I received several private messages from readers interested in composting with worms - vermicomposting - asking about the availability of ready-made worm bins. I sometimes forget that not everyone is equipped for or interested in do-it-yourself projects. For you folks, I found a couple of bargain-priced worm composting bins available through Amazon that I would consider buying.
Can-O-Worms is a round, multi-level worm bin that comes highly recommended both for its function and its good looks. This one, in particular, appeals to me because it stands on legs and eliminates some of the bending and stooping I do with my home-built worm bin. It doesn't look bad, either. It's one I'd actually consider keeping in the house instead of secreted away in the garage or tool shed over the winter. It's my understanding that a properly functioning worm composter does not have an offensive odor or attract flies - an absolute MUST if I were to keep it in my house. I'm sure you feel the same way. One tip I came across suggests regularly adding a little parsley (stems or leaves) to the bin and limiting the amount of fruit scraps as insurance against odor or fruit flies. Another tip suggested putting the fruit and veg scraps through a quick whirl in the food processor before adding to the bin. It's supposed to help the worms eat it the scraps before they can rot and create odors.
It's rather cool that the Can-O-Worms has a built-in collector for the liquid worm tea with a spigot for easy dispensing. That's one of the downsides to my home-built worm bin. Collecting the worm tea requires the use of a funnel to pour it from the bottom collector tub into a storage jug. Haven't done that yet, but I expect it to be a bit messy.
Another model I like the look of is The Worm Factory. Actually, when I first considered worm composting I found a YouTube video that showed how to set up this particular worm bin. It also has the worm tea collector tray with a spigot and looks decent enough to keep in or near the kitchen. It's a little lower to the ground and square instead of round. Other than that, the Can-O-Worms and the Worm Factory seem to be functionally identical. There's about a $20-$30 price difference.
I'm constantly amazed at the range of products available through Amazon. While researching the worm composting bins, I discovered that we can also get worms called Red Wrigglers, books on vermicomposting, and even a great little stainless steel compost bucket for storing and transporting our food scraps to the worm bin or the compost pile. I just ordered one of those for my kitchen.
Thanks to all of you who wrote asking for more information on the worm composting bins. Hoping you find this post both interesting and helpful. If I've encouraged you to try composting with worms, let me know. It would be fun to keep in touch with one another so we can share our experience and compare results.