Sunday, August 1, 2010

Worm Farming 101

Nothing like learning how to do something by just doing it.  And nothing like starting a worm bin to make a mess!  Our inspiration came from a new favorite book, Winnie Finn, Worm Farmer by Carol Brendler.  This endearing girl earns money to buy herself a new wagon by starting a worm farm and sharing the compost with her neighboors.  Winnie Finn is a worm expert, I on the other hand knew nothing except what I read on the last page of the book. 

I bought a cheap storage bin, top soil, and chicken manure.  Then we collected newspapers (just the black and white pages) and ran them through our paper shredder.  I ordered a pound of red wigglers and when they arrived we assembled their new home.  It was an exercise in layering.

First, newspaper "bedding". 

Second, soil and manure mixed together.

Third, more shredded paper and some water.

Finally, worms! 

Sawyer was super excited to "feed" the worms so I let him add some kitchen scraps.  Winnie Finn claims that worms like egg shells, and we also shared some pieces of overripe peach and corn husks.  Who knew that his first "pet" would be a bunch of worms.  He is taking their wellbeing very seriously which makes me more likely to consider an actual pet in the future. 

So far, so good.  No worms have escaped that we know of.  And it's pretty cool to see the tracks where the worms have been moving against the side of the transparent container. Unfortunately, the fruit flies are abundant when you open the lid.  Guess I need to read a little more about what happens next!

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