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Yes, you read that correctly:  I paid a stranger $29 to send me a pound of worms via Priority Mail.  But, you see, these aren’t just any ordinary worms. These are Eisenia fetida, otherwise known as Red Wigglers.

Last week, I stumbled upon a post on DIY Life titled, “Start your own worm composting bin” and I was enthralled.  The idea that one can wrangle a bunch of worms into eating your food scraps and waste paper and turn it into super-charged dirt for your plants or garden quickly caught my attention.  I immediately showed it to my wife and she surprised me by becoming just as excited about the concept as I was.  (I had no idea my wife could be such a tom-boy!)

I am always looking for ways to reduce the trash our house sends to the landfill, but solutions are hard to come across that are both economical and subdivision-compatible. For example, I would love to have a compost pile, but there is no way it would fly in my subdivision.  And I would also love to be able to recycle more, but our area provides no curbside pickup and storing the recyclables until we have enough for a trip to the recycling center quickly becomes unmanageable due to space and bugs.   That is where my wonderful worms come in…

I made an inconspicuous home for my worms to do their work that can stay in or outside and won’t smell or make any noise or look too out-of-the-ordinary.  My starter system was easy to make and relatively cheap.   We were able to purchase a new 10-gallon plastic storage bin for $5 and I already mentioned the $29 for the worms, for a final total expense of $34 – and the great part is, I never have to spend another dime if I don’t want to as long as we take good care of our worms.   Although, I probably will upgrade to a larger wooden box if the experiment succeeds and our worms dramatically increase their population.   (Here is a resource covering one way to build your own worm bin.)

Red worm composting

Once the worm home is set up, you have to put together a bedding of a 6 inches of soggy paper shreds and a handful of compost.  After that, all you have to do is feed your worms a regular diet of common household biodegradable trash (except for meat, oils, and dairy).  That means, if I manage my bin well and I grow a lot more worms, I might never have to throw away any spoiled or scrap food and I could keep my shredded credit card applications out of the trash. Just think, my worms could help save me from the risk of identity theft!

If you want to order some worms for yourself, I recommend Red Worm Composting since the seller is a red worm expert (and blogger) and the prices and quality are great.  My worms should arrive sometime early next week and I guarantee I will be writing more about this experiment after they arrive and when they start showing results.

If you would like to learn more about vermicomposting and building your own worm bin, you can check out these resources: