The Red Wigglers Have Arrived!


If you know me in real life (outside the Internet), then you’ll know I’ve been talking about my worm bin nonstop for the past couple weeks. Composting is something I’ve become rather passionate about over the last year or so, and after mulling it over for a while (and devouring Mary Appelhof’s Worms Eat My Garbage), I decided it was finally time to take the plunge into vermicomposting.

But, why?

Well, many reasons. Namely, our current compost setup is an open pile, and it’s harder to manage in the winter. I don’t really like going out in the rain (in the dark, after work) to bury the compost and turn the pile, and so the compost ends up piling up in containers in our kitchen. Also, an open pile can attract pests (which is why I always bury the compost, but it’s still something that nags in the back of my mind).

So last weekend I got to work assembling a worm bin. I’ve lugged these two Rubbermaid bins around for years — dorm room after dorm room, apartment to apartment, and now our first house — that I thought it was time to use them for something more than storing miscellaneous things.

The blue bin is 20 gallons, and the lower one is 18, so the blue one nests snugly inside the gray one, keeping it slightly elevated off the ground. In the blue one, I drilled holes around the rim, in the lid, and some in the bottom for drainage. The gray bin will collect whatever moisture accumulates.

And the best part… it cost $0 to make. The only thing I paid for was the worms, which I ordered through Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. I ordered a pound of red wigglers, which is about 1,000 composting worms. It seems like a lot, but the bag was surprisingly not that big when it arrived!


I originally set the bin on our back porch, where it would be easily accessible and in a sheltered location. But with the temperature getting low at night, I worried about the worms dying, so the bin is now in one of our spare bedrooms until outside temperatures begin to warm up.

I’m having a hard time not checking on the worms every day just because I’m so excited, but I’m trying my best to leave them alone so they can get settled — and get to work turning our kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich worm castings for my garden. Hooray for vermicomposting!


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