Making a Wormery – The Worms are Here!

So I’ve finally gotten back into worming full on. I set up the bin with my kids about a week or so ago. We added some screening to line the bottom to try to keep the worms in the bin (I had an issue of them escaping last time through the drain holes in the bottom). Then I ordered the red wiggler worms (the best composting worms by far).

How do you get worms you ask? Through the mail of course. Specifically from Uncle Jim’s Wormfarm. I’ve ordered from Unlce Jim in the past and his worms are always great. Both times I’ve ordered from him it’s been the dead of winter actually. You might think that you’d end up getting a bunch of dead frozen worms but that is not the case. Uncle Jim has really got it figured out. They ship them in really dry peat moss, and the worms shrink down and get kind of dormant, and when you first open the bag then look like they might actually be dead (keep in mind they spend most of the day on my front step in the freezing cold).

Uncle Jim's Worms

The New Worms Are Home

So a few days ago I added a little left over fruits and vegetables to the bin. That and coffee that I’ve been adding regularly from our daily brew. There is plenty of food to get them started now. It hasn’t been in long enough to be rotting or anything but it has likely softened up a little to make it even easier for our hungry new worms to eat.

Most of the rest of the material in the bin is ripped up and moistened newspaper that I had laying around the house. The point is we’ve been ready for a couple days and now and just waiting for our new pets to arrive. And arrive they did. I was impressed how quickly they seemed to get moving around and coming to life again after their long trip.

The next thing we did was add the worms and the peat moss they came in to the bin. There is two ways to do this of course. You can just open the bag and dump them in, or the more fun way you can grab them (gently) by handfuls of dirt and worm and sprinkle them in. Grabbing handfuls sounded like a much more entertaining way to go for my and my two young sons. So we did. I even turned the bag inside out when we were done and found a few straggler stuck in the corners. So we put them all in and gave them 5 or ten mins to stretch their … bodies and start digging in. We also spread them around a little because it seems we kind of piled them all up in the middle of the bin. Impressive how many worms 2,000 red wiggler worms really looks like (in fairness I didn’t really count them, but I trust Uncle Jim that there was 2,000 lol).

no red wigglers yet

Our bin right before our new red wigglers

Bin full of red wigglers

Our worm bin after adding our new 2,000 red wigglers

The kids really enjoyed playing with the worms a little and it really does look pretty cool huh? It’s funny after their long trip in the dry peat moss how dry the worms feel. Almost not even like a worm really. But it doesn’t take long after they get down in the moist newspaper and food for them to seem more, well, wormy 🙂

So after we get them about ten mins to get used to the place we added in some more paper that we had laying around. I’ve always found that the worms kind of like to be under a top layer of something. Partially because they don’t like light (what are they gremlins?) and partially I think it feels more like nature to them. In the real world they will be coming up from underground and eating bits of organic matter. This is likely to happen under some fallen leaves or other debris. Which of course is also going to keep them out of site and hopefully away from predators. So me and the boys ripped up some scrap paper and gave them a little cover.

Indoor worm composting

Our new worm with some paper cover blanketing them

As you can see we also blanketed them with the bag that Uncle Jim sent them in. I’m not sure that they will eat and break down the bag like they will newspaper (I’m not sure the exact material the bag is made of but my guess is it’s not eatable). None the less I thought it looks like a nice comfy worm blanket and thought they’d enjoy it. I’ll be curious to see in time (months) what does happen to that bag in the end.

So the information that Uncle Jim sent with the red wigglers says it’ll likely take a couple days for the worms to come fully back to life and get acclimated. I’ll try to post daily (or at least regularly) and update how they are doing. Let’s home they can keep up with the food waste from our family. Go worms go!