Earthworms kick ass
Worm Farming is awesome
You are probably thinking....why would anyone want to worm farm? Really you should be asking yourself.... Why don't I have a worm farm? Worm farming is a low maintenance hobby that really has very little negatives and positives galore. Worm farming is the act of getting something enclosed, putting a bunch of dirt and food in there and adding a few worms and watching your investment grow and produce happiness. The only really negative thing I can think about it is telling them goodbye if you do get rid of them. I'll go ahead and give you some simple steps in creating your empire.
Get a plastic tub. I recommend having a wide plastic tub and maybe a foot or two deep. So like a 3X3X2 tub would be optimal for starting your first worm farm. You can always grow from there but keeping it small at first is best. If you are starting really small, you can just get a gallon sized milk jug and wash it out really well then use that, work with what's best for your ability to maintain it. Make sure to buy a locking top for it or have something you can put on it so nothing can get out. You'll be looking at about 10-20 bucks at the most for a good starter kit.
Like good real-estate, location is key. Worms like dark areas that aren't too cold but warm enough to cause some evaporation. I recommend digging out a hole, putting your tub in it with the lip sticking out about 6 inches to a foot so that half of it is in the ground. This ensures that it is dark and also it helps maintain natural heat and cold cycles. Also make sure it's not near anything that can disturb it. If you have a dog that likes to find things (like me) then try putting it somewhere that the dog can't get to it.
Like humans, worms like to have good bedding. Bedding is the layer of at the bottom of your worm farm. Think of it as layers in a cake, one stacked on top of each other to complete the whole. Bedding should always be soft, wet, and NOT dirt. I recommend a mixture of grass trimmings, chopped up wood and paper. The grass will break down and turn into good food and helps promote natural feeding. The wood will help not make it so compact and will create air space for better worm carpooling. The paper is a good filler and worms also like it. When using paper I recommend using paper that has been shredded and soaked in water, drained, and let to dry. This helps get rid of any inks or chemicals used in the paper. Some people say just using paper plain is good but I like to keep it as natural as possible and the chemicals could interfere with that. Once you have all your ingredients, just mix them up and layer the bottom of the bin with about 3-4 inches of it. Don't compact it, the dirt you add will do it for you.
Like a good redneck, just add dirt. Worms obviously live in the ground so now you just have to add about a 6 inch layer of dirt. Don't compact the dirt, let it lie loose, this helps the worms move around and build their domain. Don't use any pre bought soil. Dirt from underneath trees and plants always has the most nutrients so try to use something like that. Don't use any contaminated dirt, worms are delicate little gifts from God and are hurt very easily.
Worms are not anorexic. Worms are not super models or low self-esteemed high school girls, they like to eat. Adding food is the most important thing. I recommend using a mixture of grass trimmings, little bit of wood chips if you have them and left over kitchen scraps. Not just any kitchen scraps though, some can kill them or drive them away. You don't need to add a ton of food either, only add what you think they can consume. I feed my worms about once a week and basically just a thin layer of food that covers the top that I mix in. Let's talk about worm food.
Most natural vegetables are good to go with worms, I can't really think of any that are bad. Egg shells add good vitamins and nutrients to the soil which really help out with breeding. Coffee grounds are good too; you can even throw the paper filter in there as well. I find that banana peels are some of my worms' favorite foods. Because the shape of them they can use them to chill around because they add dead space and good to eat. There are things that are defiantly NOT good for your worms which we should go over since this could mean life or death for your entire colony of world dominating worms. Meat is a big no-no, meat rots and attracts other bad insects. Worms don't really care for proteins like that either so never add meat....EVER. Citrus fruits really mess up worms, think of it this way, tear your skin off, squeeze some lemon on it and tell me how it goes, that's how a worm feels. Strong odor foods don't add either such as garlic, onions, anything that you wash your hands and still smell it after. Nothing spicy, basically no spices either, spices are made to enhance the taste of human food, not worm food, and they are usually too strong for them. No dairy, dairy has a lot of fats in them that just don't break down good for worms and worms don't really care for dairy all that much. Basically, keep it natural, keep it simple. Any questions? ASK ME OR RESEARCH DON'T HURT YOUR WORMS.
