Worms and Grubs are meaty and juicy packs of protein, ready to be eaten as part of any meal.  With the right spices and sauces they are delicious and very satisfying foods.  This discussion goes in detail on how to cultivate and care for them to use as food.  

Here are some for sale at an outdoor market. 


Crab,  Lobster and Shrimp are also bug-like crustaceans only dwell in the sea!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockroaches_of_the_sea






Worms for Nutrition and Protein

Go to this page for a HUGE ZetaTalk Article on this topic!  http://www.zetatalk.com/index/blog0809.htm

Earthworms are an excellent source of protein, reportedly 82% protein.
Earthworms are also high in Omega 3 oil, the essential oil of ocean going fish, which reduces risk of heart disease.
In short, they are an excellent food source!
Where earthworms are noted for building soil from compost heaps, earthworms don't suffer from fungus, bacterial, or viral infections, multiply rapidly, and don't make noise or run off!
How does one go about growing earthworms for food, a process called vermiculture.
The worm to use is the red wriggler, as they take to compost piles and being handled.
We at the Troubled Times nonprofit tried our hand at earthworm growing, trying the monster night crawlers, so much more protein per worm.

We found all the night crawlers died out, and refused to be domesticated.


Red wrigglers, on the other hand, thrived. 
All kinds of vegetative trash will be turned into soil by these industrious little wrigglers.

Red Wrigglers ------->


Protein of Worms over Livestock!


Compared to a kilogram of edible protein in meat from cows, chickens or pigs, production of the same amount of mealworm protein emits fewer greenhouse gases and requires much less land to grow. The findings support the argument that environmentally conscious eaters may do well to include beetle larvae in their diets.

“This study demonstrates that mealworms should be considered a more sustainable source of edible protein,” the team writes in a paper published yesterday in the journal PLoS ONE.

The idea that insects may be more sustainable than livestock is not new. But the new study was the first to quantify the environmental impact of munching on mealworms compared to the consumption of more traditional livestock.

To come up with hard numbers, biologists from Wageningen University in The Netherlands analyzed the production of two mealworm species at a local farm. They calculated protein content and assessed environmental effects by quantifying global warming potential, fossil energy use and land use.

Compared to the production of milk or traditional meats, mealworms came out on top in most measures.



Grunting: Bring out Worms from the Ground

View this Worm Grunting Video


I'm intrigued by two methods of "calling up" worms out of the ground, a process also known as Grunting. According to one book, take a seasoned piece of wood, about four feet long. It should be in the shape of a wedge, about two inches wide at the top and ½ inch wide at the bottom. Pound this wedge three feet into the ground. To create vibrations down the wedge and into the ground, rub a piece of tapered steel across the wood, just like you’re playing a violin. Some people make their “grunting bows” out of wood. These bows have lots of raised notches that vibrate when gently rubbed across the surface of the wedge. And here's a method from another book: Drive two metal rods into the ground, about two feet apart. To each rod, hook up jumper cables connected to a car battery. Worms are said to just jump out of the ground.




Cooking Worms


Simple Recipes


Worm Banana Bread
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
2 bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 eggs
1/4 cup dry-roasted army worms, or earthworms chopped into 1/4 inch segments
Directions: Mix together all ingredients. Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.
Applewood Flavored Meat
Chop apples (red delicious) into chunks
Layer apples and cleaned boiled earthworms in a containerwith a tight fitting lid
Refrigerate in closed container for 24 hours
Remove alpples and roll in a mix of all purpose flour seasoned with paprike, salt & pepper.
Then roll worms in same flour mix.
Deep fry both in the same pan together.
Worm Fried Rice
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. oil
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. chopped onions
4 tsp. soy sauce
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 c. minute rice
1 c. cooked mealworms (or earthworms chopped into segments)
Scramble egg in a saucepan, stirring to break egg into pieces.
Add water, soy sauce, garlic and onions. Bring to a boil.
Stir in rice & worms. Cover; remove from heat and let stand five minutes.
Earthy Worm Stroganoff
1 c. earthworms
1/2 lg. onion, chopped
1/2 c. water
1 bouillon cube
1 c. yogurt or sour cream
3 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. mushrooms
Whole wheat flour
Utinsels: Saucepan
Wash earthworms thoroughly and place in boiling water for three minutes. Pour off water and repeat the boiling process twice. Bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Roll the worms in flour, brown in butter, add salt to taste. Add bouillon and simmer for 30 minutes. Saute onions and mushrooms in butter. Add onions and mushrooms to the worms. Stir in sour cream or yogurt. Serve over rice or noodles.


