Red Beauties

In Mrs. Prunier’s class of fifth graders, magic is happening. On her desk is what we like to call a “black gold” factory. The employees in this factory aren’t hu-mans; they’re worms, Red Wiggler worms.

Black gold is another name for compost. Compost is gold, for the plants. These “employees” have a very important job, making compost. In order for the pro-cess to be successful, the fifth grade is checking on them and feeding them daily in their comfortable worm bin also known as the luxury apartment.

Fifth grade students show their worm composting results!

Fifth grade students show their worm composting results!

Our worms love living in their luxury apartments. Once their old level fills up with gold we have to put some food in the next level so that they move up to the next level and make more compost. If you don’t move them up they can get stuck in all the castings (compost). The bin has 5 levels. As soon as all the worms move up we clean out the compost so we can use the bin again and the compost for your plants. The floor of each level have grids so the worms can climb through the holes.

You might find the worms in thick clumps in your bin. Not to worry, this is normal living conditions for Red Wiggler worms. You may find the compost starting to build up around the bin. Sometimes, if the worms are failing to move upwards, it may mean that they waited too long to move and now there is too much compost. This problem can be fixed as easily as moving them yourself, but be careful! Worms are very sensitive to human skin. The oil on our skin is toxic to them if held too long.

Our Red Wiggler worms are not particularly picky about their food. They don’t necessarily eat, they grind and decompose. They don’t have teeth, eyes or noses either. They have gizzards to grind the food we give them. We give them apple cores, cucumbers, banana peels, lettuce and newspaper that they turn into our black gold. Once we have enough compost we make Compost Tea which is a 1:6 ratio, one cup of compost to 6 cups of water. Now the magic continues when we water our plants and watch them grow! With our information, we hope you will start your own black gold factory!