A few months ago I partnered with the 4-H leader from RJ Vial to schedule an after school workshop with 4-H members to make worm bins. The presentation included handouts on how to make a worm bin, with hands on materials for each member to create their own worm bin to take home. Their bins were made from very large plastic containers with a layer of soil, shredded newspaper and worms. Tomorrow I will be going to a parish day camp showing them how to make their own worm bins using plastic show boxes. The boxes will allow 5 and 6 year olds an opportunity to see how the worms create compost from table scraps. I created a fact sheet for the campers to take home and share with their families. Here are some tips for creating your own worm bins.
· Start the worm-bed by shredding 1-inch strips of newspaper, enough to fill one third of the container.
· Spray the shredded strips of newspapers with water. Squeeze out the excess water. Place the fluffed-up wet newspaper into the container. The container should be one-half to three-fourths full.
· In a well-lighted area or outside on a sunny day empty the worms on top of the shredded newspaper. The worms will quickly go down into the bedding material because they don’t like the light. Keep the bedding moist, but not wet.
· Add a little soil over the bedding material. Worms need soil or sand to digest their food. Wait for about 7 days before adding other food to the worm bed. The worms need to become acclimated to their new environment for the first week.
· Almost any type of container can be used for housing worms. A medium sized worm box can process more than five pounds of food waste each week.
· Your worm bed should also have a tight fitting lid and holes drilled in the top for ventilation.
· Red Worms are the best type of worm for composting food waste.
· Worms are easy to care for but they require food, moisture, oxygen, and a dark place to live.
· Every three months the worms should be harvested or separated from the castings.
· Feed your worms slowly at first. As the worms multiply, you can begin to add more food.
· Feed your worms a vegetarian diet, worms do not like dairy products, fats, meat, or oils.
-Worms also like breads & grains, cereal, coffee grounds & filter, fruits, tea bags, and vegetable scraps.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture