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Getting Children Interested In Worms

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
Dear Worm Dude,
 
My 5yr son is an avid rangler & wants to grow his own worms for fishing. How do we get started? I would like him to grow them outside ūüôā but what is the preferred method of keeping them in one area so when he wants them to go fishing, they can be found easily. Thanks so much for your help…BTW, we live in Kansas City.
-Darlia
 
Hi Darlia,
 
Great question, and an easy project that you and your son can do together that he will remember all his life.
  
You need just a few things.
  
A container for the worms (Wood is preferable to plastic).
Bedding.
Composting worms (Composting worms do well in bins).
A modicum of shelter for cold KC winters.
  
For a container, I’d suggest building a simple wooden box.¬† DOES NOT need to be fancy at all.
A good sized box for this project would be 2-3 feet wide, 1-2 feet deep, and 1-2 feet tall.¬† You could make it out of recycled fence boards, or if you want a quick and clean method…just go to Home Depot with some measurements, and have them cut some wood for you.¬† All you would need to do is screw the boards together.
 
The lid does not need to be anything fancy….just build a wooden lid that lays on top of the box…no need for hinges if you don’t want to deal with¬†them.
 
Bedding can be newspaper, cardboard, leaves (Just realize that by adding leaves, you are guaranteed to be adding bugs).¬† Paper is clean.¬† LOTS OF BEDDING…..LOTS AND LOTS.¬† FILL UP YOUR BIN WITH DAMP FLUFFY¬†BEDDING…YOU CANNOT HAVE TOO MUCH BEDDING.
 
For fishing, your best bet is to purchase European Nightcrawlers.  They are very closely
related to Red Wigglers, but are a good mid sized crawler.  If you want to start small,
just go to Walmart and pick up some Trout Worms in the bait section.  
 
Red Wigglers are too small to be a good all around fishing worm.
Most of the year, as long as you keep your bin in the shade, and never hit by direct sunlight, your bin temps will be just fine.¬† When you have winter snowstorms, you will probably want to bring the bin into a shed or a garage just so the bedding doesn’t freeze into a block.
 
I didn’t cover¬†every detail about raising worms¬†or feeding worms¬†here, as I’ve pretty much covered that in several¬†years of blog and forum posts on this website.¬† You are certainly welcome to spend some relaxing time reading up on worms, and if you find questions that have not been answered, shoot me another email.
 
Have fun with your son!
 
 
 

Check This Out!

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Just received and posted a GREAT close up of  Worms eating in the garden.  Go to www.WormVideoClips.com and look for the June 28, 2011 video.  Comments are encouraged.  I think you will find this worm video VERY INTERESTING!

Jackpot!

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Over the past several weeks, some beautiful Kolrabi bulbs¬†have grown.¬† If you’ve never eaten Kolrabi, it tastes kind of like a sweet turnip.¬† In order to harvest, the plants need to be pulled out of the ground.¬† After pulling them out, this is what was left.

Just skin, slice, and eat.  I was left with a good tasting, crunchy, and healthy snack!

Whatya Got Growin?

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Warning:¬† You may not want to start raising worms if you do not want to potentially catch the gardening bug…

I’m constantly asked about what I’ve got growing.¬† Even in limited space, with my goal of producing 50% of our produce needs I’m growing:

Artichokes

Kolrabi

Blackberries

Rasberries

Sugar Cane

Lettuce

Spinach

Corn

Yard long Beans

Tomato’s

Bell Peppers

Cucumbers

Strawberries

Green Onions

Tree Collards

Pineapple Guava

Meyer Lemons

Blueberries

Chinese Chives

Banannas

Oroblanco Grapefruit

Cuties

Plums

Asian Pears

Peaches

Nectarines

Cherries

Pomegranates

Grapes

As I write this, even I cannot believe the wide variety of fruits and veggies I’ve got growing!

And it all started with some worms…..

WHY Worms?

