Posted in Crafting, Health, Home Life, Uncategorized

Operation: Sqwormy Box

To start off, I do realize that I incorrectly spelled ‘squirmy’. However, I would like to assert that I did so for the sake of a pun!

Hubby and I* started a worm compost nearly a year ago outside the back of our cute, little apartment. But by saying “hubby and I”, I mostly mean I.

I* started a worm compost nearly a year ago outside the back of our cute, little apartment. If I am going to be honest, my dear husband detested the idea all together, but he was willing to amuse me.

We acquired our first worms one weekend while we were visiting my parents at the farm. My dad and I dug them up while my husband quietly observed (seeing as he was always raised in one city or another, this behavior was understandable). I brought my new pride and joy home in a five-gallon bucket and placed them in two milk crates lined with homemade t-shirt bags and filled with the cheapest dirt we could get ahold of at Home Depot. I would make sure and give them my fruit and vegetable scraps and leftover coffee grounds, and every once in a while Hubby would be willing to bury the loot with a trowel for me. We had a pretty good thing going and I was perfectly content with my new project.

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I am honestly not sure what happened exactly.

I was astonished.

I was slightly horrified.

I was impressed.

I came home one day to my husband elbow-deep in worm poop. I’m not sure if the worms audibly spoke to him or played him a song on the ukulele, but apparently the they had grown on my dear husband and he decided that he would take it upon himself to turn the soil. It was a (post-)Christmas miracle!

Since that day, Hubby has been actively caring for our worms and we now refer to them as ‘our pets’. We feed them. We turn their soil. And we water them occasionally.

We had been doing research for quite some time about building a legit worm bin, but none ever stuck out to us as being practical and suited to our needs. We found everything from coffee cans stuck under the kitchen sink to elaborate multi-level contraptions that seemed better for a large-scale production. We wanted to respect our new friends more than putting them into a coffee can, but building something from scratch looked too complicated.

Then it appeared. It was a vision from Heaven. It was perfect. It was a shipping box left behind our dumpster!

I got inspired!

With our eye on the prize, Hubby and I very unceremoniously lugged our newly-acquired, ugly shipping box across the parking lot, up the hill, and around to the back of our apartment. I wish I had taken a picture of it laying hideously behind our dumpster, but I guess I was afraid someone would nab it while I was getting my camera (I don’t know either). And this is where we catch up to about two weeks ago.

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Boom, baby!

That hideous gray atrocity is the first step of our new (and improved!) worm bin. As a side-note, the weird-looking red pallet project is a planter box holder and it also got much improvement during this process. The poor thing was naked all of last year.

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We attached the lid to le box via those two hinges. Not bad if I do say so myself. Our apartment is the one on the right with the open door (if you care).

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Here is the front of this beast. We felt like we should add a latch on the front for protection from any critters wanting an easy snack of our worm-babies or our scraps (there was a really hungry stray cat one time). We also felt like we should attach said latch to where you have to man-handle the lid a bit to get it on and off for “extra-protection” against crafty predators (yeah, that was totally an accident).

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Here are some placement photos! Husband leg is just a bonus, and that big, nasty pile of leaves is where our fire ants currently live… Soon. Very soon.

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I forgot to take a better picture of this, so this is what you are getting. Essentially what we had done was drill a bunch of holes in the bottom to allow all of the excess moisture to escape. We then cut a piece of screen and tacked it to the bottom to a) prevent worms/dirt from escaping the box, and b) to hopefully prevent and/or deter our pesky fire-ants from nesting in there. We also slid two standard-issue aluminum roasting pans underneath the box to catch those precious worm-tea drippings.

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And the dirt and worms finally got to go in our box! These pictures were taken a few days apart with two different cameras, and I was too lazy to try to color-match them in my software. We decided to add the shipping straps to the box so that it wouldn’t flop back and destroy the air conditioning unit behind it.

Another feature of our new worm bin is the “cinnamon barrier” around the bottom edges and perimeter. I did some research a while back when I was concerned about ants getting into our apartment, and found that cinnamon is an excellent deterrent. Cinnamon is apparently too strong of a scent for the ants and they steer clear of it. As I have mentioned earlier, we have recently discovered a fire ant problem in our back yard (particularly under our concrete porch). I have been consistently dusting cinnamon around our worm bin so as to add another obstacle for those devilish fire ants.

And, for your entertainment, here is a doofy picture of me being so proud of my niftiness.

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