Hey! I’ve got worms!

I’ve got worms y’all!

Eww!  Not that kind, but compost worms!  I’m super excited.  I can’t have chickens where I currently live.  I traveled too much this Spring/Summer so I wasn’t able to plant any vegetables in containers on my patio.  I nearly killed all of my houseplants when I was gone for 25 days.  But my faithful worm buddies are thriving in a plastic bin in my garage!!

Ok, soooooooo what’s the big deal and why the heck would I share this information?  Because they represent a baby step along my path of learning.  A kind of gross, squishy step, but a step nonetheless.  You see worms, Red Wigglers to be exact, eat trash and turn it into compost.  Not soil.  Worm poop.  But that’s a good thing!  Worm poop, or casings (the PC word), can be added to your soil to amend it much like the super expensive compost you buy at the garden center.  I can mix the casing with water and make worm tea.  For my PLANTS to drink.  Unlike you and me, my plants love it and grow bigger and stronger.

But wait, there’s more.  These little squirmy babies of mine eat green kitchen waste (vegetable peelings, the dead stuff in the drawer of my refrigerator, shriveled fruit, brown lettuce), coffee grounds, egg shells, and lots of other things I can’t think of right now.  (Little known factoid: Food scraps make up 25% of waste, by weight, in landfills.  Much of that is spoiled produce.)  They don’t like meat or dairy, though, which is fine since I rarely throw any of that stuff away.  They also eat paper!  All of that junk mail?  Just run it through my paper shredder, if I have the time, and sprinkle the shreds on top of the rotten pre-composted food scraps and those little beauties munch away till all the paper is gone.  If I’m feeling lazy I just rip the paper into thin pieces and throw it in the bin.  Seriously, the worms don’t care if it’s finely shredded or not.  I’ve also torn up newspaper, cardboard, and egg cartons.  I had a huge bag of papers to shred that I’d lugged around for a couple of years.  Not anymore.  I shredded some and ripped the rest.  Now all of those old bank statements and mortgage documents are poop!  Literally.  And, yes, they were very old papers, like more than 10 years old.  I didn’t need them, but I couldn’t just throw them in the trash for any unscrupulous person to find.  I also didn’t want to spend 43 hours shredding and bagging.  I’ve got better things to do!  Enter my little worm warriors.  Not only did they do their super eco-friendly job of turning trash into black gold, they saved this lazy busy woman several hours of work!  Win-win!

See, not so bad!
See, not so bad!
Closer view
Closer view

Excited yet?  Are you about ready to dash off and buy yourself 1,000 new friends like I did?  No?  Pity.  They really are very easy to care for.  They don’t smell, despite what you may think.  And, the best part is, they are really interesting in a strange sort of wayPlus, they are great conversation starters!    Can’t you just hear it, “Hey sailor, wanna see my worms?”  Well, maybe you want to save that opener for your really, really good friends.

My little wiggly beasties may not be on the same par as chickens, but for now I’ll take what I can get.  And, while I love what these creepy little guys do to reduce my trash load and saving the planet and all that, I don’t think I’ll be changing the name of this website to For The Love of God, Family, and Worms any time soon.  Now that would be just plain weird!

 

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