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Worm Factory DS3GT 3-Tray Worm Composter, Green
Worm composting is an incredibly efficient way to convert kitchen scraps, junk mail and cardboard into nutrient-rich compost for your garden. Master gardeners agree that compost produced by worms will produce the best results and help your plants thrive. The Worm Factory's unique stackable, multi-tray design makes it the most efficient worm bin composter around. Worms begin eating waste in the lowest tray, and then migrate upward as food sources in that tray are exhausted. By allowing worms to migrate upward, the worms separate themselves from the finished compost that is ready for the garden. Besides the worm castings that are produced through this process, the Worm Factory also produces a second type of compost. As waste is broken down, moisture filters through your Worm Factory, taking nutrient-rich particles with it. This liquid fertilizer, know as leachate is gathered in the special collection tray of the Worm Factory and can easily be drained from the spigot. Simply add a handful of worms and your organic waste to the bottom tray. The worms will start processing the food. Once the bottom tray is filled add another tray. The worms migrate upward to the newest food source leaving the bottom tray full of nutrient rich compost. As waste is broken down, moisture filters through the system taking nutrient-rich particles with it. You can drain organic liquid fertilizer right from the spigot. It's compact square design gives the Worm Factory the smallest footprint of all worm composters. The Worm Factory's tray stacking system allows it to hold the largest capacity of compost in the smallest amount of space, making it the perfect composter for anyone with space limitations. The Worm Factory is simple to operate. When full, each tray weighs only 12.5 pounds making lifting and arranging trays effortless. The included 38-page instruction manual and instructional DVD makes setup fast and easy and gives tips on how to best manage your Worm Factory composter year-round.
Made with post-consumer recycled plastic, Dimensions 16-inch x 16-inch x 13-inch
Built in "worm tea" collector tray and spigot for easy draining.
Year Round Production
Odor Free Operation
Expandable up to 7 trays
|Average Customer Rating:
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Average Customer Review:
( 101 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
357 of 360 found the following review helpful:
Not one, but two Worm Factories!Nov 24, 2010
By Tere from Guatemala
I got my first worm factory about 3 months ago. I am a Guatemalan biologist, but even though I live in the mountain area of Quiche in Guatemala and work in rural development with the local families, the apartment I rent is in a town and it does not have green areas. I was concerned because I produce one bucket of kitchen leftovers per week. I had been donating my organic bucket to someone else's compost pile, but I wanted to do recycling myself. I went into Amazon in Internet and this was my first online purchase ever. I was lucky that a person flew into my country from the United States and brought it with him. It is expensive if you want it shipped, at least for me.
The Worm Factory is very simple to assemble. The booklet is very clear. I bought the worms from a man who is doing organic farming nearby and uses a huge wooden box he built himself, which is about 15 feet long, 6 feet wide and 1.5 feet tall. He is using the manure of his cows to feed the worms and he has hundreds of thousands of worms. Anyway, my worms came with a lot of cow dung but they immediately loved the box, and worked perfectly for the first month with my kitchen leftovers. I was concerned because I had not told my landlady that I would be introducing worms into my place. I did put a little sign on the worm factory that said: "Science experiment, do not touch". I did not have to worry: They are not noisy, they do not escape, and best of all, they are not smelly. I found out the worms love the vegetable leftovers from my juicer machine because those are really finely chopped. They take a lot longer to work through a banana peel. If I let the leftovers "age" about a week, they work a lot better. I was happy to see a lot of dark earth produced in a short time.
I did have big trouble a few weeks later and almost gave up on the worm factory. I was going to have to make a two week trip to Houston, so on the week before leaving I tried giving them a lot of food at once, hoping they would last OK for 2 weeks without more food. The result was a total disaster! My leftovers are very wet and by over filling the tray, I created excesive humidity, which made the worms want to escape all together. The morning before leaving the country I found most of them half drowning in the lowest box, the one with the little faucet. I quickly drained the liquid and tried to restore the worms "upstairs" and balance in the tray by adding a lot of dry scraps of paper. Finally I had to give up because by then it did smell and I was thinking about liberating them in a field and beginning all over again when I came back. Thank God a co worker who had been enchanted by the worm factory told me he would take care of it. His solution was to initiate the second tray because he felt the worms were already overcrowded and all balance returned to the place. So my lesson is to look for help when I am going to be away, not to overfeed them. As I returned from Houston to Guatemala I brought with me a second worm factory because another friend wants to start his own experience at home. I find this is an excellent answer to recycling in urban areas, although women who do have green areas around their houses (we work with organic farming with families in over 30 villages) have expressed they would love to have a worm factory inside their kitchen, because it saves them the walk to the worm box they have on the field near their cows. The price is of course impossible for these families who are in most cases living with less than $2 a day per person. So, the challenge would be to find a way to make this technology accesible to these people, indoors.
