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on January 28, 2010
(As the process continues, the review will update.)

Hi, I'm Michelle, and I have worms.

A few weeks ago I made the decision to give vermicomposting a try. I live in an area that supports recycling, but we still have to take the items there. The rest of the trash costs us per weight, and ends up decomposing in a way that is not healthy. Why not reduce the trips to recycling, the money spent having someone else take away the rest of it, and end up with healthy compost for our plants? Hey, when it's January and you live in one of the coldest states, you start thinking about gardening so that you don't go all Jack Torrance.

I read a lot on the topic, including a lot of advice on making my own bin. However, DIY bins almost always involved work in getting your slimy friends to go to The Other Side of The Bin. I decided to make the investment and buy a stackable unit, because they're made and used in a way that the worms migrate up and leave the finished compost behind. I thought it was well-worth the money now for the convenience and the anticipated money saved.

Set up of this unit was very easy, and I choose to follow the advice of many to set it up a week or two before the worms arrived in order to introduce them in when the environment was ideal for them. Worms, come to find out, don't care about your rotting food and yesterday's paper so much as they care about the microbes that care about these things, and so setting it up allows those microbes to show-up and chow down. The kit gave everything I needed, including shredded paper, with the exception of table scraps and the recommended dirt to introduce grit and microorganisms. Dirt is not readily accessible in Minnesota in January, but I managed a couple tablespoons of mud. (Besides, when the worms showed up, they brought some dirt with them and I had some, er, well-aged scraps.)

Yesterday -1/27/10- the worms arrived and I introduced them to the bin. While they were well-packaged, shipped next day air, and held at the post office, they'd still been through a lot, and were initially sluggish (is calling a worm sluggish a mixed metaphor or just possibly defamatory?) but after a couple hours much more active. They're mostly the surface and do seem to be attracted to the areas with the scraps.

While it's early, and I intend to update this as the process continues, I'm quite happy with the bin and the very detailed instructions or setting up the bedding, etc. It's also very simple looking and attractive enough that, had I not a basement, it would be acceptable upstairs. A nice feature, and you can see it in the picture, is that the lid has quick guide to what scraps are best and offers some great tips.

I'm new at this, but I'll happily answer any questions I can in the comments about my personal experience or understanding of things. If you email me, I also might post that to comments -- referring to you as Ann on a Mouse, if you're shy. YouTube has lots of videos, but you will feel weird confessing to people that you've spent hours watching people fiddling with worms. (Trust me, I've been there.)
Going well. Learning to not over -- overfeed, overworry, over-nose-around. The worms are still adjusting, but the environment seems to be working, and they're going at the scraps. Because I cook most nights, and make lots of veggies, I think it'll be a while before they'll be able to handle what I could give them, so I'm holding back.! There has been a day or two where I've not added to it, and let them catch up. Been grinding the scraps up in a chopper -- anything to start them out right. Also, upping the amount of fiber -- newspaper, mostly. Only 1 has tried to go "over the wall."

I continue to read up on the topic and my friends are either genuinely interested or humoring me until someone can show up with my injection.
Hubert Hawkins: The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon; the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.
Griselda: Just remember that.
The Court Jester

A mortar and pestle is a great way to ground up dried egg shells. The worms use them for grit, which aids in digestion, it's a source of calcium which could help with reproduction -- or not -- and it prevents the soil from being too acidic. This is the one I have: Harold's Kitchen 3-1/2 Inch Round Mortar and Pestle, but I picked it more for looks than practicality. If you've saved up a number of shells, I've read you can use something like a plastic bucket, or dishpan, and a mason jar. A lot of folks just crumble by hand or toss the shells in whole.
Happy Valentine's Day, and what's more romantic than a bin of worms?

Things are going fine. I've found a warmer spot in my basement, and now the bin is at about 65F, which is the best I can hope for this time of year unless I want to move the gang to the guest room. I've also ordered more worms. We're just creating too much waste right now and could use the help ... and I'm impatient. We have a freezer in the basement and I have a good size Tupperware container to freeze excess, but there's only so much room.

