Moomah the Magazine
Make Nice Mission: Day In The Life Of A Worm

Make Nice Mission: Day In The Life Of A Worm

There are some little creatures that work very hard to keep our gardens healthy. These guys and their relatives do an incredible amount of work in the garden: they move soil, they get rid of garbage, they make fertilizer, they help air get to plant roots... so many things! Can you guess who they are? 

The slimy, squirmy, wet and wriggly creatures help out in the garden by producing compost for us to use on our crops, helping them to grow. These little guys are WORMS!

Compost can benefit the land in many ways. It can act as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer and a natural pesticide for soil. In the Edible Schoolyard garden, the compost bins are the perfect place to recycle the vegetable scraps remaining from the kitchen classroom and are also the perfect place to house the special worker worms. The students that visit the garden get to know the worms and understand their working process, showing their appreciation for them by making them a nice home.

HELPING THE WORMS DO THEIR WORK

The students in the Edible Schoolyard program help their worms by making them new bedding and giving them food.

Worms produce compost for us to use in our gardens by munching on leaves, newspaper and garbage! Not all garbage is good for worms to munch on. Worms don’t like anything toxic like the chemicals in junk food, cakes and candy. They’re also vegetarians and won’t eat meat. So what will worms eat?

Worms like to eat:
- vegetables
- fruits
- egg shells
- banana peels
- lemon peels
- potatoes
- beans
- bread

The students take a small amount of worm food (garbage!) and prepare it for the worm bin. But there is one problem: worms don’t have any teeth!! To help them eat their food, the students make sure to break it down into small pieces before giving it to the worms.

The students also help the worms by giving them new bedding. Worms like to stay nice and moist so their bedding must be moist, too. The students tear up shreds of newspaper and dip it in water so that it gets just wet enough. They layer the newspaper in the bins, helping to keep the worm’s environment moist enough to work in. Once the bedding is in, the food can go on top and the worms can get to it!

Worms can eat THREE times more than their body weight per day! That’s a lot of food! They move up and down, munching away and releasing it all out the other end – this is your compost!!

A WORMY WORKSHEET

The Edible Schoolyard program teaches kids to get to know their worms a little bit better. As part of their experience, the students get up close and personal with the worms, learning to touch them, hold them and really explore them.

We've made pretty their little worksheet that is given to the students to fill out when they are examining their worm. There are spaces for the students to write down their observations and all sorts of information they learn about their worm, and the compost bin, during their lessons.

The Edible Schoolyard NYC will use our new worksheet in their program and you can use it at home, too!

Want to teach your kids a bit more about worms? Diary Of A Worm is a great book recommended by the Edible Schoolyard NYC that your kids will love. Click here to buy Diary Of A Worm >>

TRY COMPOSTING YOURSELF!

Composting can be the first step you take to help reduce the amounts of waste send to landfills each year. When waste goes to landfill, air cannot get in to the soil. It breaks it down but creates a harmful greenhouse gas (methane) as it’s doing so. This damages the Earth’s atmosphere. By composting, you are helping to turn your scraps into something useful for our environment.

Don’t become overwhelmed by the idea of composting. You don't HAVE to build a worm bin in your own home. Here are a few simple ways you can incorporate composting into your lives, whether you have a garden, an apartment, you live in the suburbs or live in the city.

Have Someone Pick It Up!

Have Someone Pick It Up!

If you live in New York City and want someone to pick up your scraps for composting, go with Vokashi. 

Using recycled plastic EcoSmart buckets, Vokashi uses the Japanese method of fermenting food waste called EM-Bokashi. All food scraps are collected in airtight buckets, bran is added, and the fermentation process begins. No smells: no pests: no fuss. Every month the buckets and bran are exchanged and the food scraps are used for composting in local community gardens or green spaces.

Learn more about Vokashi's here >>

Look for something similar in your city! If you find a place, comment below to spread the word.

Drop Off Your Scraps!

Drop Off Your Scraps!

If you want to teach your kids to compost by recycling your food scraps, go through the process with Grow NYC. 

Grow NYC offers food scrap drop offs at Greenmarkets around the city. Food scraps are dropped off in covered plastic containers, plastic bags, milk cartons or in commercially-available compost pails. Once dropped off at a greenmarket, the food scraps are transported to one of several NYC compost sites to be transformed into a fertile soil amendment for use on local urban farming and gardening projects.

Learn more about Grow NYC and Greenmarket drop-offs here >>

Look for something similar in your city! If you find a place, comment below to spread the word.

Do It All Yourself

Do It All Yourself

If you have your own garden with room to use your own compost for growing healthy plants and vegetables, go with Bokashi.

This in-house system is used to recycle kitchen scraps into an organic compost soil conditioner. It prepares the scraps for burial in less than half the time of conventional composting methods without any unpleasant odors. The system also allows the moisture released by the scraps of food waste to be drained out to prevent spoilage. This liquid can be used as a fertilizer for household plants or to clean your kitchen and bathroom drains.

Learn more about Bokashi here >>

Know about a similar product to help compost easily at home? Comment below to spread the word.

Posted in: Animal Kingdom   In the Garden   Make Nice Mission   

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