Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program
Post by Jessica Ballard

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Recently we had a children’s class on worm composting. I worked with 9 children ages 3-11 to build a worm composting bin for shelter. We have been working on implementing an in-house composting system at our facility and have started by saving coffee grounds and tea bags. Some of this waste is added to our outdoor compost pile, but we thought it would be nice to build a user-friendly system that the kids could work with to make compost and to learn more about the process of soil decomposition.

We all gathered outside on a sunny (but chilly) day and worked together to build our first BDVP worm home. The children took turns drilling holes in a rubber-made container while the other kids shredded paper and card board for worm food. Once we had finished drilling the holes we laid an old piece of fabric at the bottom of our container and began to fill the box with wet shredded paper and cardboard, banana peels, worms and compost.

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After the home was built the kiddos decorated it with pictures of worms, hearts, and their own signatures. It was such a fun time!

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We will continue to feed our worm home with wet, shredded newspaper, coffee grounds and appropriate food scraps and after the compost has been developing for a few months we will move it all to one side of the bin and put a screen in the middle. We will then stop putting scraps on the existing compost and begin to feed on the other side of the screen. At this time the worms will slowly finish the compost they are working on and move over…. through the screen! Once all (or most) of the worms have moved over, we can use the compost on plants or make compost tea. Our biggest challenge with maintaining our worm home will be keeping Dean (on of our staff members) from stealing worms to go fishing with!

Once you understand the concept of a worm bin, you can build one any number of ways. Just play with the idea and see what you have around the house. There are tons of tutorials on YouTube. Lifehacker includes posts here. Then there’s this eHow article. Why not take a look around…and make your own home for some wonderful worms.