Our Worm Farm Adventure!

Cross posted at Surviving The Suburbs: A Mom's Journey To Being Prepared.

I promised I'd get this up today, and so here it is. The Worm Post.

Nearly finished!
These are the bottle worm farms, ready to be capped and stored in a cabinet.

After picking Stormageddon up from school on Tuesday and making sure the boys had a decent lunch, we headed into the back yard with our supplies.

These are the supplies we used:

  • Two clean plastic juice bottles
  • paper egg carton and newspaper
  • egg shells and other kitchen scraps
  • water
  • hammer, nail, and garden shears
  • garden soil and red worms
  • Cheesecloth or paper towel
  • lots and soap, water, and a sturdy nail brush for cleanup
  • a shovel to scoop the mud left in the tub after bath time (I exaggerate... but only a little.)

I based this project loosely on the information I found here. I didn't bother cooking the eggshells (the link didn't explain why it was necessary, and I've never bothered before... the worms in my compost don't seem to mind) and scaled it down to fit in the juice bottles.

The first thing we did was to tear the egg carton and the newspaper up and layer the bottom of the bottles. Then we added some kitchen scraps, cut into small pieces, to the containers.

Next, we broke a few eggshells up into small pieces and threw those in. The eggshells provide the calcium necessary for the worms to make little wormy babies. Getting lots of wormy babies is the point of this little exercise, at least as far as the boys are concerned. But having lots of wormy babies also means that they can process more kitchen scraps even faster.

For the worms and garden soil, we dug into our compost pile. It was loaded with red earthworms, which are the best worms to use for container composting. There were also a lot of the tiny baby worms and the tiny cocoons that they hatch from. Then we poured a bit of water in, just enough to moisten the soil and paper a little.

Instructions say we should leave it loosely covered, but I opted to punch holes in the covers with a hammer and nail. I covered the top with some cheesecloth (to keep any flying bugs that may hatch in the compost from invading the house) and VOILA! Miniature indoor composting containers. The boys are super excited about them, and if they work out well, we'll do up smaller versions as a craft project for the kids to do at Stormageddon's birthday party. ^_^

Another potentially helpful tip: You know how you sometimes get a cracked egg in the dozen (no matter how carefully you check them in the store) and it sticks to the carton? I usually just use up the rest of the eggs and throw the broken one, carton and all, into the compost pile. If, however, you use that egg carton for your worm farm, don't leave the broken egg within reach of your two-year-old.


Exhibit A: The Master of Disaster grabbed hold of the cracked egg and broke it in half before I had time to react.


Exhibit B: At least he didn't end up wearing most of it.

Stormageddon was very into this project. The Master of Disaster, however, would run over now and then, grab something to put into one of the containers, harass his brother, then run off again.

More pictures of the process...

Step 1:


Layer torn carton pieces in the bottom of the bottles, followed by torn newspaper.

Step 2:


Add a layer of kitchen scraps on top of the paper scraps.


Don't forget the egg shell!

Step 3:


Add some garden soil and red earthworms (you can't really see them in that picture, but there were a bunch of worms in there.)

Step 4:


Add just enough water to moisten the soil and paper. You don't want the wormies to dry out, because then you'll have the deaths of a lot of worms on your conscience.

Step 5:


Make sure air can get into the containers. Also, be sure to cover it with cheesecloth or paper towel if you plan to bring it into the house (to keep the bugs from infesting your home).

I'll post updates on the progress of the boys' wormy farms. If anyone else decides to give this a try, please let me know how it goes. If nothing else, it'll be a good excuse for you to dig into the dirt with your kids. ;)

~ Just a Mom

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