As kitchen scraps accumulate I use Norpro Ceramic Compost Keeper (in red.) It works well, and has a filter to stop your kitchen from smelling. The handle is shoddy though, and it arrived chipped -- I'll be honest and say I should have gotten a metal one. Whether you chose ceramic or metal, there are attractive designs out there though, that'll look okay on your counter. Compost keepers also allow scraps to age for a few days, which means they attract attention faster in the bin. Freezing scraps, or microwaving them, also breaks them down and has a similar effect, with the added consideration of killing off fruit fly eggs or mites that might have hitchhiked from the grocery store. Most mites are actually beneficial, but I think most folks are more comfortable not having stow-aways. One last note on the counter compost keeper: mix it up a little and be aware of how old the oldest scraps are so that you don't end up with a stinky mess at the bottom. After a week or so, maybe less, it's time to freeze or make sure the oldest stuff is what's for dinner in the bin!
I should mention that the Worm Factory comes with a lot of stuff. There's coconut coir for the base bedding, and a lot of people swear by it and continue to use it. It's sent as a brick and you soak it in water until it's hydrated and smells like earth and clean soil. There's shredded newspaper, also for bedding, and other related materials. (Paper and cardboard serve as food & bedding, and the addition of them throughout the process keeps smells down, helps if you end up with extra moisture, and it vital to the process.)There's also a hand rake and a scraper. I've never used the scraper. There's also a thermometer which my husband wrote WORMS across so that there are no mix-up with the one in the kitchen -- I supported him in this. There's also a detailed instruction manual, which helped put me at ease. (This is what I received and what they offer currently -- I'd look at the product description to verify this is still accurate when you order.)

The WF (Worm Factory) is designed with a spigot to drain out extra liquids that might fall into the collection tray -- which is different from your working tray with the bedding, worms, and scraps. How moist a bin should be is the matter of some debate and nothing I feel experienced enough to speak to. There are also many discussions on what to do with this liquid -- which is called leachate, but some people call it worm tea. Most experts call worm tea something else -- a deliberate effort to create a mixture to pour on plants which I'm too early in the process to have done. I will say that my bin is moist, but not so moist that there has been drainage. I've rescued the odd worm from the collection bin, but not more than a drop or two of liquid. Since bins evolve, this might change. The design is also made for worms who fall down there to be able to crawl back up.

I'm adding updates enough to see this will get unwieldy before too long, so I'll announce them here, but place them in comments. :)
Latest update, 10/26/10, see first page of comments.
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on August 4, 2011
I'm a huge fan of the Worm Factory products. I own three bins, one is the original and two are the 360. While the 360 has a few silly whistles & bells that the original didn't include (instructional DVD, a plastic rake my 3-year-old loves, a black thing called a "sprinkler" that I haven't figured out yet) it is worth the small additional investment for a few reasons:

1. Higher capacity. The 360 maxes out at eight trays because of its sturdier base. If you plan to grow your colony this is important.

2. Better lid. The lid on the 360 fits more securely and can hold trays while you are harvesting. Great feature.

3. Thermometer. I bought a meat thermometer for use with my original Worm Factory, then found the 360 comes with one. Very handy when one of your trays is overheating.

4. Pumice. They send you a generous quantity of pumice with the 360. This is great to sprinkle in the trays for moisture control and airflow.

5. Better designed spigot. The spigot on the original isn't slanted down like this one, so it's tough to drain the leachate completely from the collection tray.

6. Increased oxygen flow. The bottom tray sits up on risers to allow airflow in the leachate bin. This is a huge improvement over the original, where I had major issues with product quality once I reached maximum tray capacity.

This is a super accessible product and you will not be disappointed.
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on September 24, 2010
I did a lot of research and I've been very pleased with my decision to buy the Worm Factory 360. I started with 2 lbs of worms (versus one) because I knew that we would have enough kitchen scraps for the additional worms. The only surprise that I've had was when I put in a bunch of cantaloupe scraps (seed pulp and chopped up rinds) and opened the bin a week later to find tons of sprouts growing in the worm castings! I guess it goes to show how great a fertilizer the castings are...too bad it isn't time to plant cantaloupes!

