Learning about VermiCulture at Juan Cabrillo

Curtis Thomsen graciously visited Juan Cabrillo to teach over 100 kids about creating worm bins, what worms eat and the necessity/value of worm castings and worm tea.
Students from preschool to second grade attended the classes to listen about the diet that worms like to eat — worms are vegetarians! They have no teeth but they love eating soft foods like bananas, apples, pumpkins and lettuce. After eating these fruit and vegetable scraps, the worms excrete castings that are rich in nitrogen – a very important nutrient for plants.
Worms like to live in soil, or bedding, that is soft and light. Mr. Curtis showed us how to make worm bin bedding with coconut coir (the husk of a coconut pressed into a brick): We hydrated the brick in water, which then expanded into a big bowl of reddish-brown fibers. The kids ooh-ed and aah-ed that a small brick could fill up our entire worm bin!
Lastly, the kids got to see and hold some red wigglers. It was a really fun day learning with the kiddos…
Many thanks to Curtis Thomsen, Margaret Lynch (principal at Juan Cabrillo) and Dee Gustavson (who organized this day!)

- Ranger Hope and Volunteer Dee

– Ranger Hope and Volunteer Dee

Hope Cox

Native to Tennessee, Hope fell in love with urban farming while majoring in Nutrition/Dietetics at UT Chattanooga. She volunteered at an urban farm there for two years and gleaned (pun intended!) bushels of knowledge about harvesting & planting, CSA box coordination, farmers market stands, school field trips, farm-to-table and more. When Hope moved to Los Angeles in late 2014, she began volunteering with EnrichLA and soon after became a Ranger. She loves sharing with her elementary students the hands-on experience of gardening, finding bugs, composting and eating from the garden. The expression of glee on the students' faces when they discover a new critter or favorite vegetable is the best part of Hope's day! One day, she hopes to be a real farmer in the country but for now is glad to be learning the ins-and-outs of inner-city farming.