Some Basics on Eating Insects as Food

American Indians on Insect Consumption


Your insect consumption adds up. Flour beetles, weevils, and other insect pests that infest granaries are milled along with the grain, finally ending up as tiny black specks in your piece of bread. Small grubs and other tiny insects can be found in your fruit and vegetables. Insects are especially common in canned and other types of processed food, and even in certain beverages; I once went on a tour of an apple orchard and while the group was viewing the area where they separate the rotten and bug infested fruits from the good ones, I asked the tour guide what they did with the bug infested apples. She told me that they use them to make cider; waste not, want not! It is virtually impossible that you have not ingested insects in one form or another during your lifetime. And it probably did not harm you, but instead did you some good by providing extra protein in your meal!

Another Article on Insect Consumption


"The Indians come far and near to gather them . The worms are dried in the sun, the shell rubbed off, when a yellowish kernal remains, like a small yellow grain of rice. This is oily, very nutritious, and not unpleasant to the taste, and under the name of koo-chah-bee forms a very important article of food. The Indians gave me some; it does not taste bad, and if one were ignorant of its origin, it would make fine soup. Gulls, ducks, snipe, frogs, and Indians fatten on it."

Nutritionally, insects are high in protein, fat (and thus energy) and many of the important vitamins and minerals. They have served as traditional foods in most cultures of non-European origin and have played an important role in the history of human nutrition not only in western North America, but in Africa, Asia and Latin America. As might be expected from our European cultural heritage, some early American whites looked with open disgust at the insect foods of the American Indians. It is interesting, though, that so often, as shown by the above examples, these cross-cultural encounters relative to food seemed dominated by feelings of mutual tolerance, curiosity and respect and were described with a sense of humor.


Zetas On Insect Consumption

Huge Page on it here!  http://www.zetatalk.com/index/blog0809.htm

Insects as Human Food,
from Ohio State Fact Sheet on Entomology
The eating of insects has yet to become a day-to-day activity for most people in the United States and Europe in spite of the superior nutritional content of edible insects compared to other animals. Other cultures around the world have made insects a main ingredient in their diets, providing an excellent source of protein. Insects are an inexpensive substitute for meat in many developing countries. In Mexico, grasshoppers and other edible insects are sold by the pound in village markets and are fried before being eaten. Many are sold in cans as fried grasshoppers, chocolate covered ants, etc. Tortillas are served with red and white agave worms in many Mexico city restaurants. Columbian citizens enjoy eating a variety of insects such as termites, palm grubs and ants. Ants are ground up and used as a spread on breads. Popular insects eaten in the Philippines are June beetles, grasshoppers, ants, mole crickets, water beetles, katydids, locusts and dragonfly larvae. They can be fried, broiled or sauteed with vegetables.

In parts of Africa, ants, termites, beetle grubs, caterpillars and grasshoppers are eaten. Some insects such as termites are eaten raw soon after catching, while others are baked or fried before eating. The giant waterbug roasted and eaten whole is a favorite food in Asia. It is easily collected around lights at night around bodies of water. Sago grubs are popular for cooks in Papua New Guinea, most often boiled or roasted over an open fire. Other edible insects eaten in this country include larvae of moths, wasps, butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, adult grasshoppers, cicadas, stick insects, moths and crickets.

Harvesting Worms

Article On Worm Bins http://homeguides.sfgate.com/start-worm-compost-bin-78289.html

Vermicomposting, or worm composting, is an efficient way to turn kitchen scraps into rich nutrients for your veggie patch. Red worms and red wigglers are the champs at devouring everything from newspaper strips to crushed eggshells. (See References 1) The worm castings produced in a vermicomposter are odorless and almost effortless by-products of a simple recycling effort that you can set up under the sink.