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

I looked out my bedroom window today, and was in awe at this view.¬† I could literally reach out and grab some artichokes.¬†¬†¬† What’s even more amazing is that these are first year chokes…..and if you know anything about artichokes, they are not supposed to produce until year two!¬† I’m enjoying the heck out of them¬†this year, and cannot imagine what next year will look like.¬†

Whenever I bring in a couple of artichokes for dinner, I always count the ones I see that just sprouted.¬† I use these counts for bragging rights to my wife. ūüôā

When the plants first started producing, I would bring in 2 and say, I see 3 more!

The next time I would bring in 2 and say, I see 8 more!

Last week, I brought in 2 and said, I see 25 more!

Today I brought in 2 and said, I see 31 more!

Amazing!

And to think it all started with some worms.

$8.78!!!!!!!

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

 

HOLY SMOKES!¬†¬† I had forgotten tomato’s for some brushetta that I was making.¬† Normally, they just get included with the weekly groceries, so I’m not paying attention to prices on individual items.¬† Today, I¬† noticed the price only because it was all that I bought…$8.78 for 10 small tomato’s!¬†

NOW I know why I like gardening all of a sudden.

My new goal…produce 50% of all our produce within the next year.

How?

Four Raised Beds:¬† Will produce lettuce, spinach, onions, green onions, ¬†TOMATO’S :), cucumbers, green peppers, Tree Collards,¬†strawberries.

Under bedroom window:  Artichokes and garlic

Containers:¬† Meyer Lemon, Tangelo’s, Grapefruit, Banana, Japanese Pear, Blackberries, Blueberries

Backyard Border:  Cherry Tree, Plum Tree, Nectarine, Peach, Pomegranate.

Not bad for having a fairly small lot!¬†¬† If it doesn’t produce something edible…it doesn’t stay!¬† Except for my wife’s roses. ūüôā

Passion

Monday, May 30th, 2011

When you are passionate about something, it shows.
I received this nice note from Mary today, and I wanted to share it with everyone.

Jerry: I wanted to thank you for being my “go to” guy when I started out 2 years ago knowing no other person that did worm composting. I discovered your website by chance and it was a great help. I am even more enthusiastic now than I was in the beginning and today my passion for worm composting allowed me to overcome my fear of public speaking and I spoke in public for the first time in my life when I gave a worm composting demo.

Thanks Mary! Hope this is the beginning of a lifetime of teaching. I’m sure you knocked it out of the park!

Planting with a PLAN!

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

When you plant your garden, do you make plans or do you just plant? This lettuce bed contains onions to help ward of bugs, corn to provide shade when the weather warms, and a succession plan to replace some of the lettuce with heat resistant spinach (Spinach growing as starts now). I’ve even got worms eating away at the grow medium (compost and peat moss).

The harder I work at gardening, the luckier I get!

The Lazy Mans Way To Grow Strawberries Revisited

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Castings, And The Story Of The FREAKY Plants!

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

 

So I walked out to water the the Worm Inn, and I looked down and¬†saw this (Think of the music to the movie JAWS…Da Dum, Da Dum, Da Dum)…..

 

What the heck is that you ask? 

It’s the same question I had asked myself. ūüôā

What I had done was¬†dumped a bunch of castings into this plastic tub, along with a couple of¬†large fresh pumpkins that I was going to get around to breaking up to feed the worms.¬† I never got the chance to use the pumpkins before they started breaking down.¬† The existing worms in the castings made small work of the pumpkins themselves…but you can see what happened to the seeds.

 

Holy Smokes…even when I DON’T want stuff to grow in castings…it grows.

 

 

For those that have¬†forgotten 6th grade Biology…the plants are white because they’ve received no light.¬† No photosynthesis has happened for these poor guys.

So…I put them out of their misery, pulled them out and just laid them on top of the castings, and will let the remaining worms do the cycle of life thing to them.¬† Hopefully, the next time I open this, all I will see is rich black castings without these feaky mutant pumpkin sprouts. ūüôā

Amazing!