This was originally posted last year, but I thought I’d republish it since everyone’s planning their gardens & such…Enjoy!

I have a special Guest post for you today.  If you get several papers each week then you know that they can quickly create excess paper trash.  Composting is a great way to get rid of all the extra unwanted trash and reuse it for another purpose.  My friend Nanci has graciously agreed to provide us with this How To on composting.  Please Welcome Nanci!

The day I invited a container of 500 worms into my life was the day I introduced myself to composting.

Well, that is not entirely true.

My worm connection was married to a worm farmer (who has since, sadly, retired).  I gave her cash, she gave me a big box of worms and I drove off as giddy as a kid on Christmas.  Once at home, I placed the box in our garage so I could prepare their new home.

Preparation of their compost “home” consisted of taking an old plastic garbage can and drilling several small holes in the bottom.  Placing various leaves, shredded or torn pieces of cardboard, and peanut shells, I was ready to introduce my 500 wormy friends to a nice comfy condo. Meanwhile, my curious kiddos decided to personally introduce themselves to the worms.

So I started off with about 492 and a half worms, some hope, and lots of veggie peelings, egg shells, and peanut shells.  Four years later and my compost stands proudly in the backyard with the freshest, nutrient filled garden filler.

So are you ready to compost?

You don’t have to start big like I did. Simply get a sealable container and drill a few holes in the bottom. The purpose of the holes is to allow ventilation and drainage as the natural garbage breaks down.

Add some soil, fallen leaves, veggie peelings, or other natural trash.

Add worms. Don’t worry about those little worms sneaking out the bottom in the drain holes. They will be happy to stick around inside and eat through your refuse, producing nice fresh compost.  A few worms will do. Simply dump them on the top of your starter pile and watch them seek cover immediately.  Walmart or fishing supply companies sell worms.  Make it a family project and have the children dig for some.

Continue to add peelings, egg shells, plant clippings, leaves, cardboard, newspapers, and compostable containers (Sun Chips bags make great ones).  Natural egg cartons are great as long as they are cardboard based.

Avoid any oil based, animal fat, grease, slick ads/newspaper inserts, heavily dyed cardboard, or plastic/foam egg cartons.

Once a week or so, turn your container upside down to mix up. If you have a larger one like mine, take a stick or rake to it and just churn it a couple of time. Within a few weeks, you will see the fruits of your labor in the form of fresh, dark, rich soil.  It will NOT stink, in fact, it will smell garden fresh-literally!

So why compost? And why the worms?

Composting provides a natural, safe alternative in teaching children about recycling plus provides a nice, nutrient to your plants and gardens. The worms break down the refuge, the refuge promotes growth.

Life gives us “worms” all the time. You know, those unsightly, “icky” situations that pop up in life-an expected bill, sad news, or auto repairs. We try to avoid them but the truth is those situations make us stop for a moment and realize that it is part of life and while it cannot be avoided it, there is a lesson to be learned in everything that happens in life.

So when life gives you worms-compost and make the best of them!

About the writer: Nanci Scarpulla, M.Ed. is a wife and homeschooling mom of two. She is the creator of, an encouraging site for families of special needs, the State Mom for, and a writer and contributor to several online and print publications.