to build my own inexpensive harvester and have been looking for instructions on how to do so. The best description I’ve found for building your own hand-powered harvester is on the ‘Bishop’s Homegrown’ website:
This system basically consists of a plastic trash can (cut in half) with fine mesh chicken wire being used to screen material. This is most likely the approach I will take with my harvester.
If you want a more ‘hands-free’ approach, adding some sort of motor is the way to go. This will make the unit more expensive of course, but it will still be a lot less money than buying a commercial system.
Here is a youtube video featuring a homemade, motor-driven harvester that you might find interesting:
And if you are looking for actual harvester plans, this website has some for sale:
(see bottom of page). I have not purchased these plans myself so I cannot vouch for their quality, but thought they were worth mentioning.
Hope this helps!