My plants need better nourishment, and I am tired of buying new soil.
Solution: a Worm Bin
Worms make marvelous compost. Their castings (poop) are like gold dirt for gardeners.
I got the original directions from The Urban Homestead by Coyne/Knutzen and simplified them. And made it...
I drilled 1/16th holes around the top and bottom of the sides for ventilation.
I drilled 1/4" holes in the bottom for an escape hatch should the worms need food or water or get too wet. The bucket is sitting on two bricks on top of a bucket lid. I check each day for escapees. If I see some, I figure out the problem, solve it, and put them back in before Lyli sees them and feeds them to the chickens.
Then I filled another 1/3 with soil from my compost pile.
When I add food (kitchen scraps bound for the compost pile), I cover it with more dirt.
Then I cover the bucket with the lid that came with it. I also drilled 1/16 holes in the lid for air.
Worms like to be wet, but not too wet. And they don't like light.
I love them. I hope they make lots of babies so that the chickens can have an occasional treat.
And their castings are a wonderful addition to my plants. I've already harvested a little bit for a box of lettuce that I've placed in a window,
and a basil that I found growing on its own. I gave it a new home in a beautiful pot that I found at Ben's grandmother's old house.
-The Worm Wrangler, aka Lainie