In nature Red Wiggler worms, Eisenia fetida, can be found among and underneath the leaves and throughout the top layer of soil where materials are available to the worms as a food source. Leaves, decaying plant matter, just about anywhere in this zone that you find decaying organic matter, you’ll find some kind of worm and red wigglers are typically found in the leaf litter.
Homemade worm bins come in all sizes and shapes, but most are variations on a simple plastic box. The requirements for a mini-worm farm are to provide them food and shelter. We’ve already touched on the food part and using a crock to hold kitchen scraps until they can be fed to the worms.
Shelter for the worms means you need to provide a place for the colony to survive, thus the box. Worms in nature are mostly underground or otherwise out-of-sight, so a lid for the box is needed to duplicate a dark, natural place for the worms to live.
As time goes on liquid accumulates in the worm bin due to the natural cycles of material breakdown, so we must provide a way for excess liquid to be removed from the worms’ living quarters. This is where the variation comes in the design of home made worm bins. If liquid is allowed to accumulate in the box your worms will try to find a way out. When this happens the worms usually don’t get too far away before they encounter difficulties and dry up.
Some folks drill or cut holes in the bottom of the plastic box that houses the worms. Liquid is then collected on a tray or in another plastic box. Others invent some sort of tap for collecting the liquid.
Worm juice can be diluted by about 1/10 with water and used as a dilute fertilizer for plants.
Using shredded paper for bedding in a worm bin gives another benefit to the earth in that we can recycle some paper instead of dumping it in a land fill. Also, if the worms run out of food scraps, they will eat the paper!