Worm News

The Valentine worms arrived a week ago Saturday and to be honest, they didn't look like much.

I expected a pound of worms to be the size of a bag of sugar. Instead the woman at the nursery handed me a paper container the size of Chinese hot and sour soup for two. That was only two thirds full of dirt.

I lifted the lid as soon as I got in the car expecting to see worms crawling around. What I saw was dirt. I shook the container. More dirt.

At home I emptied the contents out sparingly. The first guys looked dead. Towards the bottom was a clump of worms; skinny red and pink anemic looking worms. "Great," I thought, "I got leftovers."

But I spread them out, a few showing a hint of life and I covered them in a layer of dirt. Then I ran upstairs to get their food I'd been saving in the fridge.

I read to not initally feed them too much but it was hard to hold back. I layered an inch of carrot tops, broccoli trunks, leek skins and assorted greens on top of their mango mulch home. I patted it down, talked to them. "Okay," I said. "Time to eat." I smiled. Nothing.

Over the last week I've opened the lid a couple of times. There's increasingly less green matter, more brown. Sunday, day 8, I checked again and brought a fork to dig.

The box smelled, but not bad. There were a couple of ants and the top was covered with an airy white mold. A result of my enthusiasm more than anything. As the worms start eating, the smell, ants and mold will go away.

The worms were getting busy, tunnelling and working. They looked healthy, like they'd gained weight, added color.

I'm holding back on giving them more food while they get acclimated. But I'm continuing to save produce scraps. Everything that goes to the worms is not going in our trash and will end up as fertilizer in our garden.

And that is a sweetheart deal.


Green Bean said...

Good for you! After massacring two batches of worms, I couldn't stand the guilt and switched to backyard composting. I'm so happy yours are thriving!

El said...

Our worms LOVE carbs like rice and pasta (leftovers, of course). If they're not successful, let me know and I will send you some, okay?

kale for sale said...

green bean - I'll vicariously share your garden and you can share my worms. I hope I don't kill them.

El - I haven't seen anywhere that the worms like rice and pasta. Thanks! Keep your fingers crossed you don't hear from me for more.

Theresa said...

I have a fondness for worms, and I'm sending your worms lots of encouraging vibes!

Green Bean said...

It's a deal!

kale for sale said...

Theresa - That would be good vibes without borders. Thank you.

One of the first sites I found on worm composting was out of Canada, cityfarmer.com.

CindyW said...

Ever since my kids heard about worm composting, they have been asking about getting a worm bin. But given how bad I am in taking care of anything, I am afraid that I will kill them all. Now seeing that Green Bean, aka., garden queen, cannot sustain them, I am even more apprehensive. So I'd love to hear your updates, do's and don'ts before I get the wiggly things.

kale for sale said...

Cindy - The pressure is on. I think that worm composting is such a good idea I'm going to be hard pressed to let on if I'm not wildly successful. Which I so expect to be on enthusiasm alone if nothing else. I've got the worms in the garage that is partially open and has a constant cool temperature even in summer, which should be ideal. I'll keep you posted! (We're putting less bulk in the trash already.)