Vermiculture
a.k.a “Worm” culture

 

Wriggly Workers …setting up a worm bin

IMG_0010-1Wriggly worms may be tiny but they are mighty contributors to the biological processes that are essential in nature. For millions of years, worms have been hard at work breaking down organic materials and returning nutrients to the soil.  Worm composting is a fun way of recycling food scraps and other organic material.

DSC_4008Many elementary schools have been successfully composting with worms over the past few years. Fall is a great time to begin worm composting as it will take about six months to get your first harvest. With all the “how to” information available these days on the Internet, worm composting is easier than ever to do in the classroom or at home. The set up costs are relatively low but if you don’t have the time or interest in building your own box, there are many systems available for purchase too.

 

The key is to involve the kids in the ongoing recycling of the food scraps, reducing what goes into the trash or disposal, and ultimately harvesting the compost. You will be surprised at how having a worm bin at home can actually encourage you to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, just so the “worms get some!” Just remember to keep the kids involved, hands-on, with the bin to sustain their interest. Talk to them about what they’re observing as the bin starts to change and the worms transform the “garbage” into something that is useful again.

 

Teachers find a variety of multidisciplinary ways to use a worm bin in the classroom. Some may use it for 4th grade science to understand decomposition. Each year at Concordia Elementary School students build a new class bin and paint it to personalize for their own classroom (photo on right). If the school has its own garden, harvesting the compost is an excellent way to demonstrate the use of the “compost” for the benefit of their plants.

IMG_0027To learn more about setting up your own worm bin, building the box, lesson plans and teaching resources, enjoy these wonderful resources:

 

Source: Fix.com Blog