The How and Why of Worm Farming - Uncle Jim's Worm Farm

The How and Why of Worm Farming


worm bin moistureThe phrase “worm farming” may come across as a larger undertaking than it actually is. The benefits of worm farming outweigh the perceived inconveniences or difficulties enormously. Worms are may be slimy and wiggly, but they are hugely beneficial to our environment. They naturally till, aerate and and fertilize the earth.

Worms are slowly being eliminated from the earth through chemicals that are used by the majority of farmers to get their plants to grow larger. The trick that many farmers don’t realize, is that they are killing the creatures that could naturally help their plants to grow larger – without all the sprays and chemicals. Composting is a very simple way to create a healthful and safe environment for these crucial creatures.


A simple and small way to being worm farming is to create a “worm jar”. Get a few foam boxes from your local organic grocer, poke a few holes in the bottom to allow for liquid to drain, and place the first box on top of another foam box. Once you have your box prepared, you can add the “bedding”. Bedding can be made of leaves, cardboard and even newspaper. The layer of bedding should only be about the thickness of your hand length. Make sure to soak the bedding in water before putting in the foam box.

Another great idea for creating a successful worm jar is to add a stable object into the bottom box. This creates a safe island for the worms to climb up on if they were to accidentally fall through the top level box holes. It can also help the worms climb their way back up into the top box without you needing to help!


Once your box is created, and your bedding is in place, you can add a handful or two of worms! Redworms and/or Tigerworms are great for worm farms.


After the worms are added, you can start adding your kitchen waste to the box. Make sure to do so slowly and in small amounts. Worms can tend to be picky eaters. They will not eat meat, bones, dairy or fatty foods, uncooked potato, oranges or other citrus, garlic or raw onions. They will however eat cooked potatoes, as well as cooked onions. They will however eat all other food waste – apple cores, banana peels, etc. 

Once your worms are in place and you have added their first batch of waste, cover the box with newspaper. Add water to the box whenever it gets dry – it should maintain the consistency of a damp sponge. Place the box in a shady place in your garden or garage.

The best part of worm farming is the castings that you can collect after some time of the worms doing their job! You can simply move everything in the box over to one side, add fresh bedding to the other half and allow for some time. The worms will move to the fresh bedding, leaving the castings behind! You can easily collect those castings and place them on any and all of your houseplants, gardening, lawn and trees!

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