Scout the best location for a worm compost bin. Clear space under the kitchen sink or choose a protected corner of a patio or garden shed. Remember, worms won't tolerate winter weather so you'll need to move them inside or to a heated garage before the first frost. If you live in a very hot climate, you'll need to find a cool indoor space in summer, as worms don't do well in temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. (See References 3)


Drill a half-dozen holes each in the lid and bottom of a plastic or rubber storage container. If the bin is in a poorly ventilated area like under the sink, you should drill a few holes in the sides of the container as well. Choose a storage container that is about a foot deep and is large enough for the amount of waste you plan to recycle. You'll need approximately 1 square foot of surface area for each pound of kitchen waste generated per week, according to the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System. For a family of four to six people, it recommends a 2-foot by 3-foot container. (See References 2)


Set down a shallow plastic tray in the spot where you plan to keep the bin. The tray should be close in size to the storage container. Place two blocks of wood in the tray and rest the container on top of the blocks; this will keep the bottom of the worm bin elevated. Air circulating around and under the box provides essential oxygen for the worms and the decomposition process, while keeping odors down. (See References 3)


Fill the container three-quarters full of shredded newspaper or corrugated cardboard, leaf mulch or peat moss. Worms eat the bedding as well as the kitchen scraps so bedding should be pesticide-free and chemical-free material. Spray the bedding with water to moisten it thoroughly or pre-soak it and wring it out before adding it to the bin.


Add your worms. Red worms and red wigglers are available at bait shops, from composting neighbors or online from worm farmers and garden suppliers. Buy a pound of worms per half-pound of daily garbage. Keep the bin in a lighted area at first, even if you snap on the aerated lid; worms don't like light, so this will ensure that they will dig into the bedding and not try to crawl out of the box. (See References 3)


Feed the worms kitchen scraps once they have burrowed into the bedding. Safe compost materials are vegetable scraps, coffee grinds and untreated paper filters, used tea bags, crushed eggshells and shredded paper --- but avoid coated colored stock like glossy magazines. Be sparing with citrus peels; worms don't like the acidic conditions citrus can produce. Do not feed the worms grease, oils, dairy products, meats, bones or pet manure. Push all scraps under layers of bedding. (See References 3)


When the worms have produced rich, dark castings, shove the castings to one side of the bin and add fresh layers of new bedding and scraps on the other side. It will take about a month for the worms to migrate over to the new food and then you can harvest the compost for use on houseplants and in the garden.

Things You Will Need

  • Plastic or rubber storage container with snap top
  • Drill
  • Plastic tray
  • Wood blocks
  • Newspaper strips, cardboard, peat moss
  • Red wigglers or red worms
  • Kitchen scraps


  • If liquid drains from the bin into the tray below, it's a sign that the bin may be too wet. Add more bedding to counteract this. You can pour the liquid "worm tea" onto your houseplants.


Wood Worm Compost Bins


Food wastes can make a smelly mess in your garbage, draw rodents to an open compost pile, and add to water pollution problems when ground in a garbage disposal. So what can you do with food wastes?

You can build a worm bin and let worms eat your food "garbage"! In the process, the worms will provide you with one of the best soil ammendments available - worm castings. Worm castins are very expensive to purchase, but your worms will turn food wastes into an abundance of casting for your plants.

A bin can be built for about $25 using new wood and hardware. Worm bins can also be made from recycled wooden boxes or other containers. Any worm bin must have drainage in the bottom and a tight-fitting lid to keep moisture in and pests out.

A starter batch or worms can be dug out of a friend's worm bin or from a existing manure or compost pile, or can be purchased at certain locations. If you need help locating worms for your worm bin, call the Recycling Hotline at (360) 676-5723 or (360) 384-8040.

Do Feed Your Worms:

  • Vegetable Scraps
  • Grains
  • Fruit Rinds and Peels
  • Breads
  • Coffee Grounds, filters
  • Tea bags

Dont Feed Them

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Cheese
  • Oily Foods
  • Butter
  • Pet Wastes

Wood Worm Bin


  • 1 sheet of 1/2" plywood
  • 1 14" utility 2 x 4
  • 1 16' utility 2 x 4
  • 1 lb. 4d galvanized nails
  • 1/4 lb. 16d galvanized nails
  • 2 3" door hinges


Tape measure, skill saw or rip hand saw, hammer, saw horses, long straight edge or chalk snap line, screw driver, chisel, wood glue and drill with 1/2" bit.


Measure and cut plywood as indicated in drawing. To make the base, cut the 14' 2 x 4 into five pieces: two 48" and three 20" long. The remaining 12" piece will be used to make the sides. Nail the 2 x 4s together on edge with 16d nails at each joing as illustrated in the base frame diagram. Nail the plywood base piece onto the 2 x 4 frame using the 4d nails.

To build the box, cut three 12" pieces from 16' 2 x 4. Place a one-foot 2 x 4 under the end of each side panel so that the 2 x 4 is flush with the top and side edges of the plywood and nail the boards in place. Nail the side pieces onto the base frame.

