Kids love worms! Gardeners love worms! Who doesn’t love worms!?
After reading this post, you’ll have no more excuses to not start your very own worm farm. It is easy, fun, rewarding and the kids will absolutely love it!
Before we get started, if you are curious as to why you should start a worm farm, click here to read about the benefits of composting with worms.
Step 1 - Find a container.
It doesn’t have to be fancy! Almost any container will do. A great starter bin would be any plastic storage tote you aren’t using anymore. Preferably not see-through (but that isn’t a deal breaker).
Drill a couple holes into the lid of your container. This will give your worms access to oxygen. This is ALSO a great time to teach the little ones…the human, little ones… the importance of oxygen for all living animals!
Step 2 - Make your bedding.
Also like most living animals, worms like a comfy place to live! Make them a nice bed out of
consumable materials you already have. Worms particularly love shredded paper and shredded cardboard, so bust out those amazon boxes and get shredding!
Once you have the shredded material, give it a good soaking and spread it around in your bin. Don’t get it TOO wet though! The rule of thumb here is to squeeze the material and only a few drops should come out. This is a good learning opportunity for the kids to learn about how worms breathe without lungs (hint - they breathe through their skin like a frog). Also, talk to your kids about the recycling element of using old paper and cardboard. Instead of that stuff going to the landfill, it is going to “fill your land” with amazing fertilizer.
~-~ Pro Tip! ~-~
Make the bedding a couple days before you are ready to put the worms into the bin. This gives the material some time to break down and it will be more welcoming to the worms.
Step 3 - Introduce the worms.
The bin is ready for its new tenants! Find worms that are bred for composting. The most common composting worm is the “red wiggler,” or the scientific name, Eisenia Fetida. Depending on your climate, African Nightcrawlers, Canadian Nightcrawlers or European Nightcrawlers work great, too!
Step 4 - Feed and observe.
Have the kids feed the worms leftover kitchen scraps and reiterate the benefits of not sending those scraps to the landfill. Before you know it, the kids will start collecting left-overs anxious to feed their new little friends!
Composting worms can eat half their body weight in food daily, so make sure to keep these guys fed! However, don’t add too much food so that it starts to stink. A good balance of food and bedding (paper source) should not stink. In fact, you should be able to keep the worm farm indoors with no complaints!
Get the kids into a habit of aerating the bin. Simply dig around the material and let the oxygen circulate. This helps with the composting process and ensures the moisture in the bin is oxygenated so that our worms breathe happily.
As the vermicompost starts to become abundant, scoop some of that black gold out and feed it to your garden. While doing this, teach the kids how organic fertilizer like worm castings can help the plants and our environment by keeping synthetic fertilizers out of our waterways.
~-~ Did You Know? ~-~
Synthetic fertilizers have been linked to the closure of lakes and rivers due to water pollution? The fertilizers cause invasive aquatic plants/algae to overpopulate and deplete the oxygen levels in water - leading to the death of fish and other aquatic animals!
Final Step - Celebrate!
You did it! Your worms are happy, your plants are happy, and our Earth is happy too!
Celebrate with your kids and have them write (or draw) about their wormy experience. Ask them what they learned. What was their favorite part? How can we share our experience with our friends and community?
Finally, send us a picture of your worm home! We would love to admire your hard work. With your permission, we might even post your work of art on our website!
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us!