I ordered a 1/2 pound of red wiggler worms back in May but the sellers have experienced such a boom in orders this year that they were unable to fill my order until July. Encouraging don’t you think?
I have kept a vermicomposter many times but haven’t had one recently. We’ve just been composting on the roof in boxes or carrying our food scraps over to the community garden where our bins of dry browns need all the wet they can get.
I have to admit though that I love having a bin of worms living with me, so when I had an excuse to get some I jumped on it. I have loved worms since I was a kid. Worms remind me of summer nights running outdoors searching the neighbors’ “lawns” for little dew worm heads poking up out of the ground. We always let them go, there was no reason to keep them. I just liked finding them and feeling them wriggle in my hands. I still do.
Worms also remind me of my grade two teacher, Mrs. Hamson. I’m pretty sure her name was Hamson although my brain wants it to be Hamster.
Anyways, when it rained the concrete pad of my schoolyard became flooded with worms, and I’m not sure if it was a particularly rainy year or what but the boys in my grade had developed a trend of throwing worms at the girls and it seemed like this was happening fairly regularly. This of course always sent the girls off shrieking which only served to egg the boys on more. Mrs. Hamson sat us down one day and explained that worms are animals, that there was nothing for the girls to be afraid of and that the boys should respect them as living creatures and leave them be. She brought some worms in and we all took turns touching and holding them.
That lesson has always stuck with me. I wasn’t one of the kids throwing the worms or one of the kids having worms thrown at me for that matter but what created an impression was the fact that this adult cared enough about something as small as a worm to teach us a lesson about creature abuse. A lot of adults in my neighborhood kicked cats and abused their kids. So when our teacher talked about the lowly worm as something to be respected and cared for she was also telling us something important about all living beings and ourselves. And what’s more she taught by example with a kind voice instead of lecturing or finger wagging. I don’t think I was the only kid who heard her because the worm throwing did stop. To be replaced shortly thereafter by digging clay or petrified cat poo out of the sandbox to throw at each other.
Here’s how to make a worm composter. They’re fun to have around, especially if you have kids, and those suckers (the worms, not the kids) will eat their body mass in food scraps daily. Worm poo is some of the best stink-free organic fertilizers you can also make yourself. Just be sure to get yourself the red wiggler type. Dew worms, night crawlers, and earth worms are good in the garden but won’t survive the conditions of a compost bin.