To finish it all off....add dirt. For the finally all you have to do is add dirt over the layer of food. Dirt will add the cover for the worms to go in and start munchin away. That's really just about it. Make sure that the farm is moist and not soaked. Oh yeah, don't forget to add worms. The best thing to do is go to a fishing place or even Wal-Mart and just pick up a little container of bait Night Crawlers and Earthworms. Just put them in there and let them be free, don't hold them back from their dreams; it will only make them resent you.
Now you have a worm farm. The hardest part now is making yourself leave them alone; you'll be surprised how fun it is just digging through the dirt and finding worms, baby worms, finding their hiding spots, etc. You'll really grow to love them and probably move them into bed with you. You may wonder why you are doing this though. Here's why, worms are awesome. Worms eat kitchen scraps that you would normally throw away leading to more waste, why waste when you can feed. The dirt that worms create has their crap in it; I say crap because I'm not cool enough to say dung. Worm crap has broken down food which is amazing for gardens. All the nutrients create a super soil that is all natural and really healthy for plants. You can even create a little drip in your worm farm by adding a hole to it that is covered by a screen that excess water can drip into. You can bottle this water and use it as a healthy spray for plants or get enough and you can mix it into a water jug to water plants which adds a ton of nutrients that are all natural and not that chemical crap of Miracle Grow. Also, if you're a fisherman like me, you can use them for fishing, although you may get too attached to them and won't want to use them because you don't want to see them die, I get that feeling a lot and actually have not used them for fishing, it just makes me too sad. All these benefits you can also sell, people buy worms, natural good soil, water additive, etc. In the end, Worm Farming is a hobby that sounds weird but really once you do it, you'll wonder why you didn't' do it sooner. If you want to know more about worm farming, check out my other hubs on it. I'll be adding more about how to keep up your worm farm, learn about worms, and how to take your worm empire into world domination. WORMS FOR LYFE.
Books on worms
Ask me questions about building your worm farm
YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on May 11, 2013:
Thank you very much. Sadly I had to move so my worms were set free. It was a ton of simple fun. My niece and nephew loved it as well. Maybe one day when I get room ill do it again.
FlourishAnyway from USA on May 11, 2013:
Very informative hub, and I bet kids would really get into this! You have a relaxed and engaging style, and I like how much you care about your worms. Growing them would be an excellent alternative to chemicals.
83entrepreneur on April 06, 2011:
Great Hub. A lot of information here I needed. I am a guess you would call worm hunter. I keep mine in a big cooler, have a big compost pile of horse manure and hay, that's what I have been keeping in my worm farm. I think I will change there habitat a bit after reading this though. I think you would realy enjoy the way I catch my worms. I made what I call a worm shocker, they come to me instead of me digging for them. Watch my video and learn how to make one to. https://hubpages.com/sports/Worm-Shocker
jencantwell on September 11, 2009:
This is an awesome hub and very funny. I think you've created a great first step here for worm newbies. http://www.mamaswormcomposting.com
larrybass from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on April 21, 2008:
Great hub you've built here, my friend. Your writing style is fun to read as well as very educational and encouraging. Thumbs Up!
Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on January 19, 2008:
In The Doghouse from California on January 19, 2008:
Thank you for adding this great post. Growing up my grandmother had a "worm bed" and I remember feeding the little critters. She also had the most incredible green house with beautiful plants are cultivated in that top worm soil. So when I started to garden several years ago, the first thing I did was create a "worm bed" of my own, I loved the book, Worms Eat My Garbage, you have posted below. It really was fun to have them working their little tails off to create perfect soil additive for me. I have since let them "free" in my yard and they are inhabiting my whole yard. It really was fun to have them contained for a while though.