Yeah, well, here's where I get finished compost, in the middle of winter, in Detroit. From my own freaking ComposTumbler. From my own freaking porch. One problemo. It's frozen solid. So now I'm scraping off layers of permafrost with the fork. At least I won't have to add moisture because of all the ice.
I couldn't take it anymore. I had to empty the bin. The thought of cooking all those dears, it wasn't right. And it would stink to kingdom come.
The Wigwam bin has a really interesting design. It's a big sheet of thick-ish plastic, wrapped around an elevated metal grid, with a crankshaft in the middle of it all. In theory, if you start it right and feed it right, the worms stay on the top, and the castings fall to the bottom. The crankshaft works back and forth to aid in loosening the castings. They fall into a tray that the whole contraption sits on, and Bob's your uncle.
But. There's another layer of plastic, bolted inside the outer layer, that sandwiches in a layer of insulation. The worms, in their panic to not be cooked, fled in between these layers. By the hundreds. Some even found the holes in the insulation (it's a layer of silver-foiled plastic bubblewrap) and they squeaked their dearselves neatly into it. I think those intrepid little dudes are toast.
So, for the last few hours, I've been scooping out the bin, handful by handful, layer by layer. Sniffing handfuls as I go, searching for that nasty stink. Worms in one bin, stink/ heat in another. The heat was from uneaten timothy hay via the house rabbits, Max and Cecilia. In the small Can-o-Worms bin, some uneaten hay was never a problem. If it heated up at all, the heat was negligible. But in the big bin, that hay turned the whole operation into a hot compost pile. Remember scale of pile? Yeah, I've read Rodale, cover to cover and back and forth until I fall asleep with it in my pathetic little hands...
Oh yeah, and that vile stink? Ok, so I had this old boxful of business cards from a job I left a while back. I soaked them first, and they got soft like any paper. But some sort of bad magic happened in the bin, and I have to say that those cards are about the most vile stink I ever did smell. New rule- don't compost business cards.