To complete the box, nail the ends onto the base and sides. To reinforce the box, place a nail at least every 3 inches wherever plywood and 2 x 4s meet. Drill twelve 1/2" holes throught the bottom of the box for drainage.

To build the lid, cut the remainder of the 16' 2 x 4 into two 51" lengths and two 27" pieces. Cut lap joints in the corners, then glue and nail the frame together. Center the plywood onto the 2 x 4 frame and nail with 4d nails. Lay the top on the ground with the plywood side touching ground. Attach hinges to the top and back using short screws on the top and the long screw on the back. Position hinges so the screws go through plywood to 2 x 4s.

You can coat your bin with clear polyurethane, varnish, or paint to protect it from weathering.




Another Article on Compost and Worm Cultivation


Grow Your Own Bait

In the latest back-to-the-earth movement, you can compost your garbage and grow earthworms at the same time.

Composting worms are hardy and can be grown in any type of stable container with one square yard or more mixture of bedding material, adequate organic matter and drainage. The worms live and feed in the upper layer of bedding mix. These materials must be deep enough to keep the earthworms cool and moist.

Making a Wormbed

Hardware stores carry all the necessary items for the bin construction. Three good choices of material for constructing a worm-bed are a metal-staked wire mesh structure, a cinderblock arrangement, or a frame of untreated wood. The ideal size is 3 to 6 feet wide, 2 feet deep and 16 to 24 inches high. If you use wire mesh, line the sides with burlap to keep the worms from escaping and to provide aeration. The bed should be on the ground in a protected location to avoid freezing in winter. This bed becomes a vermi-compost bin and must have ventilated sides to keep it alive and growing.

Stocking Worms

The best-grade worms for our temperate zone are the angleworm Eisenia fetida. Other supplies like cotton burr and starter compost bedding are available from [various sources on the internet]

The initial stocking for angleworms is one or two pounds of worms per square yard of area in a bedding mix of approximately two-thirds shredded newspaper, including some cotton burr or other compost, and one-third decayed organic matter. Overstocking and underfeeding will result in fewer worms and smaller sizes.

After a three-week incubation period, the worm eggs hatch, grow rapidly, and reproduce in about three months. Depending on growing conditions, worms may take up to six months to reach their full size. A properly growing worm culture yields two or three pounds of worms per square yard of bed the first year and increases slowly as the population matures.

During hot summers or prolonged dry periods, sprinkle the bed daily with water until evenly damp. Avoid overfilling the container, or the worms may crawl over the rim. In wet regions, some overhead protection from heavy rains may be necessary because too much water can drown or force the worms from the bed. To help prevent flooding, use gravel, fine sand and a perforated plastic drainage pipe in the base.

Feeding Worms

Worms feed on a variety of organic matter, including manure, kitchen waste, decaying soft leaves, grass clippings and ground grains like cornmeal. Each week, apply one pound of food per pound of worms and one inch of partially finished compost to the top of the bed. Avoid overfeeding as it can lead to excessive heat, making an environment that causes the worms to dehydrate and die. Excess wet food also can grow unwanted web fungus, molds, mites, roaches and attract wildlife like armadillos that dig up the soil layers. (You may need to make a wire covering to keep out these larger pests.) Check the soil mix for adult ants and ant eggs, as they can quickly take over the bed.

Sorting Worms

Worms grow most vigorously in the warmer months, feeding continuously near the bed surface if kept dark by covering with a lid or carpet scrap. To sort, remove the top two or three inches of soil, and separate the larger worms using a wire mesh screen. Handle them gently to avoid bruising. Take only as many worms as you need for a few days of fishing. Store them in clean paper ice cream cartons filled with moist bedding material or peat moss. Perforate the lid, and protect the worms by keeping them at room temperature (refrigeration isn't necessary, but avoid the heat of direct sun, trunk or tackle box). Check them frequently to see that they remain moist, but not wet.

Angleworms are wonderfully useful creatures. They keep your garden growing, eat your organic garbage and are the ideal bait for a wide range of fish species.



Food For Worms


How to Feed Your Worms
Select foods that are suitable for worms including most fruits, vegetables, cereals and grains, and other organic items like cardboard and tea bags. It is best to cut food scraps into small pieces before placing them in the bin. The smaller the pieces the more surface area there is for bacteria to start breaking down the food, making it easier for the worms to consume. Some people put their food scraps, including eggshells, into a blender and make a slurry. The worms seem to love this, but it is not necessary.

