Harvesting your own fishing worms is very cost-effective and an excellent learning experience for kids. Fishing worms are easy to come by: Just check the soil in your yard, or the sidewalk after rain. Alternatively, you can find fishing worms at your local bait shop. Either way you will need an initial stock of worms to start a productive fishing worm harvest. Get started by preparing a pleasing bed for your future fishing worms.
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Line the bottom of a 15-quart plastic bin with cardboard. Plain brown cardboard will work best; avoid shiny cardboard with glossy finishes or waterproofing treatments. This cardboard will help regulate moisture in the worm bed.
Fill the plastic bin one-quarter full with loosely packed shredded paper. All your shredded confidential mail works nicely, but avoid shredded credit cards and other nonbiodegradable materials. Newspaper also works, but avoiding colored paper such as comics pages, as the ink can be toxic to the worms. This paper will soon become worm food.
Add garden compost until the plastic bin is one-half full. Mix the garden compost and the shredded paper by hand. Add additional garden compost to within one inch of the brim. This will provide a cool, moist, nutrient-rich bed for the worms to feed and reproduce.
Introduce worms to their new home. You can use two containers of bait shop worms or find 10 to 15 worms in the wild. Secure the lid on the plastic container to keep birds out, and store the worm bed away from direct sunlight.