Red Wigglers, Red worms, Red Wrigglers, manure worms, or whatever you want to call these composting worms….. they go along with kids like peas in a pod.
Children are naturally curious and a worm bin is a place to discover new and exciting STUFF!
They just can’t resist watching the worms squiggle and squirm.
Questions will come rapid-fire as they seek to learn more about these strange new creatures.
A Funny Story
It is wintertime in Iowa and we have more worms than normal housed in our basement.
The outside worm bins are insulated and access is difficult.
We have quite a few worm bins operating in our basement so that we can fill orders from customers.
My wife has a Christmas cookie-exchange every year and this year we had a large crowd of 30 or so.
After lunch, all the guys are headed to the basement for a game of dominoes, while the ladies do what they do upstairs.
My two and a half-year-old grandson heard that we were going to the basement and comes running over.
” Grandpa! Can we go feed the worms”? One of the husbands looks at me and says “You have worms in your basement”?
Now being a worm farmer, I KNOW that I am not quite “normal”. I look over at him and say ” thousands actually”.
He gives me this incredulous look and says ” On purpose”? I laughed until I cried. Then everyone wanted a tour.
Oh, the life of a worm farmer.
Red Wigglers and my Grandson
My Grandson ” Lucas” loves to help his Grandpa with the worms.
He is not here five minutes before he asks if we can go feed the worms.
Lucas loves to watch them and help with the feeding and care.
He has even learned that vegetable scraps are worm food in our house.
This is an enjoyable fun time spent with him and he gets to learn a little bit about being a good steward of our environment also.
There are many teaching moments with your Kids and Grandchildren and it is nice to be able to teach them something worthwhile.
Starting a Worm Bin with Red Wigglers
It is easy to start a worm bin with red wigglers. It can be as easy as using an old plastic tote and some newspaper and cardboard boxes for bedding. Your kids will gladly help to get the bedding materials prepared and ready for those red wigglers.
The cardboard can be soaked in water in order to make it tear easily. Wring out the excess water and add it to your worm bin. Newspaper can be shredded or torn in about 1-inch strips, moistened, and also added to your bin.
Four to six inches of bedding depth is all that is required. The moisture level of worm bedding should be that of a wrung-out sponge. If you squeeze a handful of bedding really hard…it should produce a drop or two of water, That is perfect.
Feeding those Red Wigglers
You can feed those red wigglers your garbage. That is…vegetable and fruit scraps that are leftover or have gone bad. The worm bin is a much better place for these scraps than the landfill. Banana peels, apple cores, lettuce, potato peelings, etc. are just a few examples of likely foods for your red wigglers. Add some to your worm bin and bury in the bedding a few inches deep. After this sits for a couple of days, it is time to add your red wigglers to the bin. Composting worms can be purchased online or even locally.
Red Wigglers and Your Kids
They get to learn about responsibility to the worms and the environment.
You can teach them how to use your table scraps for worm food instead of sending them to overloaded landfills.
When those worms have produced some castings from the table scraps, you can show them how to grow things.
Children love to grow plants and it teaches them patience and more responsibility.
You never know… Mom and Dad might just enjoy it too!