Keep shredded black and white newspaper over the food at all times. Newspaper or bedding helps keep the bin dark and moist and discourages fruit flies. Other organic material such as burlap or shredded cardboard or paperboard can also be used. The worms live in these materials and they also eat them.

To feed the worms, place the food under the newspaper in a different part of the bin each time. Do not bury the food in the castings.

LOTS more on food for worms HERE: http://www.recycleworks.org/compost/wormfood.html



Best Temperatures for Worms


Redworms tolerate a wide range of temperatures, however, the ideal temperature is between 55 – 77 degrees F. Bedding with a temperature above 84 degrees F. is harmful, sometimes fatal, to redworm populations. The temperature should be measured inside the box, because the temperature in the moist bedding is usually lower than the outside air.

This article has lots on the topic so check it out! http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/Redwormsedit.htm

How Do Worms Reproduce



Did you know that worms are “hermaphrodites?” That means that each single worm has both male and female reproductive parts.  This is one of the coolest facts about worms!  Not a lot of people understand exactly how worms reproduce and how the male and female organs work together.  In this article, we will explore not only how worms reproduce but also the worm’s life cycle!

Now that you know that worms are hermaphrodites and they each have both organs inside of their bodies, you are probably wondering exactly how you can tell when a worm is ready to start reproducing.  Well, when a worm is about four to six weeks old, it will start to form a whitish band around its head, which is called a clitellum. This is where both reproductive organs exist.

Now, even though worms have both sets of organs inside their bodies, they do still need another worm to mate with and they will end up joining together when they are ready to mate. Their heads will face in opposite directions and they will put their clitellums together.  Sperm will pass from one worm to another and it will be stored in sacs.

After this step is done, a cocoon will form on each of the worm’s clitellum’s. The cocoons will each hold about one to five baby worms and the conditions are very important in order for the cocoons to hatch. It has to be dry and the cocoons can keep for years until the conditions are just right before hatching.

As soon as the baby worms hatch, they are only about a half an inch long and they are white in color.  Worms do not nurture their young and as soon as the baby worms are born, they will start eating.  In about four to six weeks, the entire life cycle will start over again!  It does not take long for the baby worm to grow into a full adult.

One of the most amazing things about worms is that they can live for years and years as long as the climate and conditions are right.  Worm’s bodies are roughly made up of ninety percent water and one of the ways that a worm will die is because of the water drying up!  One of the coolest things about worms is that when they die, their body just becomes part of the compost in the soil and throughout their life and death, they are helping the soil one way or another!


Life Cycle of Worms


Red Wiggler worms Cocoon or Egg

Egg Appearance and Hatching


Red Wiggler worms' cocoons or egg cases are about the size of a grape seed. The egg case at first is colored and shaped like a little lemon. Red Wiggler composting worms egg case takes an incubation period of about 23 days and by then the egg case had turned its color from golden yellow to brownish red like maroon. The egg case has about 4 to 6 baby Red Wiggler worms developing inside. The ideal temperature from which the Red Wiggler composting worms or Eisenia Foetida egg cases will hatch is 65 - 85 degrees. The baby worms will come out from the egg case at least 3-4 weeks




Red Wiggler Worms Juvenile Stage

When baby or juvenile Red Wiggler worms or Eisenia Foetida hatches from their cocoons or egg cases, they are no more than ½ inch in length and as thick about 4 human hairs. Baby Red Wiggler worms doesn't have its genital markings yet or the clitellum. Juvenile Red Wigglers that are fresh out from egg cases are already heavy eaters and can already be used as composting worms.


Red Wiggler Worms Mature

This stage is when a baby Red Wiggler worm composter reaches its sexual maturity which is adulthood. It takes about 40 - 60 days for a baby Red Wiggler to develop into an adult or its breeding stage and develop its genital marking the clitellum. When a mature Red Wiggler composting worms is ready to mate, its clitellum is more developed and prominent. Red Wigglers with orange colored clitellums indicates that they're ready to copulate and is likely that it's finding a partner.


Red Wiggler worms' Mating Stage

The most interesting part of a Red Wiggler worms' life cycle is its reproduction stage. It is well known that worms in general including Red Worms are hermaphroditic- having both male and female reproductive organs. So the question is: Can Red Wiggler composting worms reproduce by itself? The answer is NO, a worm still needs a partner to be impregnated. During warmer tolerably temperatures, Red Wiggler composting worms double their activities especially in mating and becomes very sexually active. Worms mate by joining their clitellums together with their heads pointing straight in opposite directions thus exchanging sperms in the process then separates and heads their own different ways.