Meantime, the liquid from my worm factory I have donated to a papaya tree and I have seen the papayas on it grow fatter from it. The compost I will use to grow organic vegetables.
Teresa Samayoa, El Quiche, Guatemala
188 of 189 found the following review helpful:
Super convienience and functionNov 12, 2007
By Happy Skywalker
This bin looks good in the kitchen, is more than easy to use and my worms are very happy in it. It has large trays so you can keep using it for a good while before paying it any attention (like removing completed compost). The bottom collects "worm tea" which your plants will love and the lid keeps uglies out of sight but is well ventilated for the worms. And it's true: no flies, no stink, nada. Honestly, I will probably buy another one soon (there's always more waste to be wormed!).
174 of 179 found the following review helpful:
Makes Vermiculture easyApr 24, 2008
By Stephanie Manley
I have had worm farms before, but this is the easiest way to actually seperate the food from the castings. You use a system of trays, intially placing the food in the bottom tray, and the tray above it is mostly fiberous material. Then you stop feeding them on the lower tray and then start adding food to the tray up above, and then adding another more fiberous tray.
This system eliminates the feeding the worms in one spot and then pulling out the castings, trying to leave all of the worms in there you can. I like that the worms have more mobility so just in case your feeding area is too wet they can move around. I also like there is lots of air in this system so everything doesn't get too wet.
The tray system was easy to put together, it took only a few minutes. It also comes with your initial bedding of coconut husks. Ideally you will want to put your farm into place, and wet down your bedding, and then get your worms. There are instructions on the top of the lid of the bin to tell you what to feed your worms with, and a great guide that also comes with the bin. I highly recommend this worm bin.
65 of 66 found the following review helpful:
works fine... but we need 2 or 3 for all our garbage!Apr 14, 2010
By NH Chicago
My kids (age 10 and 14) and I have enjoyed the worm composter a lot over the past couple of months. We initially purchased 1,500 worms--each tray can hold up to 3,000. It really does not have any mess or odor, we have no fruit flies, no problems. However, there were a few things that we weren't prepared for when we got it. One is that I had planned to keep the composter outside, but soon learned that the worms can't survive all year round outdoors, even in the heat of summer, so we had to find a place in the house for it. Second, the worms work more slowly than we expected: it takes about 3 months to produce your first bin of finished compost, and food garbage is only a part of what you are supposed to mix in the worm tray. You also must add shredded paper, dead leaves, etc. in addition to vegetable peels and food garbage. This means that with a family of four, we produce a lot more food waste than is actually eaten by the worms. I had envisioned composting our morning coffee grounds, apple cores, and refrigerator "science projects" every single day -- but I am still throwing out a lot of kitchen scraps that I had thought at first, would not go to waste. So I am seriously thinking of purchasing a second worm composter. If I had known this in advance I might have gone with the bigger model right from the start.
70 of 73 found the following review helpful:
Worm composting is good times!Dec 05, 2010
update to review below:
After a year...about 3 months ago I finally harvested my bottom tray of compost. I didn't before because there were still lots of worms in it so I figured there was still food in that tray. But I felt like I waited long enough so I put it on the top of the stack and left the lid off and waited about half a day, checking it every hour - the worms at the top would crawl down but I had to keep harvesting the top layer and revealing a new layer to get the worms to keep crawling down. Once they are covered they will stop crawling down so you have to keep exposing them to sunlight. Once I started to harvest the compost I was amazed at how densely packed it was. It was really really rich and heavy soil. It felt like soil that had been smooshed down and compacted.
Also I have now started to more aggressively compost so I put All my scraps in there. Even if it means starting another level. Just remember to put a good ratio of paper and shells in it or they will just rot and attract flies. Putting all my food waste in it has attracted more flies and it smells worse. But I have been putting all my paper from paper shedder in it and now the worms are going to town. They are working fast and moving up to the next tray. I have seen a whole tray of food get processed by the worms in a month and before it took 5 month to achieve that. Just make sure that you are watching them and making sure they are still happy.
Old review still has good tips:
I bought this last July at the Cal State Fair so it's been 6 months. I now have one fully processed tray of compost and one in the works.
