Update: July 2013

Below is a photo of my new design that I think is easier to build and more efficient than the bucket design that was pictured when I first wrote this post. I will leave this page online because the link has been shared so many times, but I highly encourage everyone to build the new composter. You can find detailed photos and ask questions about the new unit here: LINK It is also available to purchase: LINK

6 gallon BSF Bio-composter 500px

I believe this BSF composter design is as efficient as any other design, or more so, in terms of its drainage, harvest, and larva containment systems, and that it is the easiest to keep balanced (aerobic). It is also the only composter that I know of which is designed to produce a large volume of BSF “tea”, or liquid fertilizer, which is very good for gardeners. I know that doesn’t sound too humble, but I’m being honest. It’s very common for BSF system to become anaerobic (an therefore stinky), and I’ve found this design to be very easy to keep in a balanced state. I’ve also done my best to keep it very affordable to purchase.




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6 thoughts on “BSF bucket composter version 2.1

  • June 30, 2010 at 8:47 am

    I finally reached a point where I had nearly five gallons of food and larve in my bin. The bin had begun to smell and I knew that I couldn’t fit much more in.

    (My BSFLDIYBIN is a five gallon bucket with numers holes randomly drilled in the side, numerous holes drilled in the bottom for liquid drainage, and the lid just sitting on top. I took this and set it in a 20 gallon gardening barrel that had drainage holes on the bottom, and placed a lid on top of this to keep the sun out. All of this sits on top of a 125 gallon garden container to catch the bsfldiybin drainage and is filled with leaf mulch and compost material. My goal is to use the residue for composting as I don’t need the larve to feed anything.)

    Since I really have two bins, the bin for the larve/food waste, and an outside bin to protect the other bin, I just poured the five gallon bucket into the 20 gallon bucket. I don’t worry about them crawling away because I am not gathering the larve to use. I estimate that enough will stay on the food to break it down. The mature larve will be able to crawl away from the food through the drain holes of the 20 gallon bucket in to the compost pile that the entire package is sitting on. Of course, I have a lid on the 20 gallon bucket to prevent sun from coming in, and I have the five gallon bucket lid, sitting on top of the food waste for further shade and for a place for the flies to ovipulate (?), ovipost (?),… lay her eggs.

    With this setup, I hope that I can have more room for food waste, better airflow to the material being broken down, and an easier way for the mature larve to escape.

    • June 30, 2010 at 7:26 pm

      Hi Lee,

      It sounds like you set up is working well. There really is no issue with letting the larvae migrate away from your system, you’ll always have plenty of eggs being laid to replace them. I may not have correctly visualized your set up, but one thing that concerns me is the idea of sunlight directly hitting any part of it. Anyway, you’ll know if it gets too hot inside because there will be a mass exodus. :)

  • July 9, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Hey, Jerry,
    I have two posts on my blog about my BSFL setups. They include pictures that I don’t know how to post in the comment section of your posts. Can you take a look at them and either post them for me or tell me how I can share my ‘inventions’. They are the most current posts that I have, and they are about my BSFL Condo and my BSFL Cannon.

  • July 20, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    I am curious, why no newspaper as bedding in the bsf composter?


    • July 20, 2010 at 10:24 pm

      Hi Kathleen,

      I love your blog, but I noticed that your barn needs painting…. 😉

      Newsprint tends to clump together when wet, I’m pretty sure anyway. I’ve never tried using it, but that’s what I’ve heard. Of course the BSF won’t consume any type of paper and it’s purpose is only to soak up excess liquids. The best situation is to have great drainage, in fact I think it’s the most important factor in keeping a colony balanced. Still, I do like to add wood shavings to my units because I think it buffers moisture and the shape of the shaving (may) result in a better distribution of air through the waste. I think it also may improve the movement of liquids through the waste which would improve drainage.

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