A couple of weeks ago we purchased a worm factory from Amazon, and have started vermiculture composting. We bought about 4 lbs of worms and a 5 tray worm factory.
So the way this works is quite simple, you place your dirt mixed with newspaper, and manure in the bottom most tray, and then release the worms. The next tray up is where you begin to add your food scraps and more shredded paper. The concept is that as the worms deplete one tray of food they will move up into the next tray. As a tray becomes full you add another tray and begin adding more food scraps into that one. You need to remember to turn the material in each tray a couple of times a week, so it doesn’t go anaerobic.
After several weeks the worms will have moved completely up from the bottom most tray so you can pull that tray and use the spent material, worm castings, newly created compost in your garden. There are a few concerns with this system, but it does work pretty well, and the worms are amazing how fast they convert this food waste to usable compost.
The system comes with a spigot on the base where you will need to occasionally drain the lechate that has leached from the trays. Lechate consists of higher levels of nitrogen, and bacteria that consumes nitrogen, so it is advised not to use this on garden plants as it will most likely have adverse affects.
It is my hopes that this system becomes another source for me to convert food scraps to usable compost. Some things that we add to the vermiculture bin in addition to food scraps are coffee grounds, shredded paper, egg shells, and fruit and vegetable peels.
After about 4 weeks in production we are about ready to harvest our first tray of compost from this system. When removing compost the directions have a whole procedure to scrape the place the tray on the top of the stack and begin scraping the top and removing compost, while giving a chance for any worms to craw down into the tray below. After repeating this several times, almost all the worms should crawl through the tray and be in the tray below.
Each bin yields a small bucket of compost, and should continue to produce this every several weeks once up to full production.