Some tips and observations I thought I'd pass along FYI:
It is true that you don't need to start off with a lot of food for them because it takes them a while to touch the food.
It's important to get some compost from a friend to start it. I used a gallon ziplock bag from a friend who composted and it had a few worms in it. It would be hard to start without that (IMHO).
It seems, at least with mine, that the worms way of dealing with new food is to lay eggs in the food and let their little babies grow in them (will see lots of little baby white worms) and then I don't know what happens, if the babies eat the new food or what - but the grown worms just seem to frolic in already composted material. They also frolic in coffee and coffee filters. But I rarely see them snacking on new or recently added food.
My first bin is totally processed, my second bin has been going for a few months now and I have found worms climbing up to the next bin and there ARE grown worms in the next bin BUT the bottom bin is still chock full of worms. I'm afraid to put it in the garden and lose all those worms!
It's not completely true that you can put worm compost out next to a pile of food and within 30 mins, the works will migrate to the new pile of food. I haven't observed that. Conclusion from that is that it is good to have this upwardly mobile system as opposed to just a big bin of compost that you throw new food into because it would be almost impossible to separate out the compost from the worms.
Also, paying almost 100 bucks for this thing is worth it if you plan to compost because I did try to make a normal compost (the kind that gets hot with no worms) and it is not very fun, it stinks, all kinds of animals try to invade it, and a lot of the organic matter I put in there is still sitting there doing nothing. It also attracts flies.
On the other hand, are you going to be making barrels and barrels of compost with the worm factory? NO! I mean it's been six months and I have one tray that worms still seem to be enjoying.
Also, if you cook at home and make a lot of compost, much of it you will not be able to put in the bin. You want to err on the side of not overfeeding or killing the worms just because in principle you bought it to eliminate landfill waste. Worms are expensive - I paid $20 for half a pound and I eventually bought another half a pound. So you don't want to kill them by being overzealous.
You don't need to check in on the every day. Once a week, put a few handfuls of food in there, make sure you throw in crushed egg shells every now and again and other paper/lint type of material. After a while you can almost dump a bowl or two of compost in there and wait two-three weeks and check it then. It takes about 3 weeks for them to half eat 2-3 bowls of food, i.e. it won't completely disappear.
The food really does completely disappear if you wait long enough. Even the egg shells - the bottom tray just looks like really rich dirt full of worms.
We have baby frogs that like to hang out in the bottom bottom were the liquid collects. They can be a little startling if they jump so be prepared to see other wild life.
Slugs like the tray. Me no like slugs so I try to get them out of there with the comb thing if I can.
Use a bungee cord. We used a brick and a deer came and knocked it off and the lid and ate some of the food. Be careful to not let the bungee go and hit you in the face!
Worm tea - I didn't have worm tea until about a month ago, so estimate it will take about 5 mos. And then I drained it once (spigot was closed completely and then turned on) and it made about a pint of worm tea. This last week I drained it again and it made like a whole gallon of worm tea! I don't know if it's due to rainfall or not but the only way rainfall could get in would be through the little openings on each tray. Seems unlikely that much rain fell. When you pour out the worm tea, lots of baby eggs will come out too. Hopefully they will hatch in the soil you pour the tea on and enrich your soil.
Finally, I started out clipping food and putting it in an ice cream bucket and microwaving it but my hubby was grossed out by that. And it does sort of leave a funky smell in the microwave and house. I do try to clip food to small pieces (i.e. if I had a watermelon rind, I would chop up the rind into 1 cm square pcs and I would only throw in half of the rind as opposed to the entire thing). At the beginning I would recommend microwaving to cook the food up a little bit to give the worms a break - they like to eat food that's already broken down, rotting, or cooked. But after a while, once I knew that I wasn't going to completely kill off my worms, I would just throw the food bits in without cooking them and just let nature take its course and they seem to do fine.
It's a pretty fun little project and I think it would be fun to do with children. When I was little I was deathly afraid of earth worms and gardening, etc. And I think if I had the experience of composting, I wouldn't have been so scared of bugs as a child. I do have to admit when I brought home my first bag of worms, I didn't even want to put the worm bag in my car or my house. But once I got the gumption to open the bag and start the whole process, it really wasn't that bad and you sorta get over it. I mean I probably won't dig my hands into the finished tray and hold a handful of worms, but they're not that scary. Fat earthworms I think are more freaky. These guys - no problem!
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