Building worm bins
Photo: Rob Howard
Let worms eat your garbage, and they'll reward you by producing rich compost for your garden. Because worms thrive in a closed container, a worm bin is much less likely to attract pests than an open compost pile. You can buy a plastic worm bin, but it's a lot better to make your own, which you can easily do with 1 ½ sheets of exterior-grade plywood, a few scraps of 2x6, two hinges, and a handful of nails or screws. Line the bottom with bedding of moist leaves or shredded cardboard, add a colony of works, and faithfully feed them your food scraps. Within a year you can start harvesting compost. Earthworms don't do well in confined quarters, so use red wiggler worms instead; order them online at

Get step-by-step worm bin plans from the non-profit organization Seattle Tilth, which is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable community through gardening.
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