How to make a Worm Cozy

Worm Cozies allow you to keep composting worms hidden in your home or workplace. No one suspects a plant stand, a teddy bear or paper shredder to contain an active worm colony. Here are my instructions on how to make the plant stand Worm Cozy out of a 5-gallon bucket.

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e-worm

By Gavino Chachalo y Maria Patricia Tinajero
ewormWhat is an e-worm? Is lumbricina or commonly know as earthworm. Why do we call it e-worm? Because worms are associated with many parasites that are harmful to humans, but by adding the letter e at the beginning of the word, we want to linguistically reclassify the identity and the function of the worm in contemporary urban culture. The sound of the prefix e gives the word a new meaning that is social and psychologically accepted; after all we all have an e-mail account.

Additionally, the letter e refers to economy and ecology. Two buzz words in contemporary culture, as we strive to a more sustainable existence between human economies and environmental impact. Economy and ecology share the Latin root οίκος, meaning home; therefore Thinking Like an e-worm is a project about taking everyday actions to learn about the tied connections between economy and ecology.
ecuadorThe project started in our home in Quito, Ecuador. We start by composting our food scraps by bacterial fermentation. This research let us to worms for speeding up the composting process, as well as to increase the quality of the compost. Now we need more food scraps to feed the hungry e-worm. We are asking our neighbors to be part of this project by keeping their food scraps. People are intrigued by what we are doing so we want to teach them about gardening, composting and e-worms. If you like our project, we would use the funds in two ways: 1.) a roof to cover our e-worm tanks and 2.) buckets for food scrap collection from our neighborhood. We are also designing a web site to make our process available to more people that might think that because they are living in big metropolitan areas they have no choices for their food supplies.

Worm Propaganda

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We at WormCulture are honored that the Portland Oregon designer Joe Wirtheim created a propaganda poster for worms. It is a new addition to his long-running series called The Victory Garden of Tomorrow. It includes several space age chickens, plants and people and you can see the whole series on his website. We are told that this new poster, Worms will do the Work will eventually be available for purchase there.

Joe says: “this project is committed to civic innovation and social progress — better food, better gardens, and better cities. I get really excited about edible school gardens, city bicycles, home cooking, backyard chickens, beekeeping, rooftop gardens and really anything that brings health and activity to people’s lives. I love looking at vintage graphics, especially mid-century propaganda and advertising.”

About this design: “I’m inspired by the power and relentless energy of such a small creature. As described by Youngs and the Worm Culture blog, these creatures and their microbe allies take our discards and attack them with vigor. The result is a valuable resource for any gardener. I wanted to show our Red Wriggler in a heroic light among their work; cute, harmless and in our service.”

Worm Cozies

worm cozy at the hadley houseWorm Cozies are designed to help humans feel more comfortable hosting worms in their homes. Based on the concept of appliance cozies, which were originally created as a way to hide the sight of garish machines inside the domestic space of the kitchen, these worm cozies similarly function as a softening interface that will help us get used to the idea of living with worm ecosystems.
Teddy Bear Worm Tamer

Teddy Bear Worm Tamer

Worm Cozy Fuzzy Plant Stand

Worm Cozy Fuzzy Plant Stand

Composting worms are excellent co-habitants that can help us reduce our greenhouse gas output by eating waste paper and food scraps that would otherwise be sent to landfills, which generate methane. Local, in-home worms can transform domestic organic waste into a rich, nutritious fertilizer that can be fed to houseplants, food gardens, trees or lawns. Worm ecosystems are odor-free, silent and thrive in dark, moist places with food, so they will not want to leave their worm cozy. I understand that some people are squeamish about the idea of living with worms, which is why these cozies are designed to be friendly, fuzzy, and discrete.

Paper-Shredder-Worm-Cozy

Working Paper Shredder Worm Cozy

Worm Cozy Cook Pots

Worm Cozy Cook Pots

These pieces are on display in the Vermiculture Makers Club Exhibition in Louisville, Kentucky.

I’ve made instructions on how to make the plant stand cozy so you can build your own.

Breakfast with Cantaloupe

What happens when worms are engaged in the artmaking process?
By Ann Corley Silvermanvermibook_AnnSilvermancrop
~ We could not eat a cantaloupe without the work of the decomposers who make the soil on which the melon depends. ~ The cotton placemats depend on soils for the cotton plant to grow, and laborers for planting; plucking the seed fibers; spinning the thread; weaving the fabric; and designing and making the finished cutwork placemat. Setting the table: to provide all the things for a gathering of people to eat and drink together.

Breakfast with Cantaloupe is about setting tables. The cantaloupe was for the red wriggler composting worms. They love the juicy parts of the cantaloupe. They were happy with their placemat habitat and stayed until they had eaten all but the lacey part of the rind. I wanted that part. They were my reliable collaborators. Back to the worm bin they went, and I to my meditations about tables, food, and labor.

– Ann Corley Silverman


This interactive installation offers human participants an opportunity to tune into – and bodily experience – the vibrations made by tiny, soil-dwelling beings. Humans continue to be interested in detecting signals of extra-terrestrial life in outer space, but have overlooked the intra-terrestrial signals of life – the worms and insects that sustain our own terrestrial existence. This highly amplified environment allows humans a chance to appreciate these extraordinary life forms through live, amplified sounds and infrared video. Hopefully this experience will give a viewer/participant a different sense of the life inside the earth; one that goes beyond the scientific and instead approaches something more akin to fellowship, communion or appreciation.

by Amy M. Youngs