After copulation and long after the worms separate, both worms will secrete their cocoons or egg cases from their clitellums. Since worms have no maternal instincts, they'll just leave their eggs and go on their separate lives and continue doing. So when you see a couple of worms joined together, they're obviously mating.


Red Wiggler Worms' Other Characteristics and Traits

Red Wigglers survive temperature ranges 16° - 28°C (60° - 80°F) and are most active on upper ends of its temperature range. In the summer when it heats up, Red Wiggler composting worms double their foraging activities and are sexually active as well but in the winter or in cold weathers they're more sluggish and their metabolism is very slow as well. The Environmental conditions that the worms hate are hot, well lit, dry, salty and acidic surrounding. Aside from Red Wiggler worms being masters of worm composting in organic gardening, these worms are also a favorite in fishing as fishing worms or baits. They persevere under the warmth of the sun and the best part is that they violently wiggle when threaded on hooks. Red Wiggler worms are classified as Epigeic worms, meaning they are the kind of worms that won't burrow any deeper than 12 inches from the soil's surface.






Eisenia Foetida Behaviors and Life Span

Red Wiggler worms doesn't migrate much as long as there's food in its surroundings and the environment factors are well suited for them. Worms or Red Wiggler composting worms tend to surface when it's raining, some believe that this is so because the worms can't breathe through the muddy flood in their burrows and are forced to pop up the surface. When Red Wigglers feels in danger or threatened, they secrete an irritating slippery substance that some believes that it's a form of its defense mechanism aside from wiggling. Red Wiggler worms may live up to 4 to 5 years but this may be shorter because of stressful raising worms for compost,  unless of course if they'll be used as worm baits, then they sure won't last a year or two.
5 Ways To Harvest Worm Castings
LOTS more info at this website link!


Worms will follow food scraps, and given a little time, can actually be guided to sort themselves from their castings. The key is to STOP feeding the area you wish to harvest, and ONLY add food to the area with fresh bedding. The worms will travel to the new area in search of food, leaving you with (virtually) worm-free castings to harvest. After harvesting, replenish the now-vacant side or tray with new bedding and food scraps to restart the process. Isn’t it nice when the worms do all the work?

Worms are highly sensitive to light, and will readily move away from light sources. By strategically introducing light, worms can be guided to burrow to a desired location, allowing for easy collection of the remaining castings. If outdoors, choose a sunny location to work; if indoors, place the piles under bright light for the entire process.

If you love getting to know your worms up close and personal, this slower-paced, hands-on style may just be the method for you.



How To Raise Worms In Winter

Article on the subject:  http://www.ehow.com/how_8378983_can-raise-earthworms-winter.html


  • 1

    Use a plastic tote as a bin for the worms. The size recommended by Mary Appelhof, author of "Worms Can Eat My Garbage" is 1 foot high, 2 feet deep and 3 feet wide.

  • 2

    Find a suitable location for the bin such as a garage, unused closet or basement. The temperature of the bin location should average between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Relocate the bin to a warmer area in the winter or make sure the location is heated if there is a possibility of temperatures falling below 40 degrees.

  • 3

    Find an appropriate bedding for the bin. Shredded newspaper or peat moss are two possibilities. Place the bedding in the bin and add 1 gallon of garden soil. Add enough water to the bin to make it moist. Don't add too much water or you will create soggy bedding.

  • 4

    Obtain your earthworms and put them in the bin. About 2 pounds of worms should suffice for home use. Place them in the bin on top of the bedding.

  • 5

    Feed the worms about twice a week. Kitchen waste, such as potato peels, crushed egg shells, and coffee grounds all make good worm food. Make sure whatever you food you use is moist. Feed the worms less food than normal if the temperature at the bin location falls below 50 degrees in the winter. Cold weather reduces the worm's activity, so they need less nourishment.

  • 6

    Replace the bedding after two months. Harvest the largest worms at this time also. Dump the contents of the bin onto a large piece of plywood in a lighted area and form the compost into a tall pile. The earthworms will move into the bottom of the pile to escape the light. Remove the top part of the pile every few minutes. Eventually you will have mostly earthworms on the plywood. Harvest the largest ones and replace the bedding of the bin. Repeat this process monthly.

  • 7

    Take the compost you collected and use it to improve your garden soil.



Keep the lights on in the bin room during winter cold snaps. Cold weather makes worms want to crawl and light inhibits their activity.Take your harvested worms to local bait shops to see if they wish to purchase.

