Worm bins are a great way to turn food scraps into a nutrient-rich fertilizer called compost. But what exactly takes place in the worm bin? Let’s take a closer look!
What do we see when we open up the worm bin?
Newspaper—even the ink!—is biodegradable, so it is safe for the worms to eat. Newspaper isn’t just worm food. It also helps absorb any extra liquid from decomposing food, and from the compost itself. This keeps the worm bin not too wet and not too dry: just right!
When we move the newspaper, what’s underneath?
A whole bunch of dirt? Or mud? What do you think?
Let’s take a closer look….
Also known as worm poop.
After worms eat organic material like plants, fruits, and vegetables, the worms poop out a nutrient-rich waste. All of the good nutrients in their poop help more plants grow and keep the soil healthy.
What are some foods the worms are snacking on? Let’s see what we can find….
- Avocado peel (they ate the soft green avocado fruit!)
- Peach pit (they ate all the peach pieces off of it!)
- A small sprout that started growing in the compost! (from a zucchini seed)
- Carrot peels!
Compost worms love to eat raw vegetable scraps like carrots, broccoli, zucchini, potatoes, cabbage, and corn. They like some fruit, such as banana peels and apple cores. They won’t like anything that’s too sour, such as an orange or a lemon. They won’t like anything that’s greasy or oily, or dairy such as cheese. The worms can eat meat, but they take a long time eating it, which means the meat will go bad in your bin and make it stinky! They’ll eat beans and grains. We feed our worms a vegan diet to keep them (and the bin) happy and healthy.
Let’s meet our worm friends!
Compost worms are small, wiggly, and squishy. It is good to be gentle when handling them so they don’t accidentally get poked too hard.
Worms love to be underground where it’s dark, in damp dirt. Worms don’t like to dry out!
They don’t have teeth so they can’t bite you—this also means they can’t chew their food! They grind their food up after they swallow it, in a special organ called a gizzard.
How long do they look? What colors do you see?
What shapes do the worms make when they wiggle?
How many worms can you find?