Micro-farm build at Luke’s

Within 24 hours of getting the roof finished and the insulation installed, we got our first snow load test! Luckily, it passed with flying colours!

Luke's Corner- Micro-farm surprise snow test

With the system mostly built, we installed a few fluorescent grow lights to supplement the grey days of winter in Vancouver. Then we started our first crop of arugula.

Luke's Corner- Micro-farm almost done and crops planted

We started with arugula because Luke’s uses it on their delicious heritage burgers and it is also extremely cold-tolerant and we we didn’t have hot compost yet!

Luke's Corner- Micro-farm first crop germinates

Before starting to compost, we installed a biofilter that we designed for odour control. All exhaust that leaves the compost passes through our packed-bed biofilter comprised of finished compost, gravel, wood pellets and a layer of zeolite provided by Effective Environmental Solution Ltd.

Luke's Corner- Micro-farm biofilter for odour control

Once the biofilter and entire ventilation system was built, we started collecting our first organics for composting. To ensure we attained a healthy thermophilic (heat-loving) microbial population, I decided to use three different inoculants: a store-bought compost accelerator, a sample of finished compost that we brought in for our home garden, and a sample from the soil delivered by GardenPod that arrived steaming. Combined with the food waste and paper towels that Luke’s diverted from their waste, our reactor heated up extremely fast, reaching  65° C after about 36 hours.

Luke's Corner- Micro-farm HOT compost!

After the first week of composting, we ordered some red worms to populate the second stage of our HNR bioreactor.  They needed to eat so we started moving material from the first stage to the worms bins. We got our worms from Earthworks Composting Supplies, they ship quickly and in breathable bags so the worms are lively when they arrive.

Luke's Corner- Micro-farm worms arrive!