Avoid feeding your earthworms kitty litter, meat or dairy products. Avoid using a bin made from pressure-treated wood. The chemicals used to treat the wood might harm the worms.





Please Stay Tuned!  I will be adding more on Meal Worms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mealworm),  and other types of edibles.

I have eaten worms before and they are really good food.  I cook them in Chili.  They taste just like string beans mixed in the Chili.  I also noticed lots of energy for many hours after eating them!  Yum!

Please share your ideas on this subject too.  How important this subject seems now.








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Song star. great post.

Just linking the blog re: worms here, for people's reference: LINK

-From what I've read earthworms are good accumulators of lead and other heavy metals. (just my 2 cents when thinking on how to grow them).

-There will be plenty of wood around that will be rotting. Even if one may not have the stomach to eat worms/larva, our chickens will.


Using stackable bins to grow and harvest worms:


Here is an instructable on the same thing: link


When the lower bucket has been converted to worm poo, the top bucket can be filled with scraps. The worms will then migrate from the bottom bucket to the one on top, leaving the bottom bucket ready to be harvested.

With ways to make protein with worms,  another discussion just as nutritious are growing and cultivating Mushrooms.  Check it out here:  http://poleshift.ning.com/forum/topics/how-to-grow-mushrooms

How to Cook Grasshoppers


Grasshoppers are eaten around the world as a healthy, delicious food. However, they must be cooked to kill any parasites that they may be carrying. Serve these as a great low-fat, high-protein appetizer at your next party! The flavor is comparable to shrimp, crab, or lobster!

Note that these instructions also apply to crickets and locusts.

Also note that if you eat crawfish or clams (i.e. worms in shells), this isn't really much different.

  • Use a net to catch grasshoppers. Sweep it back and forth through grass and weeds where grasshoppers may be found.
  • Put your quarry in a container to keep them alive.
  • Return to kitchen.
  • Remove the large set of legs. If the large legs are difficult to remove, boil them for 10 minutes first; this will also make it easier to remove the wings, if they are large.[1] The legs can be rough and difficult to chew, and the wings just don't add any flavor, so you can remove them or leave them on.
  • Optional: Beat one or more eggs, depending on how many grasshoppers you have, and coat the grasshoppers. Then put the coated insects in a paper bag that has yellow or white cornmeal in it. Shake until the grasshoppers are coated in cornmeal.
  • Heat griddle or skillet.
    Toss hoppers in and stir. Some varieties will turn red when they're cooked.





If crickets seem too tricky for you, try raising mealworms. They're small so they require very little space, and they reproduce quickly, so maintenance isn't much of a problem.

Get about 3 plastic containers and punch holes in the lids. Cover the lids with mosquito netting or cheesecloth. This will provide air circulation and prevent condensation.

Fill the container with an inch of mixed grains like oat or wheat barnels, oatmeal, wheat germ or powdered milk, and brewer's yeast. Brewer's yeast
is actually pretty important because it contains proteins that are essential to the insect's growth. It can be found at most health food stores.

Apples and vegetables like potatoes, lettuce, and carrots can be used as a water supply. Make sure to replace these foods if you spot any mold growth.

 Fill the container with an inch of mixed grains like oat or wheat barnels, oatmeal, wheat germ or powdered milk, and brewer's yeast. Brewer's yeast
is actually pretty important because it contains proteins that are essential to the insect's growth. It can be found at most health food stores.

Apples and vegetables like potatoes, lettuce, and carrots can be used as a water supply. Make sure to replace these foods if you spot any mold growth.

You can now place the mealworm larvae in the prepared container. You will need about 60 larvae to start with. As soon as the first pupae appear,  move them to another container so that the larvae doesn't eat them. Once the pupae come out of the pupal skin, or exuviae, and go through metamorphosis, which takes about 12 days, they are adults and must be moved away from the other pupae so they don't eat them. Put some food and water in the third container and place the adults in it.
It takes about 2-5 days after the adults form for them to mate. Once they do, the female can lay about 40 eggs a day. On average, the eggs take 12 days to hatch. The adults will only live for 2 months. Overall, this insect's life cycle is about a year.

This looks delicious!  These dishes make me want to start eating worms as real food source.  These worms are deep fried.  The author of the images explains:


"Last week in Mexico I enjoyed a plate of gusano del maguey, or worms, as we say in English. I felt I was being very brave by eating them but to be honest, they were delicious and easy to like. "

"You notice here at Fonda San Angel in Mexico City, they're served with blue corn tortillas, guacamole and a guajillo chile sauce. Again, very easy to enjoy. "

This looks delicious as fries:

Another Great dish, yum!

