Raising your own night crawlers, or worm farming, can be fun and profitable
Worm Farming -   
Worm farming is fun. A healthy worm is a happy worm
Get Started "Worm Farming" by following these 5 easy steps:
Wooden, plastic or metal boxes or tubs may be used. The container should be 8'-12’
deep and of a size to accommodate the amount of garbage you produce.
Approximately one square foot of surface area Is needed for each pound of kitchen
vegetable wastes per week. For example, a 1'× 2''× 3' box will serve a family of 4 to
6. Detailed Instructions for constructing your own bin are included on this page and
soon we will be offering our own pre-assembled system with all sorts of neat bells
and whistles.

Bedding holds moisture and provides a medium In which the worms can work and the
garbage can be buried. It must be light and fluffy enough to allow air exchange.

-Worms actually consume bedding as well as the kitchen vegetable wastes.

-Bedding can be made of shredded newspaper, shredded corrugated cardboard, peat
moss, or leaf mold.

-Bedding must be well soaked In water and wrung out before adding to the bin. You
may add a handful of dirt every time the bedding Is changed although It Is not

Red worms are the most satisfactory and efficient type of worm to use for
composting. The worms need adequate temperature, moisture and ventilation. The
optimum temperature Is from 55-77 degrees. Remember, an active worm bin must be
kept In a heated garage or basement during the winter to prevent freezing. The
worm population increases according to how well they are fed. To determine the
number of worms needed to populate a bin, figure one pound of worms for each
pound of kitchen vegetable wastes produced per day. Worms process their own body
weight or more of organic matter each day.

Kitchen vegetable waste which can be composted includes vegetable and fruit
scraps, egg shells, bread products, coffee grounds and tea leaves. Meat, bones, fats,
and dairy products
should not be composted. It may be helpful to keep a plastic
container near the kitchen sink to collect scraps. Keeping it uncovered will prevent
odor but may attract fruit flies. About twice a week, the contents may be buried in
the worm bedding, rotating around the box utilizing a different area each time. Be
sure to cover all of the worm food with bedding. A sheet of black plastic should be
laid over the surface to retain moisture.

While there are several methods of harvesting compost and adding new bedding, the
most convenient is to move the compost to one side of the bin and add new bedding
and garbage to the other. Replacing the plastic sheet on only the half of the bin
containing the new bedding will allow the compost to dry out some. The worms will
migrate to the fresh material and the compost may be removed and replaced with
new bedding. This migration may take several weeks.

Note: Kitchen vegetable wastes compost well in a worm bin and yield valuable worm
compost called "castings". Growers know castings to be the most nutrient-dense
compost available. Castings promote soil structure and fertility, while offering plants
an excellent source of non-burning, readily available nitrogen

To maintain this system simply rotate burial of food wastes throughout the bin. Every
3-6 months compost should be moved to one side of the bin and new bedding added
to the empty half. At this time start burying wastes in the new bedding only. Within
one month worms will populate the new bedding, finished compost may be harvested
and the rest of the bin can be rebedded. During the winter, worm bins should be kept
in a cool indoor space such as a basement or warm garage to avoid freezing. A
properly maintained worm bin is odorless. Bins may be placed in a shady outdoor
space the remainder of the year. Flies may be controlled by placing a sheet of plastic
over the bedding.

1 ½" treated sheet of plywood
Tape measure
Skill saw or rip hand saw
Saw horses
Long straight edge or chalk snap line
Drill with ½" bit.
1 12 foot 2×4
1 16 foot 2×4
2 lbs. 6d galvanized nails
½ lb. 16d galvanized nails
2 galvanized door hinges

Remember to always use eye and ear protection.

Cut four 1 foot lengths out of the 16 foot 2×4. Take each plywood side piece and
place a one foot 2×4 under each of it’s ends so that the 2×4 is flush with the top and
side edges of the plywood, and nail the boards into place. Nail the side pieces onto
the base frame. To complete the box, nail the ends onto the base and sides. To
reinforce the box make sure there is a nail staggered at least every 3 inches
wherever plywood and 2×4s meet. Drill twelve ½" holes through the bottom of the
box for drainage.

To build the lid, take the remaining 12 foot 2×4 and cut it into two 45" pieces and two
20" pieces and lay them flat (short pieces on the inside as indicated in diagram) so
that the plywood top is inset from the edges of the 2×4 by 1-½" all the way around
the perimeter. Nail the plywood onto the 2×4 securely. Place the hinges on the
backside of the box at both ends on the 2×4s, and on the under side of the 2×4 lid
frame, so that the lid will stand upright when opened.
If you are interested in more information on raising your own nightcrawlers or worm farming we recommend:
(Click in the boxes for a closer look)
Worms Eat
My Garbage
Diary of a Worm
Here's a cute one you'll want
for your kids!  It's written in
DIARY form of the
everyday life of an

Take June 15's entry: "My
older sister thinks she's so
pretty. I told her that no
matter how much time she
spends looking in the mirror,
her face will always look just
like her rear end."

Too Funny!
Catch your own
or get your
start up worms
Raising your own nightcrawlers - Worm Farming
Top of Page
Basic worm composting bin
Parts needed for your worm ranch composting bin
This bin can be built with new wood and
hardware, or less using recycled materials
such as old wood boxes or other
containers. Any worm bin must have
drains in the bottom and a tight fitting lid
to keep moisture in and pests out. If you
plan to bring your bin into your living area,
place a layer of row cover on the bottom
of the bin, before adding the bedding. A
starter batch of worms for a bin this size
should be between 3-6 lbs. (Remember:
worms will eat their own body weight or
more in a day. )
Measure and cut plywood
as indicated in drawing.
Cut the 12 foot 2×4 into
five pieces: two 39", two
23", and one 20" long.
Nail the 2×4s together on
edge with two 16d nails at
each joint as illustrated in
the Base Frame diagram.
Nail the plywood base
piece onto the 2×4 frame.
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Raising Your Own Nightcrawlers - Worm Farming