Friday, February 01, 2008

The worms are coming...

I have wanted to get red wiggler worms for well over a year now. Starting a vermiculture bin would allow us to compost our kitchen waste into wonderful worm castings. Worm castings and worm "tea" (the liquid produced in the process) are incredible soil fertilizers.

The worms will also let the kids see the process of composting up close and personal. McKayla is especially excited as she wants to hold them and make pets of them.

The journey to getting red wiggler worms has taken so long as I have been trying to find a local source for them. The closest I have come is still over an hour and half away. With fuel costs it was still less expensive to get them online and have them shipped. Well, this week I finally did it. I ordered my worms on Monday and due to arrive today!

I picked up two Rubbermaid tubs to convert into our vermiculture bin. Following directions I found online I drilled 1/2 inch holes every two inches all the way around the top of one bin about 2 inches down from the top. Then another row of holes two inches apart about 2 inches from the bottom. These two rows of holes will provide the airflow necessary to keep the contents of the box from rotting before the worms can eat it. With drill in hand I also drilled 1/2 inch holes all over the bottom of the bin to allow for plenty of drainage and more air flow.

The tub with holes was then put inside the tub without holes. The intact tub will collect the worm "tea" and any escape worms. I ended up putting two spare bits of 2x4s into the bottom of the intact bin to hold the perforated bin up a bit. The tubs fit together too snuggly without them and airflow would have been severely restricted. Finally, the lid of one tub goes on top to complete the bin.

Next, the kids and I shredded some newspaper, got it wet in the sink and then wrung it out to be the moistness of a damp sponge. We fluffed it up again and put it into our bin. The worm's home was now all ready we just needed to wait for the mail to be delivered (usually around 3pm here) to get our little red wigglers. The kids asked every few minutes if the worms were here yet. We were all very excited to get them.

The worm bin ready for the worms.

Finally, the mail arrived.... and no worms! The air of disappointment was thick in the house! They had been shipped 2-3 day priority and today was the last delivery date they should have been here. I only hope they arrive tomorrow otherwise it will be Monday and I fear the worms may no longer be alive by then!

1 comment:

Doug said...

Awesome! I've been thinking about using worms to compost... where did you get the instructions for the bin you made? just so happens that I have 2 of these bins... I may just have to play around with this idea.

And I enjoy your blog! Found it from the elements in time site... Have a good afternoon!