Patience makes the heart grow fonder. And the compost thicker.
I know you logged in to hear about worms, and worms you shall hear about. However, the path didn't start with worms. And composting is all about patience. That first composter -- the cold-composting bin -- actually did create compost. It was unfinished, as I could see clumps of composed (as opposed to decomposed) material, but it was usable.
When a squirrel ate through the bin, and Pete declared the white duct tape wasn't a highlight of the backyard, I went ahead and got him to buy me the tumbler. Tumbler composting is batch composting -- holding a mix of brown and green materials in a bin, then putting batches into the tumbler and, um, tumbling it for a few weeks until it's ready and you start with a new batch.
This tumbler is supposed to be different (hence the outrageous price): it's supposed to combine cold and tumbler composting in one unit. Unfortunately, I didn't add enough brown material to this composter, and the same squirr-tastrophe happened here, too.
(Note to self: heavy duty recycled plastic may look indestructible, but Chicago squirrels can chew through anything.)
In addition, I thought the claims were a little over the top and didn't bear out under practice. This really is a batch composter, which isn't my thing. So out it went.