I go ahead and chop up the worm food scraps while I'm preparing our food and put it in a plastic container inside the fridge. For example, it doesn't take much extra time to cut up the cucumber and avocado peels (I prefer to use kitchen shears) while making a salad. I also feel better recycling vegetables and fruit that I let spoil instead of just throwing them out (makes me feel less guilty about wasting food and money). I was able to finish my first full bin in a little over a month. I've avoided any bad smells by putting down a layer of wet shredded newspaper, a thick layer of food scraps, and then covering all of the food thoroughly with more wet shredded newspaper (use your document shredder, it's very fast that way!). I now cover 1/4 of the bin at each feeding, about once a week.

As to the construction, the Worm Factory is well made and seems to be made of durable plastic. The design is easy to use and I like how you can rest a bin on the inverted lid so that you don't squish any of the worms hanging from the bottom.

Update 6 months later: All four trays are full and I may consider purchasing more trays (I think you can stack up to 8) because the trays on the bottom are about 95% composted but there are still worms remaining that you have to sort through in order to harvest the castings. The 5% is made up of avocado peels and thicker pieces of grass (the kind that looks more like hay than soft blades) so I won't be adding those to future trays. I don't know if the worms would migrate upward once all of the food is eaten. I now cover 1/2 of the bin at each feeding because I found it tedious to continually go back and feed. I have not had any problems with odor or fruit flies with the addition of this extra food. I have had a problem with excessive moisture in the bottom bins. I think that once you have all four bins full, the moisture that comes out of a lot of the fruits and vegetables (watermelon, cucumbers, lettuce, etc.) drips down with gravity and makes the castings very wet. Not a huge problem, but it makes the castings messier to harvest. The first batch was pretty easy because it was like very fine loose soil but this last batch was more wet clumps of soil. The houseplants are all doing well, but I'm waiting for spring to see if the worm castings will make a difference in the tomato plants. I plan to mix some compost into one pot and feed it with worm tea, and use regular soil and Miracle Grow with the other.
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on January 1, 2013
I have been vermicomposting for over 15 years now with a 5 tray original worm factory and about 2 years with an 8 tray WF360 ($50 on craigslist like new but missing the coir and half of the pumice, then added 4 trays) and a Bio-Orb Composter (used for worms). I originally wanted the can-o-worms composter but the sales guy talked me into a 5 tray worm factory over a 3 tray can-o-worms. The advantage the original has over the can-o-worms is the footprint that it takes up is less. I think I would buy the can-o-worms over the original worm factory mainly because of the base and the lid. After 15 years I could say that durability is not a problem. The Worm Factory 360 is a small and big improvement over the original. First the original and the WF360 are almost the same thing. The small difference is in the base, worm ladder, the lid, DVD, pumice and the included tools. The big difference is the increase airflow. While this might not seem like a big improvement it does make a much better environment for the worms. This also discourages the growth of any composting mites that seem to like a more wet and acidic environment. I can't say enough about the included tools too. I use the plastic claw rake to spread the food out to the side of the trays (because you will find that you don't really want to touch garbage). The squeegee is handy for cleaning debris out of the drip tray and worm ladder and trays. The thermometer looks like a custom quality unit and is good if you are using materials that could possibly heat up. I never used the pumice before or read anyone recommended it so I think it is really unnecessary. 4 trays are a good amount, 6 trays would be good if you have a big worm population, 8 trays maybe a little over kill unless you got hooked on this. I would now say that I would only buy the WF360 over the original now.

One question people have is "how many worms should I start out with?" I would say that one pound makes the most sense for a beginner. A half pound is not quite enough. The population can double in about 90 days but conditions have to be right and you need to give them lots of bedding and room to expand. I only ever bought one pound of worm's total in 15 years. Try to make sure you buy 1 pound of worms and not 1 pound of combined worms and bedding. There is a YouTube video that shows you what a ¼, ½ and pound of worms looks like. My pound (good price from somewhere in CT.) of worms looked like a ½ pound from this video. They will lose a little water weight in shipping though.

