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Vermicular Compost Bin
Otherwise known as a worm farm. We had a worm farm when I was young and were fishing all the time. Made it easier to to get them out of the bin than it did crawling through the yard with a red light in the dark. That farm was basically just sand and soil in a wood box that we seeded with worms and fed table scrapes.

Since I'm getting back into fishing, as well as having our garden and growing things inside, we decided to start from scratch a pair of worm farms. One has red wigglers, and the other night crawlers, but they're both made the same way, I just wanted to keep the species separate.

There's quite a few sites out there with information on setting up the bins, I can't find the one I followed at the moment, if I find it, I'll post it. But it's really quite simple. I picked up 4 opaque rubbermaid bins. Two of them I drilled a grid of 3/32" holes in the bottom and the sides. Two of the lids I drilled 1/4" holes in a grid on the top. I had little girl shred a bunch of old newspapers into 1" wide strips. She shredded enough to fill each bin about 8" deep.

I cut a pair of 4" diameter PVC pipe into 3" lengths and used that as a support for the bin with holes. You put them in the bottom of the bin without holes and put the one with holes on top. Put about 8" of shredded news paper in the top and get them damp, make sure you mix them up so they're damp throughout, extra water will drain to the bottom.

You can pick up both species of worms from Walmart back in the sporting good section. They're not the cheapest you can find, but at least they're readily accessible. Take your worms and just dump them in, dirt and all, on top of the damp news paper. Cover them with a single sheet of news paper and then put in your first feeding. I used lemon rinds, crushed egg shells, some water melon rinds and some potato skins. You can feed them basically anything that's fruit or veggie, but never meat or dairy of any kind. Meat will attract flies and dairy will cause it to rot.

Cover the feeding with another sheet of newspaper and dampen it. Put on your lid and set them aside in a cool, dark, dry place. I've been checking on them daily. The first day, the worms had barely moved from where they were placed in the bin. The second day, the Red Wigglers only had a couple left on the top, the rest were gone. The Night crawlers didn't have any on the top. So I think at this point, they're doing what they're supposed to do.

Eventually, they will convert all the food and news paper into compost, that can be used to feed your garden or give/sell to your neighbors. The worms can be used/sold as bait and to start more bins. The liquid that will gather in the bottom bin can be used to water your plants as it's full of nutrients.

Make sure that you use news paper that isn't colored. We ended up with some with color in ours, but it's a very small percentage. Also make sure that it's really news paper and not magazine print. I don't know how long it'll take till we start seeing the results in our bins. The kids had a great time helping out make them. The two older boys were helping with drilling the holes, and the 3yr old was just excited to see the worms go in.

Red Wiggler Bin
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Night Crawler Bin
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