I started a diy kit and got hit up with so many questions that I'll do a quick write up.
I bought the worms mainly for my kid to fish with, unfortunately red worms are harder to find and are my fav bait for small bluegill and catfish. You can get night crawlers almost anywhere but red worms (red wigglers) are harder because they don't last as long at the tackle shops. We bought nightcrawlers to fish with and had some left over, my old boss was fishing with us and told us about how he composts so he has red worms all the time to fish with.
I also am trying to improve the shitty soil at my track house. When I moved in it was all clay, I've been mulching it for two years now and with all the rain in so cal the soil has improved tremendously. I'm getting ready to plan a reed avocado tree, they don't grow as big as most avocados and are heavy producers. I'm hoping to keep it pruned to about 10 feet but we'll see. At any rate I want great soil for the tree and my veggies.
You can watch hours of youtube and figure it out but basically what I found out was:
You want a 18 or so gallon storage tote with lid. I got it from home depot for like 5 bucks. You drill holes below the lid all over and also about 12 or so holes on the bottom for ventilation.
You don't want a ton of soil in it. I used shredded paper on the bottom, a little soil and a lot of dry leaves. I added a bit of water to the whole thing to make it moist.
I ordered worms online from here: https://www.ebay.com/usr/louswormfarm?ul_noapp=true
I was killing time when I was building my composting stuff so I did a bid for 18 bucks shipped. If you are impatient you can buy them for 20 bucks shipped all day long. I bought from these guys because their pound is by worm weight, not soil. The guys from craigslist had them but I'd have to drive about twenty miles and they said "a pound of dirt an worms". They also said there would be about a thousand worms but there's no way, the pound from lous is all worm and they say 1000. I got the worms today and believe me there's a ton of worms in there, it was like one gigantic ball of worms it was crazy. The worms I got are a mix of:
• Eisinea fetida (Red worms)
• Eisenia hortensis (European night crawler)
• Perionyx excavatus (Blue worm)
I guess that's a good thing because they work all the layers of the compost, red worms usually are surface eating worms.
The worms can put away half their body weight each day, so theoretically once they settle down they will eat half a pound of scraps a day. When you start though you want to just throw in a few things and see how they do, if you put too much you can get bad mold or bacteria or parasites and kill off your colony. You can't feed them meat or a lot of citrus, so you are looking at grass clippings, leaves, fruits, veggies, eggshells. I'm juicing a lot now so I should have a lot of carrot and apple fiber.
Once the worms have turned everything into castings, you have to separate out the worms from it and then throw it in your garden. Most guys use screens to screen out the stuff but I'm just going to dump the stuff in the garden with some of the worms and keep adding. The worms can tolerate from 40-80 degrees so I'll have to figure out where to keep them in the summer when it gets real hot.