We are finally getting some rain here in uber-sunny Boulder, Colorado. The trees and grass are soaking it up and even a few worms are climbing out of the earth and laying quietly on the sidewalk just waiting to be scooped and put into our new “worm compost bin.” Soon we will be transferring our starter seedlings into our two small garden plots in the backyard. While we were mixing up the soil and dirt, the girls seemed so excited by the worms we found that I decided a worm farm was in order.

In addition to the organic veggies we’ll be harvesting from our garden over the summer months, we’ll also be letting the kids experience the fun of the gardening process and the life cycle of plants–from the planting of the seeds, to the watering and tending of the young sprout-lings, the transferring to the garden, weeding and finally harvesting and enjoying the fruits (and veggies of our labor).

Though I’ve been avoiding putting much compost into the large bin that the city comes and takes away every other week, I’ve decided that composting our own scraps and keeping pet worms is more worth the effort. The girls already love to help find the worms for the bin and are more than happy to take banana peels, apple skins and egg shells out to feed the worms. The compost bin that the city gives us is too tall for them to open but the worm bin we made is just the right size. Nothing makes a kid feel more important than giving them a “job.”

Here’s how we made our worm compost bin:

First we took a large plastic storage container with a lid and drilled about eight holes in the bottom for drainage (we don’t want to drown our worms).  We also drilled ten holes in the lid to allow air into the bin. We need to keep the bin covered or our dog and the neighborhood raccoons will be eating the scraps we put in far more quickly than the worms will be able to.

Then we added some of native Colorado soil in, along with any lucky worms that already happened to be hanging out in the garden.

We then added some unbleached cardboard that was soaked in water (you can also use wet newspapers or handfuls of grass).  This is so the worms will have fiber, which I can honestly say is something I did not know they needed until I did a little research.

Next we added some topsoil from a bag that we bought to add to the garden–nice dark brown, moist stuff to give the worms a head start–and then we mixed it all up and sprinkled it with water.

Today we finally got some rain and we are excited to go on a worm hunt to find some more lucky worms who will be added to the bin. The girls can’t wait.  Now we just need a nice shady spot in the yard to keep the bin from getting too hot and cooking the worms.