Rio Vista – Recycling with Worms

Hello Garden Friends,

IMG_0059Last Wednesday we celebrated Dr. Suess’ birthday by reading in the garden. With several guest readers, including  LAUSD Superintendant Michelle King, our garden time had an unusual start. To the left is a picture of several of our guests with the children.

After the readers left, normal garden time resumed and I introduced the students to a curious red box sitting in the shade next to the compost pile. After closer examination it was determined that the box was an old mini-fridge! Inside the fridge I revealed several worms happily munching away on shredded paper and food waste. What a perfect way to start a lesson about recycling.

Repurposing an old fridge to make an insulated worm bin, and giving our old food a second life in the belly of our worm friends who make soil for our vegetables.IMG_0080


Since I was primarily working with the young ones, we scavenged the garden for supplies to help make our worm bin happier. 1) a green leaf 2) a piece of moldy hay 3) a pinch of shredded paper 4) an earthworm to join the party.

The biggest victory came when I saw one of our pre-K students, who was in tears about being close to bugs just 2 weeks ago, actually calmly holding a worm in her hands! So cool!






More goodness to come!

-Farmer Jeff

Jeff Mailes

Jeff Mailes is a garden designer and environmental educator working out of Woodland Hills, CA. A Los Angeles County Master Gardener and UC Davis Alumni, Jeff earned his B.S. in Environmental Resource Science in 2012 and has been growing edibles and natives for the past 6 years.

Jeff’s passion for plants and garden education has led him to school gardens from Los Angeles to Sacramento and all the way up to Portland, Oregon. Now familiar with ecosystems across the West Coast, Jeff has settled back home and works to bring people together over food and inspire the next generation of earth stewards to leave it better than they found it. When not writing about himself in the third person, Jeff enjoys singing with his guitar, going on camping and hiking excursions, and tossing a frisbee around with his friends.