As the Worm Turns

Mike Leiberman in the video above goes the extra mile for his compost worms by making green smoothies for them. Vermiculture at its best!

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those that could live with a box full of worms, and those who can’t. I am in the first camp, and currently live with goodness knows how many worms in my worm composter. It’s my second foray into worm-keeping, Vermiculture if you want to get fancy.

My first effort was in the early 90’s. My box was given to me at a community environmental day. It was merely a blue recycling box with an instruction page, and a bag of starter worms. I left it in my kitchen, added worms, shredded newspaper and vegetable scraps, and waited for the magic to happen.

There was no lid on the box. Sometimes I’d get home from work and find escapee worms who managed to scale the sides and drag themselves across the kitchen floor before giving up the ghost. It was sad to come home to these doomed ventures. What was the worm looking for anyway? Better scraps?

Up close and personal with worms and worm castings. Castings are the best food for your plants.

The Red Wiggler worms used for vermiculture are a special variety. They need an ideal level of temperature, food and moisture. What the escapee worm was looking for was a better mix of moisture and bedding. My composter box had a logistical problem. There was no place for the extra moisture to drain off, so the environment was too soggy.

I eventually abandoned my worm composter when I moved into a place where I had no room for it and forgot about living with worms.

The garbage strike of two summers ago got me thinking about worm composting again as a way to avoid mixing my wet and dry garbage. I was annoyed that the city felt that was a solution, and I simply couldn’t do it. I went online and found a newer, more efficiently designed worm composter, with tiers and a drainage spigot. A luxury worm condo.

I mostly forget about my worms, but I do save the choicest scraps for my bin. All my teabags, banana peels and lettuce leaves go in there, while things that worms don’t like, onions or citrus rinds for example, go in my city green bin. They seem happy when I lift the lid to see how they’re doing. And I haven’t had an escapee yet.

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