Yes, I know that is a shocking admission. I do have worms.
Not on my actual person, but I do have them. They live in my basement. In a box.
I got my box ‘o worms from my friend, Ingrid – who is a great source of new ideas. As with so many of her fabulous new ideas, I wasn’t so sure about this at first. I mean, how do you respond when someone offers to give you worms? Uh, no thanks, I just got rid of a bad case? Or – oh, how thoughtful of you? But, as has been the case with so many of her fabulous new ideas, I am so glad I decided to go with it! Perhaps I should be a little more discreet about this but, I really love having worms. (My kids think I am gross and protested loudly at first, but I have cultivated that “devil-may-care” attitude about things like this and it generally wears them down and they eventually only roll their eyes at me.)
Every so often, I give them some kitchen scraps to eat and they seem perfectly happy. The worms – not the kids. It takes much more to keep the kids happy.
The orange things in the picture are not worms – they are sweet potato peels.
The worms actually like their dirty, damp, rotten home living under newspapers and they would protest with mass suicide if it were not just so. They also prefer to eat discarded food and garbage – and it keeps their figures very trim. As much as it might sound like it from their living conditions, these are not homeless worms – oh no, not these worms. These worms are living the high life I tell you. Their worm friends, who spend their days back in the old neighborhood slithering through rocks and dirt scavenging for food, would be jealous if they knew how good their buddies have it. This a life of luxury for worms.
The worms look like this…
Yes, that is a sterling silver serving fork I am use to stir up my icky worm bin. I am nothing, if not unnecessarily fancy. I can admit that.
Some of my kitchen scraps do go to the chickens, but then the chickens sometimes get to eat the worms as a special treat, so the chickens are the big bad winners in the end. That’s the beauty of being a chicken and not a worm, I guess.
Having worms is like having a virtual personal assistant in India. It is nice to know that they are diligently working away all night while I sleep. Instead of spreadsheets and research, these little do-gooders are eating my kitchen scraps and turning it into really great compost for my garden. They are also multiplying like crazy, so they must be happy. Not that being happy necessarily requires you to reproduce (thank gawd!!!), but I am glad to have clear evidence that I am doing something somewhat right.
On Saturday, I brought the worm bin out to the yard and worked some of the compost into one of the vegetable garden beds. The worm compost is the grayish dirt in the picture. I also put some in the watering can to make worm compost tea – which is supposed to be great for plants.
I have heard there can be a gnat issue with composting, but I haven’t had any problems yet. I always add plenty of shredded newspaper to the top of the compost to guard against this.
I suspect that another reason I am not having a gnat or fly problem is because this little mutha’ must be helping me out by eating whatever might have been flying around in the bin. She must be happy and getting enough to eat because…she is reproducing! I love it when everyone has a job and does it well. It’s almost like nature is my office manager!
It is almost time to clean up the vegetable garden beds and put in lettuce. I may do a (not so scientific) experiment and see if adding worm compost to one bed and not the other makes a difference. Or maybe I will see what worm compost does to my strawberry crop! I would love to have tons of yummy strawberries! And then, I will give the scraps of the bumper crop of strawberries and other vegetables back to the worms to eat and they will make more compost. It’s amazing to me how this all just works. If you can tolerate keeping icky worms and muck in your basement, it turns into something that makes yummy food – and then it turns into more icky worms and muck – and then into more yummy food…and so on. It isn’t pretty or clean or even totally reliable or easy…but it does seem plenty perfect to me.