Building a New Worm Bin at Juan Cabrillo

As the upcoming warm weather brings life into Juan Cabrillo’s garden, our worm bin is ever growing. To give the wriggly friends some space, we built another bin and split the worm population in half for each one.

When building a worm bin, I told my students, we must keep three things in mind: bedding, food and moisture.

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Bedding: this is where the worms live. They like it light and fluffy so they can wiggle through it comfortably. Shredded paper, coconut coir or very fluffy dirt will do.
Food: Because worms don’t have teeth, they prefer soft, organic matter. Rotten fruits and veggies are perfect. The worms will also eat the bedding over time.
Moisture: Worms like to stay moist but not too wet. The key is to balance the bedding and food so the bin isn’t too wet or too dry.

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For the bedding, students tore up cardboard egg cartons into tiny pieces, added a bit of light soil and mixed the bedding with water. For the food, we added cantaloupe and watermelon rinds, donated from the cafeteria. Then, we added the worms to the bin, which gave the kids so many laughs!

Finally, we all had a chance to explore the garden, tasting lettuce and Swiss chard with tajin, putting rolly pollies in the compost pile and harvesting a cool-looking carrot!

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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.