One lie that worm bin manufactures continue to perpetuate is that worm tea drips out of the bottom. This liquid should be called leachate. This is not produced in the same manner that high quality worm tea is made. This leachate could vary much depending on the conditions of the bin but it is mainly advised to dilute it and use it on the lawn or garden and not house plants.

I read a 2 star review called "buy to use as hobby, not save the environment or produce worm castings". I think this person is partly right. First it took me a long time before I figured out how to manage the bins to keep up with a family of four. I was content to use the extra scrapes to add to a normal compost pile. The worms should be able to eat half their weight a day. The problem is that you should put twice the amount of bedding in as you do food scraps. The worms actually don't eat the food directly. They eat the bacteria that eat the food. I am always surprised how good smelling the bin is even though I know I put in some stinky stuff at times.
Beginners tend to make the mistake of over feeding the bin no matter how much advice they get. It is much harder to kill your worms by not feeding them as to overfeeding them. An unfed bin could probably survive 3 months with bedding and no food but could be killed in about 3 days by overfeeding. Bedding is your friend in vermicomposting and you can not make a mistake by adding too much bedding. I would advise someone to start it with the hobby idea first but know that you can get it to consume most of your wastes. I think a better rule would be a pound of worms per person of food waste. Most books use the ½ pound of waste per pound of worms idea but it really depends at what rate the worms are consuming stuff.

I have changed my habits a bit over the years. I would have to thank a guy at for this. He opened my eyes to some things that I was doing wrong for years. This is a great site to get the "worm fever". There is something that is a little addicting and neat about vermicomposting.

I now do not use any paper or cardboard on the bottom of the bottom tray or on top of the top tray. My thought is this would affect the thermo-siphon design and decrease air flow that is so important. I do not freeze and thaw or chop anything (why do extra work?). I collect waste in 4 lb plastic coffee cans (this turns out to be about 5 lbs of food waste per system every other week which looks like a lot). When full I dump the entire contents into a new tray and push it to the sides (so as not to create themoliphic compost). I then put compost that is screened to ½ inch in the middle to create a chimney effect. This also creates an escape path for the worms in case some thing bad happens with the food waste. I then cover the entire tray with light bedding material like cardboard. I sprinkle the top with an ounce of play sand for grit and some egg shells crushed in a old coffee grinder and add an ounce of home made worm food sprinkled lightly on top( 2 parts oatmeal and 1 part cornmeal ran through the old coffee grinder). The home made worm food is not necessary but it shows me when I can feed the bin again. I don't do any digging or burying any new material in this tray. When I have enough for another tray I might add a little more compost if the tray contents settle a little. With this method I can easily use all 8 trays of the WF360. I would not try this as a beginner because I am sure that I have 5 pounds of worms in there and I alternate between the 2 systems. I recently found out that the worms went crazy over finely shredded fall leaves (these do have the potential for heating so I only cover the tray with no more than an inch. It also seems that if you use compost it has more food value if it is composted less. I would also not use compost on top of paper/cardboard because the worms would go more for the compost and leave some un-composted cardboard behind. The large worm population came more from harvesting the worms from the very large Bio-orb to over winter them. It seems the worms like more space to breed.

My food wastes tend to mainly include coffee grounds, banana, kiwi and cucumber peels, apple cores, melon and watermelon rinds. I have put some crazy stuff through this like some pumpkins some sickening sweet cupcakes, popcorn and moldy bread. I would advise to sticking with the recommended items before experimenting with other things.

I used to use only shredded newspaper as bedding. This sometimes produced castings that where a little soupy. They were fine when allowed to cure and dry a bit. I have not used the coir since new because you have to buy it and I really was not impressed with the resulting material so much. I like compost and shredded cardboard as bedding mainly because the end product is a lot lighter. I am still using a little shredded paper.

I never get any fruit fly's that would bother the wife (this comes from not using enough bedding on top of the food waste). I do not use potatoes because they start growing even from peels and tomatoes seeds will also grow. I noticed if you get too many worms in the worm factory they stop migrating upward and spread out for more space. For this I just use the light harvesting method by putting the bottom tray on top and force them back down into the working trays with a light while scraping thin layers off with the squeegee.

