The Worm Cafe: Review
Tumbleweed has created the worm cafe, a composter that is great for both indoor and outdoor use. Our review will bring you all the information you need to weigh up whether this is the right worm bin for your home!
The Worm Cafe is a great medium sized worm farm to suit just about any home. It has a simple, yet classy rectangular design that can fit neatly against a wall either inside or outside your home. It is reasonably priced, making it a great option for beginners or experienced worm farmers alike. Worm farms are great because they reduce the amount of organic waste that ends up in landfill. Instead, you’ll be creating your own high-grade, nutrient-rich fertilizer to use on your garden. There’s never been a better way to put your unwanted food scraps to good use than starting your own worm farm. The best part is, the Worm Cafe makes this process super simple!
Worm Cafe overview
Stackable tray design
The container itself is made from durable recycled plastic and uses a rotating, three tray system. The purpose of the base tray is to catch any liquid (leachate) that flows down from the trays above. To drain the leachate, place a bucket underneath and open the tap on the bottom of the collector tray. The rest of the trays are called the working trays and will contain your worms and compost. As you fill up the first tray, simply add another tray on top and continue to feed your worms your food scraps. Over time, you will be able to harvest the castings in the bottom most tray to use on your garden.
A hinged lid for convenience
The lid provides a good seal on top and will help to keep out any pests hoping to get inside. Not only that, but it will keep your worms inside the composter where you want them. Since the lid is hinged, you’ll find it quick and easy to open when it comes time to feeding your worms.
Ideal for small households
The Worm Cafe is a mid-priced worm farm and is quite affordable compared to other composters on the market. It is suitable for an average household producing around 10-13 lbs of kitchen waste per week. Any more and you’d likely want to look at something larger like the Hungry Bin. For beginners though, it’s a great composter to start out with.
Worm Cafe features
|Fly proof lid||Attached to the top tray is a hinged lid designed to keep flies out, and your worms in. It also keeps any bad odors inside the container making it perfect for placing anywhere near the house. Also important to note is that the user instructions are engraved on the underside of the lid.|
|Well ventilated working trays||The three trays are where all the action takes place. They have holes at the bottom to allow worms to move between them. Ventilation holes on the side of the trays also help keep the contents well aerated.|
|Non-drip design||The tap contains a large plastic nut to keep it firmly fastened and prevent any drips.|
|Collector tray and worm mound||This is the bottom tray where all the leachate collects. Simply open the tap on the side to collect it in a bucket to use on your garden as a liquid fertilizer. The tray also contains a plastic mound to help any worms that have unfortunately slipped through the drainage holes to make their way back up to the working trays.|
|Dimensions||The Worm Cafe is 15 inches wide x 22.5 inches long x 29.5 inches high.|
- Eco-friendly – It’s made from 100% recycled plastic which is great for environmental sustainability.
- Easy setup and clip-on legs – It is very easy to setup. The legs can easily be attached or detached depending on the kind of setting you choose for your worm farm. The legs are also specially designed to prevent ants from climbing up the product which is a plus.
- Eye pleasing design – The Worm Cafe is a simple, yet classy looking worm composter. Being rectangular, it can fit neatly into almost any location. This is an advantage over Tumbleweed’s other product, the Can O Worms, which is a round design.
- Only has three trays – Depending on how much waste you produce at home, this may be enough. However, if you find yourself producing more than about 10-13 lbs of food waste per week, you might need something larger.
- More hands-on worm farming – Rotating the working trays does require a bit of effort. The weight does add up, and if you’re trying to remove three full trays then it can get a bit heavy. Fortunately though, you’ll only need to do this every few months or so when your castings are ready.
How to use the Worm Cafe
The Worm Cafe is actually very easy to assemble. Simply clip on the legs to the bottom tray as shown in the above video. Then attach the spigot to the bottom tray and secure it tightly with the nut provided. The three working trays then stack on top of the bottom tray and voila, assembly complete. To start with, you’ll only be using one working tray, adding the next one on top as the first tray fills up with worm castings. This process can take 3-6 months, so please be patient. All that’s left to do once you’ve assembled your worm farm is to prepare your worm bedding and add your worms! Check out our beginner’s guide to worm farming for more information on how to start a worm farm.
Preparing the worm farm bedding
For the worm bedding, you’ll want to use a mixture of shredded newspaper or cardboard, coconut coir and maybe some soil. Since composting worms don’t dwell deep down in the dirt, you don’t want to add too much soil. Definitely don’t use potting mix. For the coconut coir, you’ll want to soak a brick of coir in water for 20-30 mins. Once it is fully soaked, wring it out so that it is moist, but not wet, then mix it with the newspaper. Lay a sheet of damp newspaper on the bottom of your first tray and then add the bedding material. Next, you just need to add your worms and let them settle into their new home.
Adding your worms and your organic waste
Once your worms are happy and settled in your Worm Cafe, you just simply add in the kitchen waste, sprinkle some water and cover the top tray with a worm blanket. The worms will do the rest. Just ensure you don’t over fill the trays as too much food can mean that the worms won’t get through it all and it will start to smell. The Worm Cafe is able to process between 10 and 13 lbs of waste each week, depending on how many worms you have.
Harvesting the castings
Once the first tray is full, simply add another tray on top and begin the feeding process again. Worms head to the surface to feed, so the top tray will be the primary working tray for all your food scraps. When you have repeated this process and added and filled all of your working trays, simply remove the bottom tray to use the worm castings on your garden. This is also a great opportunity to clean out any worm castings that may have fallen through to the collector tray at the bottom. Once emptied, just place the clean tray back on top of the other working trays and the cycle repeats. Add more waste and let the worms do their thing.
READ MORE: How to Harvest Worm Castings
Things to remember…
- Check to make sure your compost isn’t too dry. If it is, give it a little spray of water. Worms are able to digest and decompose organic waste better when it’s wet. Having said that, you don’t want to over water your compost as the worms may drown.
- Frequently empty the collector tray so that leachate doesn’t build up in your work farm.
- Keep the lid securely closed. This will keep flies away from the compost and protect your worms from being exposed to harsh sunlight.
- Occasionally you may need to aerate your compost, especially if it’s starting to develop an odor. Simply use your hands, or a plastic garden fork, and mix up the contents. Be gentle so as to not harm the worms. You can also mix your food scraps into the worm castings to help the worms get through them faster.
- Use a compost conditioner at least once per week. The purpose of the conditioner is to balance the acidity in the compost to ensure that your worm farm doesn’t smell. This is optional, but recommended.
The Worm Cafe is a durable, easy to use worm farm that will be a great addition to any home or garden. It is more moderately priced than some of the other composters on the market and is suitable for use anywhere within your home. Why not try one out and see for yourself! Your garden and the environment will be sure to thank you for it.
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