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Composting with Red Wigglers

Composting with red wigglersI thought composting would be a great project for us; my husband not so much. It took months for me to convince him it was remotely a good idea and when I say convince, I really mean I resorted to using my  pregnancy to my advantage.

You see, when I was pregnant last spring, I was doing my red wiggler research on Google to gather some brilliant reasons why we should take on the worm composting challenge. Some sources said the worms would  not like the heat; others said they would be just fine, so really I had no idea.

Then it dawned on me: my approach was all wrong. If listing all the pros wasn’t going to convince him, it was me—pregnant me—that would spin my husband into my web of composting.

Seriously! How could he say no to his pregnant wife? And, in the end, he couldn't. So, that is how the red wiggler worm compost experiment was born.

At the time, we were living in Wichita, KS, which, as most of you already know, is not the coolest of places during the spring and summer months. But I was assured by the worm farm the little creatures would be A-O.K. In retrospect, I should have listened to Google!

I was beyond excited when the worms arrived at my front door, along with their five-star worm hotel. I felt like a kid at Christmas, not sure what was awaiting me in the box, but I knew it just had to be good.

Now, try and imagine the most beautiful and comfortable hotel you have ever stayed in; now, picture the worm equivalent: a four-storey bin where guests can go from room to room at their leisure, tons of new friends, a relaxing atmosphere, an  all-you-can-eat buffet and the most comfy paper-filled beds. However, there was one major drawback: the AC was broken and it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

I made sure to follow the instructions by adding the right foods, like paper, veggies, fruit and bread. However, I may have gotten a little carried away and added one too many handfuls of shredded paper. When I look back, that’s when things began to go south.

The first few days, the worms seemed content. I kept opening the lid to check on them, which was probably not the best idea, either. Fun fact: They don't like light, they have no teeth, they can’t hear and they feel vibrations, so I am pretty sure I was annoying the hell out of them.

One morning, I woke up in pure horror. Some of my new friends had escaped, committed suicide!! They were everywhere on the patio! Some were all shriveled up and others were barely clinging to life.

How did they get out? Not so sure. If I knew, I probably would have been able to avoid the whole situation.

Days went by and there were no subsequent getaway attempts. This made me so happy. But before long, the ugliest of bugs started checking in to the hotel, bringing its five-star rating down to a measly two-star.

Maybe they were too hot, I thought, so I added water to moisten their home, added more food and didn’t bother them for days. Little did I know, the worms had made plans to go on a mass hunger strike, leaving behind uneaten scraps for the filthy addict bugs. Hotel rating: now a revolting one-star.

So what did I learn? Kansas is a hot state, worms don't Iike heat and how was I going to raise a baby if I couldn’t handle a bucket full of worms?

What little projects have you started that ended in disaster? What did you do to try and fix the situation? I would love to hear all about it!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Scott aka This Daddy says

    So did you ever find out how they were getting out? And I can take care of kids and not our two compost bins. We have two large trash cans and I have put food, grass, paper and water and heat and drilled the holes like they said to and guess what i have…

    two cans of wet mess, that isnt breaking down. Oh well. Keep trying i guess.

    Your blog is kicking ass and you are a great blogger.

    • Good Girl Gone Green says

      I figured they were migrating up and they could fit through the lid and the bin. I was putting too much food, they were hot, they were drowning and totally pissed at me and wanted to get the hell out so bad! But they can’t live on cement, so they died once they escaped.The rest just turned into mush! YUCKY! 🙁 Awww, thanks Scott!That means so much. I am putting lots of effort into my post and hope it catches on and more people eventually read! Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post. 🙂

  2. Good Girl Gone Green says

    That’s pretty much what happened to me, well except it was from extreme heat! I am looking at options to compost in the winter when I move back to live in Montreal in about 10 months! I have found a compostor that can be used indoors without worms! I am going to blog about that next week! Thanks for sharing your story, Ann-Marie! 🙂

  3. tanya says

    Made me laugh, I loved the story. We plan on composting once we move back into our little house this fall. Good to know the worms aren’t the way to go in heat, as we’re in FL. Thanks for bring the tester for me on that one:-)!

    • Good Girl Gone Green says

      I am glad I made you laugh, Tanya! I think there is a type of worm, that can be used for composting in a higher heat. Just can’t remember the name of the worm.I will get back to you on that one.Thanks for reading! 🙂

  4. Tamika says

    oh what an awful experience – when pregnant – a sour situation is always more sour with hormones!!

    We successfully had our worm bin in Northern Alberta – just kept it in the basement for the winter but it was right by the furnace – so nice and warm and they kept up the same activity level all winter as they did all summer….

    • Good Girl Gone Green says

      It wasn’t as bad as it sounded! I am glad you are able to compost with worms worry free. I am sure the day we have a basement we will be able to go back to composting with worms.We will just stick with bringing our compost to our local farmer right now! Thanks for sharing, Tamika!

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