One sign that something you did is going bad is if you see a bunch of worms in a tight ball like spaghetti (bubbling earth is OK). This is not them fighting for something tasty to eat. This is a survival maneuver that may have a benefit of producing some more cocoons but should be avoided. If you put a tray of compost on top you will find that a lot of them will use it to escape to. This reaction could occur from temperature, moisture, aeration or food gassing off or building heat.

I am a little surprised that more than half of the vermicomposters and the most famous one (from worms eat my garbage) are woman. This does not include my wife though. She says she thinks they are into it for the gardening end product. This might be a good gift for a gardening person. I now think the Worm Factory 360 beats the Can-o-worms which also seems to be an excellent system.
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on December 28, 2009
It's been about a month and my worms seem happy and contented in their bedding. I started with one tray, then gradually added 2 more. They are moving up and down the trays, getting into the food scraps at each level. I shred old newspapers, dip them in rainwater, squeeze out to "damp-sponge wetness", then spread it around the tray. A good percentage of the worms like to hang out in the newsprint and eat that.

The kit comes with everything you need except the worms. It's very easy to set up with the included instruction manual. The included hand rake is handy to mix vegetable and fruit scraps in with the moist paper. Kit also includes a coir brick (which you moisten and spread for their initial bedding), scraper, and thermometer. It's been unseasonably cold in Louisiana, so, like a new parent, I covered the kit with a blanket to insulate the worms. The box has since been moved from porch to patio where it catches the morning sun. The worms seem to be fine with the temp. extremes, as long as they don't get too extreme either way.

I ordered 2 lbs. of worms from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm and there seemed to be more than enough for the Worm Factory, so after a couple of weeks I transferred a handful of worms to my original compost bin,a converted plastic garbage can with holes drilled in the sides. Since we create a good qty. of daily kitchen waste, I put the excess into my original compost bin. The worms are doing their job there, too.

As recommended, don't feed them meat scraps, or dairy...spoils and sours the pile. Citrus peel is also a no no, too acid and too slow to break down. I also crush washed egg shells in with the food, which gives their gizzards the grit they need to digest food. The egg shells also add alkaline calcium which helps to balance the ph level.

Unit also generates compost tea, which is the result of moisture leaching through the worm bedding and castings. It is loaded with plant nutrients and beneficial bacteria for your growing plants! Mix it in your watering can and the life cycle continues!

This is a good product! It will provide you an easy way to go green (even if you live in an apartment), reduce your waste going to landfills, and provide nutrients for your garden. To boot, when you decide to go fishing, you're all set.
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on December 10, 2014
Update: 5/23/15
I have had this thing for 6 months now. I purchased 500 worms right after receiving. Half the worms died within a couple of days. Thinking the cold weather and slightly delayed shipping killed them. Uncle Jim stated his company guaranteed quick shipment and live. When I contacted they just blew me off with excuses.
The remaining worms slowly multiplied. I should have purchased local and started with 1000 worms.
I have been feeding regularly with slightly aged veggie scraps and some newspaper. I added my second bin 2 months ago. I still have worms in the bottom bin seemingly cleaning up every last morsel of "food".
As for smell? Nothing noticeable unless I removed the lid and take a big breath. Slight issue with some type of tiny fruit like flies. A yellow sticky trap nearby keeps them in check. Only a couple worms seemed to venture out in 6 months. They don't make it very far.
So all things considered, this was a good purchase as I now have viable castings and a fully populated worm colony just as happy as worms can be!

