project leader
Nathan R
1288 Marquette St
(St. Clair - Superior)
latest update rss
We got worms! Let's get mushrooms too!

the project

Composting keeps food waste of landfills and reduces climate change gases, but what do you do if you live in an apartment? Every time I give a workshop on composting, someone asks me how to compost in their apartment. So far, I have only been able to say "get some worms!" and leave them on their own.

Composting with worms is a fun way to compost home food scraps in a smaller space than a traditional compost pile. Many existing worm kits are unnecessarily expensive and complicated. I want to develop an inexpensive and simple worm composting system for home use that can help Clevelanders without yards make their own compost.

We'll create and fine tune an inexpensive home worm composting system. We'll run tests on how much food waste can be fed to different population densities of worms and how much should be added on what schedule to prevent flies. We'll grow a population of worms to supply the Cleveland area with vigorous healthy composting worms.

Then we'll teach Clevelanders how to compost at home, in apartments, and be able to offer a well thought out, tested, worm composting system.

the steps

1. We'll buy materials for the worm growing habitat and set it up by March 2018

2. We'll begin iteration of worm composting kits April 2018

3. We'll do mini tests with a few apartment living folks May 2018

4. We'll debut the ready to use worm kit with worm composting workshops at our facility in St. Clair - Superior and make them available througout the city and beyond.

why we're doing it

Food waste is a huge problem, but even worse is our culture's paradigm of disconnection and abstraction. People typically get food from grocery and corner stores where food is packaged in a shiny container or bag as though it appeared there by magic. This disconnection from the human work and ecology of how food comes to be reinforces our disconnection from land and our common human heritage as agricultural people who are part of the larger ecosystem of the earth.

The simple act of composting food scraps with the help of humble animals, seeing them work, and feeling the satisfaction of recycling food scraps into healthy compost instead of rotting in a landfill, begins to heal the disconnections between people and land. We want to facilitate reconnection and a shift in thinking toward wholes, things real and present and connected. We believe that when we think in systems and hold the well being of the biotic community and human family at the center of our thought, goodness follows. With right thinking we change the whole of our behaviors and relationships, which is absolutely necessary if humans are to reverse climate change while creating a more just and equitable society.


Disbursed Budget 5.30.18

Raised = $5,659.00

less ioby Platform Fee $35.00

less Payment Processing Fee (3%) $163.81

Total to disburse = $5,460.19

Original Budget

20' Shipping container (safe place for worms to live in) - $1500

Bins for inside the container - $400

Starting worms - $500

Climate control for worm shipping container (worms like specific heat and moisture conditions) - $560

Home worm composting kit development and materials  - $1500

Subtotal = 4,460

ioby Platform Fee $35

ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $134

Total to raise = $4,629


We got worms! Let's get mushrooms too!

Thank you so much to everyone that came out to Got Worms?! our fundraising party! We had a great time and deeply appreciate all the support and generosity everyone showed.


We're doing well and still have some time left in the campaign which led us to dream... what could make our worm project even better for Cleveland's land and people.

After some brainstorming we realized that the temperature and humidity controls for the worms would do a really good job for growing gourmet mushrooms! Some of the symbiotic relationships between worms and mushrooms and the equipment needed are:

  • Humid air - both red wiggler worms and gourmet mushrooms like humidity for best growth
  • Heat - mushrooms and worms like to be warm in the winter
  • ecological restoration - worm castings and mushroom blocks can be used to filter pollutants from water
  • Cyclical food sources - worms like to eat spent mushroom blocks, which then makes worm casting which can be used to grow food, food wastes can be food for mushrooms, and the cycle continues

Our proposal is to get another shipping container, and use the same heating and humidity equipment for both the worm and mushroom containers. With insulation and some additional fans and shelving, will bring up our goal by $2000.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Travis McLaughlin
  • Kalyn
  • Hannah Bidigare-Curtis
  • RBR Got Worms Party
  • Jacob Rutz
  • Anonymous
  • Dan Wagner
  • Anonymous
  • JTT
  • Paige’s parents
  • Laura
  • Roberta D
  • Hannah Bidigare-Curtis
  • Jacob K.
  • Erin Pophal
  • Scott B Thiede
  • Jake S.
  • Heather F.
  • Nikki Woods + Mike Meier
  • Katharine M.
  • Zoe A.
  • Marty
  • Tom
  • Charlie
  • Charity K.
  • Heather F.
  • Brian
  • Colleen
  • Amanda Fawcett
  • Judy and Bob
  • Anonymous
  • Carla Schmarla
  • Rya
  • Sarah F.
  • Party or Die
  • Mallory Phillips
  • Karrie Sweeney
  • Jay Rosen
  • Macrina
  • Josef
  • Brent Kent
  • John Sterman
  • Brian
  • Anonymous
  • Jon
  • Sara and Cory
  • Marianne L.
  • Jesse W.
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • JR Wagner
  • Carol and Ben
  • Wiley S.
  • Bobbi Reichtell and Mark McDermott
  • Daniel Brown
  • Ross M.
  • Anonymous