by Andrea Foster, Conservation Outreach Coordinator
Have you ever wished that you could compost even in the winter? Do you have loads of kitchen scraps, but don’t want to go out in the cold? Do you live in a small space, with no room in the yard for a large pile? Then this form of composting might be for you!
A worm bin is exactly what it sounds like: a container with worms! It also includes a mixture of “bedding,” existing soil, moisture, and whatever kitchen scraps you wish to add (certain items are not allowed).
Below is a journey through building a worm bin, as shown by the wonderful Lynn of SquareRoots, LLC. SquareRoots LLC is a home composting service located in Midland, MI that does great work! You can check them out on Facebook, and here. They have generously donated this worm bin to the Little Forks Conservancy, and their company is a great option for compost solutions.
This is a worm bin! It has an extra lid on the bottom, with wooden squares on top of it. The large bin has holes drilled into the bottom, and a lid on top.
Use shredded paper, dry leaf litter, or other paper-like products for the main bedding. You will also want to add dirt, and some coconut fiber. Coconut fiber, or COIR is used for some reptile habitats, so try your local pet store before you buy online.
You will also need worms! These can be ordered online, and must be red worms. There are multiple places to purchase them.
Empty all of your ingredients into the bin, and then give it a good mix. You will want to add water during the process to keep everything moist. You don’t want it dripping, but you do want it moist.
Finally, you will want to add your worms. Mix them in with everything else, and give them some veggies or kitchen waste to start munching on. Make sure that you hand mix everything lightly a couple times a week, and feed them about a pound of food every couple of days. If you notice that the food is starting to mold without being eaten, consider giving the worms less.
There should not be a heavy smell to your worm bin, but it should smell earthy. Every few months, you can transfer the worms to a new bin and use or store the composted soil. Look for a blog post on this process in a few months!
Composting is an important part of the Conservation@Home program. Composting helps reduce waste, and there are many types of materials that can be composted. For more information on the Conservation@Home program, click here, or call Andrea Foster at 989-835-4886. She can also be reached at email@example.com.