Also two interesting tidbits I came across:

South Africa, which is going to be a safe haven for the elite is building the biggest commercial fly farm in the world, to produce BSF larvae as feed for local chicken & fish farms. Link

As well, Bill Gates is providing $2 mil in funds to a project that will convert human waste into animal feed through BSF. Link

An overview of the Black soldier fly's life cycle.

Stage 1 (Picture 1 & 2)- Adult BSF's live for 5-8 days. They only mate & lay eggs; they dont eat.

Stage 2 (Picture 3 & 4) - The eggs take about 4 days to hatch, and then the larvae will take roughly 2 weeks before they turn dark brown and prepare to pupate (become adults).

Stage 3 - When they are ready to pupate they will find a dry sheltered area to bury themselves in before taking roughly 2 weeks to emerge as adult BSF's. This is all assuming that perfect conditions are present. These conditions include weather and availability of food.


At stage 3 (picture 4), they move away from the wet food source crawlling through pipes/ ramps you build for them. And can that way be collected for their larvae.

The larvae, only crawl out if it isn't cold. However, the larvae are able to generate a significant amount of heat as they break down waste.

Check: Ideal conditions for Black soldier Flies

The larvae will not crawl out to be harvested during winter, but will continue to eat the food (waste) you give them.

"Under cold conditions keeping the colony at the optimal temperature range of 85° – 100°F (30°-38°C) is as simple as consistently feeding them and placing an insulating material directly on top of the pile. Simply remove the insulating material, add the food scraps, and then replace it. It’s important to feed the colony consistently in cold weather because without food the temperature will drop and the colony will become dormant" - Link

Below is a graph showing that despite outside temeperatures fluctuating from 35F (1 C) to 85F ( 30 C), the larvae colony maintains a constant temperature of 95 F (35 C) under a piece of styrofoam.

However, the adult flies themselves mate at temperatures 24 C (75.2 F) & up. So, the production of larvae would be a summertime job for those in the cooler temperates, while the larvae continues to breakdown & rid animal/human waste of pathogens all year round.

Picture of the bin from Source

Picture of the graph from Source

Storing the larvae (& compost) , in case you cant feed them consistently during the winter.

Informative & easy to understand presentation on black soldier flies: http://www.biotech.kth.se/iobb/news/po-brazil.pdf

**edited to correct info on pathogen related concern**

casey a said:

I was thinking of trying to grow black soldier flies(BSF) for their larvae. So figured some of the following material might help shed some light on them.

Here are some videos illustrating to help convince how helpful they can be in the aftertime.

#1) BSF larvae feeding on dead fish

#2) Tilapia feeding on the larvae: Video

#3)Chickens feeding on worms harvested:

#4)An example of a grow bin:

Why grow black soldier flies (BSF) for their larvae?

-42% protein

-They self-harvest for you (see #3, above). They dont leave much compost behind. They're primarily used for the larvae produced

-Deters houseflies & other pests away, with the exception of ants.

-Stays away from humans. Their only defense seems to be hiding. They dont mind being held.

-Significantly reduces e coli  & salmonella in waste. Can reduce volume of compost (& manure) by upto 60 -90%

-Also, (adult)BSF cannot transmit diseases to humans.  So having them digest manure, and then be fed to chickens is fine.

If you have dead animals around after the shift, you can use them to feed your bsf larvae, or scatter some bsf larvae on them to encourgae local growth of the flies & deter other pests.

[Adult flies cannot be vectors for diseases, because they cant eat or poop, & die in a week. The larvae significantly reduce more common pathogens like E Coli & Salmonella.

However there are few pathogens like roundworm that can live inside the larvae. So I dont want to suggest feeding chickens with larvae that has been fed on human/animal manure. Also there is the risk of cycling heavy metals within the food chain.

Larvae fed on a vegetarian diet is what is fed to chickens today. However, this might not be possible until year three or so.

One can still grow them in humanure compost pits for sanitation purposes; as this is something that is being done in developed countries] Link

Here is the catch, they only grow in the tropics and warmer parts of the temperate areas & cannot eat  dry grass/leaves or straw. However, I believe much of the new geography falls under these regions. They can be used to complement red wigglers

Pros & Cons of vermicomposting with red worms vs BSF in the  Link here.


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