05 March 2010

Creating Your Own Worm Bin

Yesterday I received the worms for my worm bin and, after charging the batteries to my husband's drill, quickly set to work preparing their new home!

I ordered 500 worms (approximately 1lb.) from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm.  They looked like this when they arrived:

Not very exicing, I know.  I decided to build my worm bin out of two 10 gallon rubbermaid tubs:

The first step was to drill 24 evenly spaced holes in the bottom of each bin using a 1/4-inch drill bit.  These holes will allow the "worm tea" to drain and the worms to move between bins.

Then, I tool a 1/16-inch drill bit to drill air holes along the top edge of each bin and across one lid.

That's pretty much it for preparing the worm bins.  Next I had to prepare bedding for the worms.  I used both paper from my shredder (i.e., old bills and credit card offers) and newspaper that was cut into 1-inch strips.  I soaked all the paper in water, wrung it out really well, then distributed it among one of the bins.  All in all, I had about an inch of shredded paper at the bottom of the bin and maybe three inches or so of newspaper on top of that.

Finally, it was time to introduce the worms to their new home!  Inside the shipping box was a cloth bag containing the worms and some of their native soil

All I had to do was dump the worms and soil out of the bag and onto the moist bedding I had prepared.  I then cut a piece of carboard to cover the bedding and moistened it before putting it on top of the worms.

All that was left to do was assemble the completed worm bin.  The bin containing the bedding and worms was nestled into the other bin.  I used four empty aluminum cans (yay for repurposing!) to prop up these two bins on the second lid, which will catch any "worm tea."  Here's what the final set-up looked like inside my laundry room:

Tonight I'll probably add my first few food scraps, burrying them in the bedding on one side of the top bin.

Do you have a composting set-up?  If so, I'd love to hear how it's going or any tips from fellow vermicomposters.

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