Arrived 3 days ago. Wigglers arrived today.
Took 5 minutes to unpack and assemble. I see the same composter all over the web for the same price. So this is one of those products where the patent owner sets the price for all resellers.
What do I think? It seems fairly sturdy. Not super sturdy. Not flimsy. Is it worth the price? Maybe. But I take into consideration that a lot of work went into designing and finding a manufacturer. Then the manufacturer had to make an investment in forms and taking the chance the inventor would sell enough of these to make it worth the investment. This is version 2, so a lot more work.
And it's made in the USA. Thats a big plus with me.
I will say the pic is a tad misleading. I didn't expect the front to be open. That's obviously to show how it works. But, showing the bins stacked evenly is not reality. They stack together much more closely. So it's not as high as it looks. Make sense?
Each bin actually fits in much tighter and will sink in as far as the tabs allow or to the height of the bedding in the lower bin. So what.
The pic is simply marketing. Like the whopper on the commercials showing a very high burger with sheets of lettuce when you know you are getting a flat burger with shredded lettuce and limp pickles.
But why did I buy it? Cuz buying bags of worm poop aint cheap. $22 for 15 lbs. Ok, no shipping through amazon if you buy a couple bags, but it's still expensive. And a little bit of the dry bagged stuff does not go a long way as stated. But use enough and man does it work! I'm growing veggies in my tent with T5 lighting this winter. See pics.
I start everything in 16 oz solo cups. I use a mix of roughly 50/50 coir and castings. I add Azomite, perlite, vermeculate, a bit of organic triple 16 and a few other goodies. The tomato plants are 7 weeks old! Look at the fat stems. I have been hand pollinating the toms and peppers. I see tiny fruits starting to form! So I figure it's worth my time and cash to make my own castings.
Additionally, watching youtube vids of people making worm farms from HD plastic totes and the mess they make does not appeal to me.

Updates to follow...
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VINE VOICEon January 16, 2012
Worm Factory 360 WF360B Worm Composter, Black

I bought Worm Factory 360 WF360B Worm Composter, Black about a year ago for recycling the enormous amount of fresh vegetable leftovers and trimmings I was throwing out every day.

Did a lot of research, via the Internet, and learned all I could about Worm Composting. Then, I went shopping... :)

I am so glad I chose the Worm Factory 360 WF360B Worm Composter! It was a bit daunting looking at all the worm composters that Amazon had for sale. So many to choose from! The Worm Factory 360 WF360B Worm Composter looked to be about the best composter for My money, especially with all goodies that came with it to get a beginner, like Me, started. and, I really liked the compact style, and the fact that I could easily move it from one place to another, if I so desired.

** The Worm Factory 360 has a standard 4-Tray size which is expandable up to 8 trays, giving it the largest volume of any home composter. The trays are very sturdy, easy to stack and clean. I am only using 4 trays. I keep my composter in the house, and have never had any problems with the trays over heating, caving in, or leaking. After a year of use, the whole unit still looks brand new.

** The redesigned lid converts to a handy stand for trays while harvesting the compost. This "is" a really great feature, as it allows one to place a filled tray (or trays) in the inverted lid and move them without getting worm compost/drippings all over the place. The trays fit nicely in the inverted tray, and don't slide around while being carried.

** Included instructional DVD with step-by-step guide for managing your Worm Factory 360. This is very helpful, especially for a beginner. I had no problems running the DVD, or comprehending instructions. Even picked up a few great tips!

** The accessory kit provides basic tools to make managing the Worm Factory 360 easier. Came with everything I needed to make My very first time at worm composting an enjoyable experience. I've yet to use the thermometer, though, as my composter is in the house with very controlled temperatures.

** Built in "worm tea" collector tray and spigot for easy draining. This is the best feature, imo! One can leave the spigot open for air circulation. The collection tray is large and even has a built in strainer. Or, one can just turn the spigot off.

** The Worm Factory 360 has a worm ladder that allows any worms that go exploring and drop down into the bottom holder to be able to climb back up into the bottom tray. Ahhhh! Another nice feature!

I bought about 300 red wiggler worms (3 containers) from a local Marina, and since then they have multiplied several times, are very healthy and ravenous. My worms basically live on uncooked vegetable trimmings and scraps, lots of cardboard, recycled paper egg cartons, clean paper, and crushed eggshells (their most favorite). Picked up an inexpensive little BIA Cordon Bleu 8-Ounce Mortar and Pestle Set, White just for crushing egg shells for the little ones. :)

I don't put fruit, or fruit peels, into the composter simply because it is inside and I don't want to attract a lot of fruit flies.

