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Anyone using the Worm Factory 360? [Nov. 22nd, 2010|11:56 pm]
There's a world beneath your feet.

compost_wackos

[kjc]

Hey folks, long time no talk.

Anyone else out there using the Worm Factory 360? We picked ours up over the summer and I started it in August. It's subsequently been too wet, too dry, too cold, and too warm. It's driving me crazy!

I was using the large Worm-a-way composting bin (20x24x12 inches) from Flowerfield Enterprises (Mary Appelhof’s company), but it was so big & unwieldy. Harvesting the 'cast & changing the bedding were all-day productions.

My basement runs about 50'F all through the fall, winter, & early spring. (In February, it drops to maybe 48, but that's as low as it goes). I used to slip a seedling warming mat under the Worm-a-way sometime in late December or early January & leave it there until March, just to keep it from getting too cold, but for the most part, it created its own little atmosphere of warmth and moisture. In fact, keeping it from being too moist was the only challenge, which mostly required throwing in more shredded paper on a regular basis. Pretty easy.

Then we switched to the Worm Factory 360. It's one of those stackable designs, albeit square. One thing about it is that they've got a "new" venting design (which didn't really matter to me, since I'd never used a stackable before). Unfortunately, the new design means that the fruit flies can get in & out quite easily, so they're breeding like crazy, but more distressing is the fact that it can't hold heat. The worms get cold and they climb down into the bottom portion, which is a small stand upon which the bins rest. They hang out on a plastic ledge so they don't end up in the leachate that collects down there (there's a spigot for draining it). Which means they're slowly starving themselves and my scraps aren't getting eaten.

Due to the fact that the stackable bins rest on this four-legged stand, I can't slip the seedling warming mat under it. So I draped it over the top and draped a towel over that to hold the heat in. And now the bin is dry as a bone. Fewer worms are hiding down in the bottom, but the bedding is not damp enough for them to move around & eat through the food.

I'd bring it up to the kitchen for the winter, but I'm not too fond of the fruit fly swarms. I'm debating going back to my Worm-a-way.

Any thoughts?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: miss_teacher
2010-11-23 09:34 pm (UTC)
Burying the food in the bedding prevents fruit flies. I just restarted my Can O Worms and haven't had any fruit fly problems. When I first tried it many years ago the fruit flies were horrible. But now I just dig a small hole in the bedding and toss i the food and cover it up. When I have more food I dig a hole in a new spot.

So if you can fix the fruit fly problem you might be able to bring the bin inside. You can also try freezing the food first to kill any eggs.

Or just remember to spray the bedding with water daily if you cover it with the heater.
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[User Picture]From: aummaster
2010-11-24 04:33 pm (UTC)
Never used one. Always just had a box in the back yard with food scraps and worms in it.
Never worried about the temp or much else. Just keep putting veggie scraps into it and worms keep eating it.
Sometimes I will put extra water in it if it looks dry.
Not much help, I know sorry.
Did not have to worry much about fruit flies. There are a ton of spiders in the bin so I do not have to worry about them.
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2011-02-08 08:16 am (UTC)
I found this reassuring. I have been thinking about a wormery, but the fly idea put me off - however, we have a huge spider population here, so that's promising. My main problem is space - no basement, smallish kitchen,, and high winds discourage me for an outdoor one -
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