I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Worm composting - They're Here!!

At long, long last, the worm compost bin has become a reality. After finally getting our bin together, complete with drilled air holes (thanks, hubby!) we attempted to get red wiggler worms from our local bait shops. They informed us that they are also trying to get their hands one some. Funnily enough, when I mentioned that we wanted them for composting, one bait shop guy responded, "I know, I know." Ha! Guess we're not that odd around here after all. Anyhow, I went online and ordered 500 red wigglers from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm in Spring Grove, PA. I realized that once I had placed the order, I really had to get things together for this thing!! I put our bin out and collected all of our appropriate table scraps in it (fruit and veggie left-overs, but no citrus, etc.) Then we waited....

They arrived today. Here's what the package looked like:

The first step in preparing a worm composting bin is to find a bin with a lid. The size will depend on you. Ours is a former bird seed box cum rock holder. It's clear, which I love, has a lid that opens 1/2 way, and has a carrying handle. Perfect!

The first thing we did was to hand-shred a bunch of newspaper. There's no accounting for taste, but the worms allegedly love it! 

We filled the bin about 3/4 full.

My daughter went out to the back yard and collected a handful or two of both soil and sand, and a few leaves.

Add the soil mix and mix it into the newspaper.

The worms! 500 red wigglers heading for their new home.

Nature girl!!

We watered down the newspaper/soil mix. It really lowered the stuff way down. Once we placed the worms on top, we shredded some more newspaper and gently placed it on top. We then made a space in one corner of the box, and added our collected kitchen scraps. They are getting a lovely mix of cantelope melon rinds, celery, and other good stuff. I have read that we can add coffee grounds, which we have plenty of in this house. I also read that we should have usable rich soil in about 3-4 months. 

I promised to bring this bin to DD's school, and now I want to keep it! But I get it back at the end of June when school ends. I think I'll keep it for a few days, anyhow. =)

Clyde. The first worm to be named. (grin)


  1. Good for you, using worms.
    A few tips from someone who has been there done that:
    Worms prefer a dark environment and tend to not do as well in a clearish container.
    Worms prefer a starter bedding of either coconut fiber or peat moss. But if you start with garden soil/newspaper/cardboard, it is ok, just expect to feed them once per MONTH, not a couple times a week. The materials you show in your bin are very coarse and it will take them time to break it down before they start eating.
    I have lots of vermicomposting tips on my website and some videos if you want to learn more....
    BigTex Worms

  2. Oooo, if I have the right website (Wormbincomposting.com?) it looks fantastic! I can't wait to read it all. Thanks!! Now I feel bad. Sorry wormies. When I "harvest" the soil I'll make their next new environment much yummier for them. Thank you Liz!!