I have worms!

Blog readers who said “Eewww!” about my baby spiders and giant slug photos might want to skip this one.

But if you like dirt and squishy things and organic gardening, read on…

See this bin?

Two thousand redworms (Eisenia Foetida) are buried in the mulchy stuff and shredded newspaper right now, eating yesterday’s kitchen scraps. And there may actually be more than two thousand by now because I hear they reproduce quickly.

That’s right…. The Messner family basement is now a vermicomposting center. The kids helped me set up the bin last week, and the worms arrived three days ago.

Kinda cute, aren’t they?  In a wormy sort of way?

The worm bin has three tiers. You fill the bottom layer with bedding and worms and then start adding kitchen scraps. (They’re eating cucumber peels at the moment.)  When it’s full, you add the next layer and start burying your scraps in that one. The layers are separated by a screen through which the worms can crawl.  When they’re finished eating all the garbage in the bottom layer, they mosey on up to the next layer, leaving behind the worm castings that are so good for my giant pumpkin plants. You dump out the castings, refill that tier with bedding, and put it back on the top of the worm bin. Cool, huh? 

I’ll keep you posted on their progress, and if you want to learn more about vermicomposting, Mary Appelhof’s terrrific book Worms Eat My Garbage has all kinds of juicy details on the process and how it works.

20 Replies on “I have worms!

  1. I am fascinated with compost. Your worms look awesome.

    While living in Costa Rica we followed the composting rules from the Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins. Some people might think that’s grosser than worms. 🙂

  2. Tres cool! Worms are great, whether they are composting in a bit or aerating the soil in your garden.

    (When I first started gardening, I actually had to buy worms, because my soil was so compacted. Now they’re everywhere.)

  3. I’m doing a WFH project on waste management and happen to be writing all about composting today. Katy Duffield sent me your link because I’d mentioned that I’m now motivated to finally set up that composting bin that my dh and I always talk about. Love the pictures. Is it really odor free? Definitely going to check out the Worm Book.

    Happy composting!!

  4. Coolness!

    We have a regular composting bin out back I set up a few years ago. Now, I just have to take the compost out the bottom and actually use it one of these days!

  5. Well, some people keep them outside, which is pretty much out of the question where I live (even further north than you). Mine are in the basement, which stays relatively warm.

  6. I’m so glad you found me – thanks for stopping by and friending me. I’m always game to talk composting. We’ve only had this big bin a few days, but I did have a bucket of composting worms for the kids a few years back, and I can honestly say we never had issues with odors. We always kept it to non-meat, non-dairy scraps and buried them in the bedding.

  7. They’re so good at composting, though…

    (My husband shares your sentiments, by the way. He just kept shaking his head while we were moving these guys into the basement.)

  8. Thank goodness for the explanation, which involved composting. I thought you meant pinworm or ringworm or hookworm or tapeworm or, well, you get the picture.

  9. YAY for the worms! I’ve been meaning to give it a try, but my gardening days are over at the moment.

    I also have no cellar and remember what happened with the praying mantis egg casings that arrived way to early to put out in the garden. Without thinking I set the boxes on top of the refrigerator…a huge mistake, as it was warm and they ended up hatching out. When I came out to start breakfast, low and behold, I had a wall of wiggling praying mantis coming down the wall and onto the counters. The cats were going nuts and I was going crazy trying to herd them out the door.