One of the benefits of writing this column, besides getting filthy rich, is meeting new people.

I consider the day that I pulled into Stephanie and Zach’s driveway to ask them about the containers that they capture their rainwater in one of my luckiest days. You won’t meet two nicer people. In addition to that, they are very much into gardening.

A few years ago, they decided to get into vermi-compost. For those of you who are unsure about what exactly that is, it’s the raising of worms, so you can use their waste for fertilizing your garden.

Stephanie explains, “It’s the best thing to create a working soil out of dirt, which we have.”

The following will be step-by-step instructions for raising worms in your home.

Number one on the list for vermi-composting is to purchase a lovely home for your new guests. There is no need to call a Realtor, instead get in contact with Worm Factory 360. They will have all the products you need.

You will receive plastic stacking trays, about the size of an end table. The trays are open on the bottom, and you usually start with one tray. As time passes, you will need to add other trays on top of the original one.

Now that you have your bed and breakfast in place, you will want to invite guests over. To do this, go to Stephanie said that you will need 1,000 – yes, she said 1,000 – worms to start a farm. Red Wigglers are usually the worm of choice for your B&B. She also said that these worms are not meant for the cold weather in our area, so they must be raised in a warm environment.

Before the guests arrive, the tray needs to be prepared, so your out-of-town guests don’t have to spend the night in a box. This will require shredded paper, cut-up fruit and vegetable peels, a little garden soil and coffee grounds. They love their coffee! Moisten the mix, and your newly arrived guests should feel right at home.

Now you can add your 1,000 new arrivals to the mix. Cover them with folded moist paper, and that’s it. Well, there might be a little more.

Stephanie said that at first, some of the Red Wigglers didn’t care for their new accommodations, and tried to escape. When I asked how many, she replied, “About 15 to 20 a day.” I didn’t ask who was in charge of retrieving them and putting them back in their tray. Since I am not a fan of touching worms, my wife would probably be in charge of that.

After the worms adjust to Zach and Stephanie’s warm hospitality, they realized how good they have it, and stay put.

When the bottom tray gets full of you-know-what, you add a second floor, filled with the same ingredients as the first floor. The worms must not care for their living conditions on the first floor, because they crawl right up to the second floor without the aid of a moving van.

Now you get to reap the benefits by removing the bottom tray, which is filled to capacity with worm waste. If I remember correctly, Stephanie says it does not have an aroma to it, which is nice. I can’t say that I’ve ever smelled it.

In the spring, when they are planting their garden, they add the vermi-compost to each hole they dig for plants.

Stephanie says they feed the worms once a week with the peels, coffee and paper. She does give one tip if you are planning to raise your own worms. She suggests freezing your fruit and vegetable peels before adding them to the tray, because that kills the larva of the fruit flies that may be on the peels.

After the initial set up, I guess raising worms is sort of an easy way to get fertilizer.

Of course, if you are not a fan of touching all of those squiggly live worms, you can always buy the fertilizer in a bag.

Make your space a green space.

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