Hooray! I have a happy bin!
Just did a nice thorough rustling of the bin today (after about 6 weeks of *mostly* hands off...dang that's hard to do!) and found not only happy worms chomping away at food corners and bedding, but tons of babies and cocoons! (right word? all i know is it means more babies...) I got brave a couple weeks ago and dumped instead of 1 cup of pre-frozen veggies, a total of 3 cups of veggies in one corner and about a cup of gone-over spring mix in another corner. Thought for a couple days I'd over-done it, but it turns out that broccoli WILL stink for a couple days, but it was only noticeable when I actually stuck my nose in the bin (yeah, that happens every few days, but I don't touch...much...). With the exception of the cherry tomato skins, IT IS ALL GONE! I'm pleased to report that my beginning stash of about 1000 worms in an 18 gallon tote seems to have MAGNIFIED in size! Every handful I lifted was squirming with wormy happiness, with worms of all sizes and babies to be! I know to you "old-schoolers" (don't be offended, it's meant with great respect) are probably thinking I'm silly, but it's really cool that our little project is doing so well. We have you experienced folks to thank for it!
Now I'm faced with a dilemma. Should I add more bedding and kitchen waste, or should i get another bin drilled to stack on top, let them finish the bottom and start encouraging them to migrate up? I'd say the bottom half of 6" is processed (nice and fluffy!), with another 3" of cardboard/newspaper bedding on top. Or should I stop feeding for awhile, let them get a better lead on the remaining bedding and THEN start the upper bin? I'd rather not have to sift chunks of bedding out of finished castings - at this point it looks like a laborious task. I *could* take off the top layer of bedding and move it to an upper bin, but not feed until they finish the nearly processed goods, right?
I'm totally geeking out at the idea of my first harvest! The way things are going, the kitchen waste produced by just my son and I is going to have a hard time keeping up with the worms' diet! Glad we have a "pre-composter" that we started at the same time as the bin :)