I never thought I’d keep worms in my basement. If I met anyone who had a pet snake or ferret, I’d think they were a weirdo and stay well away. But somehow keeping little wriggly worms that I feed old food scraps so I can collect their poop, is completely acceptable for me. I’m just really thankful that a company makes this strange hobby a little easier and that’s where Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin comes in.
Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin Introduction
Like I said, I’m not sure anyone plans on becoming a worm farmer. It’s something that after a few years of vegetable gardening and reading about soil health or “tilth,” I felt like I should try it out. I already let food and foliage rot in my backyard in a half hearted attempt ay compost, why not put a tub of worms together to consume food waste and turn it into black gold. I’d read a lot about the ease of feeding and keeping worms so how hard could it be? It took me a while to realize that it’s initially harder than you’d think. When the worms arrive in a semi frozen state they load in very easily to one tray with all the required soil, mineral rock dust and coconut coir to get yourself started. The initial setup is super easy and it all started to look like a great beginning, what could go wrong? I fed them every now and then, they gave off a load of “juice” that i poured into my soil once every few weeks. However it turns out it’s not that easy, worms don’t like being ignored, food doesn’t do well if its not buried and 1000 worms don’t do well in just one small tray.
Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin Features
“Worm Tea” Collector Tray and Spigot
You need to keep your trays fairly moist, adding food fairly regularly should keep everything pretty damp, but you can also add water from time to time. Either way there is a constant flow of “worm tea” that drains out. Thankfully there’s a collection tray and release tap for you to collect the pee and pour it onto your soil. This is presumable good for the soil microbiology, a topic I have read a little about but still don’t really understand. I’ve brewed compost tea before and this stuff is pretty similar looking and smelling
They start you off saying just fill one tray with shredded paper, some food waste, soil and your newly bought red wriggler worms. I would recommend starting with at least 2 trays so that your 500-1000 worms have plenty of room to spread out. You can buy additional trays for a total of 8 trays at a time, but I’ve stuck with the 4 tray setup as it’s already quite a lot to manage.
Using the Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin
Vermicomposting isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean everyone is right. Keeping a small plastic bin full of creatures that you feed because you want to harvest their poop is a little weird. It could be argued that throwing away tons of food a year to collect in landfills and pollute the environment is weird too. I have found it pretty hard to get the balance right in the Worm Factory 360. I don’t always feed the worms every day, or every week even. Sometimes they just get ignored for a while, and that seems to be the wrong thing to do. I have a bit of a fruit fly problem from time to time, and have a healthy population of “springtails” that seem to coexist relatively harmlessly. It all makes for a pretty gross looking ecosystem that my wife and mother won’t go near so I’ve hidden the bin in my garage. If it had to live in the kitchen I don’t think anyone in my family would allow vermicomposting, so people in smaller spaces either need very forgiving partners or have to really keep the whole thing clean and working properly. There’s not really an insect concern, theres more clean up of soil, shredded paper and worm castings that tend to fall out when you’re opening the top tray or loading food or shredded paper in. The ‘farm’ can’t really live outside in NY because of the long winters and sudden temperature drops that could easily kill the whole operation.
Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin Pros
- Environmental benefits of composting food waste
- Garden benefits of using vermicompost
- Compact system for keeping worms
- Relatively inexpensive compared to other composting systems
Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin Cons
- Fairly messy and gross
- Relatively high level of maintenance to keep everything working
- Not a huge output of compost
Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin Conclusion
Keeping worms that live on food waste is a fairly disgusting undertaking, but with the well organized and designed help from the Worm Factor 360 Worm Composting Bin you’ll be loved a little more but the people you share your space with. Vermiculture isn’t the easiest way to make compost, but it is definitely on of the most fascinating.