Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Dirt on Composting: DIY Compost Bin with Worms

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Home Depot.

I recently got the opportunity to team up with The Home Depot to share some wonderful activities that help children learn about and care for our earth. One of these great projects is to create a homemade compost bin. A DIY compost bin is something that's intrigued me for a long time, but I've never known just where to start, but we're finally jumping into this fun family endeavor.
Bear {4.5 yrs} has a newfound obsession with worms. One of his favorite books is A Diary of a Worm. Through conversation, we decided that a wonderful way to tie our new compost bin into our science activities and exploration is to do vermicomposting! This means adding worms to the compost bin to help create beautiful, rich compost. This is going to take our adventure and raise it to another level by increasing the scientific element to it.
I think that it's amazing what an impact those little creatures have in the grand scheme of things in our environment. To get our worms off to a good start, we created a kid-friendly mini-compost bin for inside the house that will allow us to see exactly what our little wriggly worm friends are doing.

For how to create a small indoor compost bin with worms, I combined info from several sites, friends' recommendations, and the info provided by Uncle Jim's in our pack of worms.  For the container, we used a large reptile terrarium.  The clear sides will allow us to see the internal workings of the bin.

Here's how you can create your own small, indoor vermicomposting bin:
  • Layer garden soil and new sandbox sand at a 2:1 ratio.  We created four layers total.
  • Lay dried leaves and brown vegetation across the top of the soil.
  • Add about 1/2 cup of water.
  • Dump your worms in and cover with a damp piece of newspaper.
  • Place in a cool darkish spot.  Uncle Jim's recommends leaving them in light for a day or two until they get settled, then darkening up the bin.


I'm still doing research on how to make the outdoor compost bin work and be successful. I want to make sure that I set up an environment that is healthy and supportive for our worms in the large outdoor bin that we are going to build. So far, I know that the best items to compost are organic greens and browns. Items like this:
I would have never thought that I would be looking at how to build a compost bin. Ever. But the more I look at the compost bin plans on The Home Depot website, the more excited I get. Our backyard has a nice little corner by the shed, that I think would be an excellent spot for it. The great thing is that The Home Depot has a Garden Club Community Forum (Ask an Expert) so if I get stuck somewhere, I've got great resources for help.   
I'll share more of what I find in our project post on it in a few weeks.  And this weekend, we'll be going shopping at Home Depot to get our supplies.  I have to tell you, I'm pretty excited to use some power tools :) 
Does your family compost? 
What tips, tricks, or posts do you have to share?
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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Home Depot.


MaryAnne said...

We have a wormless compost bin - we bought it from our town when we moved here (they subsidize the cost). I think I need to add worms to speed up the process! Or I need to look into a tumbler compost bin - those are supposed to work faster as well. We still get gorgeous dirt to use in our garden, even with the simple freestanding bin version!

Angela said...

We don't have a compost bin but I like the idea a lot. My girls are "girly girls" and would be totally grossed out by the worms lol but I think they are awesome! Thanks for this post!

Unknown said...

My daughter's class had a worm compost bin in the classroom last year..they loved it! They really loved gathering up food scraps for the worms.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

We have a compost box! JDaniel loves to visit with the worms.

Stephanie said...

What a great idea! My twins love worms ;) I'm pinning this for when they are a tad older, and can't wait to try it!

Anonymous said...

love it. I've always composted... in Maine, a corner of the back yard and the crows would turn it for us. In pittsburgh, we had a smaller fenced in corner until the neighbor's dog found it. Now we have a big plastic sphere, which works faster, but it's plastic, for heaven's sake! I've never added worms, and our plastic sphere was full of them, so they find it i guess. But I def want to try this. LOVE your blog, liked you on FB as Funnermother, and fanned you up on Etsy as AngelleighDesigns.

The Educators Spin On It said...

I love her comment "Just realized worms don't even make a sound" Something you just don't know until you see in person. Would love to explore this option at home, thanks for sharing!

Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas said...

This is awesome although the worms in books are so much better for me than real life ones. This is definitely somehing I would like to try if I had help with the worms of course.

Kristen@CountryFitFamily said...

This is awesome. My son would love it! He is obsessed with bugs now at 2.5 years old. We have a municipal pick up every 2 weeks for compost here but I would like to make this just for fun and to watch the process.

I would love it if you would come link up at Artsy Play Wednesday - Kids' Craft Linky.

Beth said...

We have a huge compost bin out back--the idea of a clear one where kids can watch the worms is so inspiring, though! I'm featuring this tonight on my blog!

Erin D - The Usual Mayhem said...

We haven't tried composting here, as the city collects compostable materials from everyone for the big shared garden. I'm looking forward to trying at our new house.

Thanks for linking up tot he Outdoor Play Party. Hope to see you there again next time!

Coombe Mill - Fiona said...

A great way to bring learning indoors and very much to life for children.

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