Tuesday, December 1, 2015


A few years ago, when we started the Learning Garden at SMU, Dick Langill donated a pile of worms from his home garden, so that we could start our own worm bin. The fat red worms ate a lot of compost, multiplied and eventually needed more space to stretch out.

We now had more than enough to share so that others could start their own worm bins. The great thing about worm bins is that the worms eat up the compost and make rich soil that provides a low cost and a natural way to feed the plants. Worm tea made from worm castings (yup, worm poop) is the best fertilizer there is.
worm bins
Glad to have SMU alum, Sarah Gabel, back to help with the garden!

In the beginning of Fall semester, Sky organized a worm bin building workshop. It takes two plastic tubs and some holes. There are many variations of this design, here is one from Seattle Tilth. We started with our huge pile of red worms that needed to be split up. The worms had to be picked out by hand and added to a fresh pile of newspaper strips and compost.

Hand picking worms out of the rich soil.

Everyone got some worms and bins to take home for their gardens and in Annabel's case, for her dorm room. Since worm bins don't smell, they are a great and easy way to compost indoors.
Pam Holsinger-Fuchs adopts some garden worms for her garden.
Alan Tyler has a pile of worms to take home too.
The best part is that by using a worm bin, you turn your food waste into a reusable resource that goes back into the garden instead of the landfill to produce methane gas. According to the EPA, food waste that goes to the landfill breaks down anaerobically and produces methane, which is 21 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. By feeding the worms, you are actually helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feeding your garden to grow more food.

OIKOS FYS101 class takes veggies to the Food Bank
Here is what we do with the food we grow. Our First Year Seminar class took this harvest to the Thurston County Food Bank where we learned about how this local non-profit helps eliminate hunger, diverts good food from going to the landfill and provides healthy and dignified food options to people in need.