(For the moment my freak-out is on hold. We'll see how long that lasts, but for the moment i am waiting to hear from Dr. Body and talk to Dr. Brain.)
Ok, if you are squeamish this is not the post for you. I've had my worm farm running for maybe 2 months now. It's getting established and doing well. in fact i'm ready to pull out the first tray of compost as soon as I get another fully ready to go (has to sit a few days). I got compost a bit faster by using compost that was broken down by time as part of the starter. I would not recommend this, it killed a lot of worms. In fact i hate looking in that bottom bin because of this.
The top bin is where the action is and should be though and those wormies are kicking butt. Because of an invasion of some fruit fly relations that come if you overfeed that was seeming excessive I did what I do through this whole process and followed my instincts. The worms live in a bunch of shredded cardboard and newspaper and the flies were laying larvae on that and on the lid of the bin. So I just spent quality time with the wormies, sorting through their bedding, pulling off "worm pods" (the eggs are so neat. They are hard little balls that change color as they develop, in one stage they are bright gold. I guess that at some stages you can see the worms inside with a flashlight; I've not tried this yet), and getting rid of the pieces of newspaper that had the most fly gunk. This also let me really see what is going on in there. It's neat. I have baby worms that are the width of dental floss and maybe a cm or two long. I have lots of healthy adults. I have tons of pods, which is another sign they are doing well. I have fresh, clean smelling compost, which is the goal. I even saw some mating going on. I also have huge worms. One was so huge i dropped the paper because it startled me; it had to have been 5 inches long.
There's also healthy organisms setting up in the soil, things that help break down the food. I have to go about a week without feeding because I have definitely overdone in my learning process, but it does feel good that I have managed to get this going. I definetely don't have the thousand worms i started with, but I don't need that many and at the rate of reproduction I'll have huge quanties soon enough. They do self-limit their population, which is good, but right now I have a lot of very healthy adults (hundreds) and who knows how many nearly invisible babies.
it did just occur to me that I didn't even check the bottom tray for flies. Drat. Tomorrow maybe.