As longtime readers of this blog and my family members know*, I enjoy getting exceptionally dorky garden-related gifts. So, for my birthday this year, my parents got me a Worm Factory worm bin and 1,000 Red Wigglers. I was thrilled!
Both items arrived on the same evening, and my son and I had a great time prepping the bin for our new worm friends. It was a slightly more elaborate process than I expected, but, luckily, we had some dry leaves and composted dirt close at hand to add to the coconut coir and shredded newspaper that came with the bin.
I got a 3-tier bin, and so far we're still on Bin #1. The worms seem happy, and I've been casually giving them small handfuls chopped vegetable trimmings, coffee grounds and dry leaves for the last couple of weeks. It's hard to tell how well things are functioning, but the worms are active and growing bigger, so that seems like a good sign.
One nice thing about the Worm Factory is that is has all the important info printed on the lid. I think I'm doing a decent job with temperature and moisture control, but, since I'm a newbie, it's tough to be sure. I plan to shred up some junk mail today to add to the bin for the "fiber" part of the process. I also occasionally have little spouts growing out of the compost. I'm unsure if that's just an expected occurrence from adding plant matter to moist soil, or if it's an indicator or too much or too little moisture. Does anyone know?
My son is very interested in the whole worm composting process, which is an added bonus. He likes to show his friends the bin and tell them the worms are "making compost." And he's very excited to add the worm castings to our plants when the time comes. I'm happy to be able to share all my nerdy gardening interests with him. By the time he's old enough to have his own garden, he'll should be a total expert.
* These groups have significant overlap.