I keep a clean spray bottle, filled with tap water, beside the composter because these littles ones like to be misted every now and again -- and I think it helps to soften the food so they can eat it faster and make lots of compost and "worm tea".

on an End Note: My Worm Factory 360 WF360B Worm Composter now churns out a full tray of worm castings a month...(that is a lot of natural fertilizer made from stuff I would normally throw out in the trash!). Gallons of "worm tea" a month, that I use on my house plants and outdoor roses -- they have really perked up. The composter does not have a smell, and my Red Wiggler Worms are very happy. 'nuf said!

thinking about buying an additional Worm Factory 360 WF360B Worm Composter! Highly Recommended! --Katharena Eiermann, 2012
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on December 29, 2009
I was nervous about composting with worms, but have been amazed at how little time it takes. I've had the Worm Factory 360 for about 3 months now and haven't had any problem with bad smells. I have it on my very small screened in porch (lanai as we call it in Florida) and no one even notices it. I started with 1 lb of worms but might recommend 2 lbs if you have lots of food waste. I suppose I have an average amount for a two-person household and after three months, there are almost enough worms to keep up with our waste. I generally feed the worms once or twice a week and sometimes turn on the hose nozzle to the Mist setting to add moisture. I would guess that I spend 10 - 15 minutes per week. Of course the initial set-up took a bit longer and harvesting the castings from the bottom tray will also take a little more time.
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on April 10, 2012
This is my first experience with vermicomposting. After researching it and various products, I decided to try the Worm Factory 360 because I felt the design looked practical and easy to use. I have had it about a month now, and it is working as promised! I started with one pound of red wiggler worms (purchased separately) and they are still working on the first tray, but I think it is about half composted and will add a second tray in the next few weeks. The set-up was simple, almost nothing to it. I assembled my worm bedding and wet it down a few days before the worms arrived, so it was all ready for them. Not a single worm has migrated or tried to escape! After reading one of the most common mistakes was to overfeed the worms, I have been careful not to do this, and only feed them a couple of handfuls of veggie/fruit scraps every 2 or 3 days. This is my only complaint so far--the worms are not keeping up with our volume of kitchen scraps (there are just 2 of us) yet, but I am hoping after they multiple and grow in volume I will be able to step up the feedings. No odors, you would never know it is in the house. I keep it in the utility room just because there is no convenient spot in my kitchen, but wouldn't hesitate to put it in the kitchen if you have room for it. I have showed it to lots of friends and been posting progress photos on my facebook page and have gotten lots of fun from it. One of my adult daughters said she is never coming home again, and this may be an added benefit I hadn't planned on. ;0) I am anxiously awaiting my first tray of compost for the flower bed and garden. It is slower than I expected, but don't know any way to speed it up other than to get more worms. One pound of worms (about 500) is just a small fraction of what the Worm Factory 360 can hold (booklet says 12,000 worms), so do not anticipate outgrowing the system for a year or more. I keep the drain spigot open, but guess my bedding is not that wet, as I haven't had one drop of worm tea drain out yet. The bottom foundation just has a few fine grains of castings that has sifted down from the tray, and an occasional worm gets down there but climbs right back up. Highly recommend it not only for the 'green' aspects, but the fun and novelity of it as well!!! NOTE: See my comment below for an update in August 2012, 4 months after using the Worm Factory. Also see comment string below about the type of worm bedding I use and worm food feeding tips!
77 comments|33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 16, 2010
The produce arrived well as described. I ended up losing my first batch of worms that I ordered off of Amazon. I believe the instructions went a little overboard as to how to set up the bedding turning a simple process into a complex, possibly unnecessary worm smorgasbord. Ordered a second pound of worms from thewormdude and with his recommendation, only used newspaper that had been soaked overnight and shredded and filled the bin. I dumped the full contents that arrived with the worms I ordered and they have been happy ever since. I feed them in the same location once their previous food I left for them is gone. Apples, strawberry tops, old grapes, etc. They are doing really well and I am already seeing newborn worms. I will update once I add the second tray. This is turning out to be a great science project for my son!

As a side note, I highly recommend thewormdude. He took a half hour on the phone with me to discuss in detail how to setup the bin and work with the worms. The worms he sent were in great condition and for the most part, large mature worms.
11 comment|59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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