Almost every day right now in upstate N.Y. it is snowy, overcast, and very cold. Thankfully it’s warm inside our little cabin, however, where we find ourselves largely doing catch-up, planning, and research work until we figure out what our next steps are here, and how to accomplish them in this increasingly harsh weather.
Meanwhile I decided it was as good a time as any to get worms for our new homestead. But not just any worms. Pet worms!
Okay, I will explain. :-)
“I must own I had always looked on worms as amongst the most helpless and unintelligent members of the creation; and am amazed to find that they have a domestic life and public duties!”
– Joseph Hooker, 19th century British botanist
One of the things I have been wanting to do since getting our new land is to save and compost our food scraps. We weren’t able to get a compost pile going, however, before the snow fell.
Now Vinny has been telling me about worms for awhile, and their importance in composting. Back in the shed of our old place he even had an experimental stack of worm bins, which I’m afraid to say I never paid much attention to. The idea wasn’t “pretty” enough for me, I guess. But mostly I didn’t appreciate the practicality of having worms around!
Introducing our new, cool-looking Worm Factory! I ran across it on Amazon for less than $100 with free shipping, and read how it is an indoor “vermicomposting” system for specifically red wiggler worms to create rich soil from your food scraps.
It’s really easy, too. Basically you start off with the bottom tray and put the worms in it with a little soil and a handful of food. For red wigglers, their food is a mixture of things like vegetable peelings, egg shells, coffee grounds, and fiber such as dampened newspaper, cardboard, and even junk mail! The worms chomp away at all this “garbage,” and crawl up through the mesh bottoms to the higher trays to eat more as needed. In the bottom trays they leave behind their poop, which has a fancier name called “castings.” To gardeners, worm castings is known as “black gold,” literally the best, most nutrient-dense medium for growing plants in!
Why do I think everyone should have worms? Let me count the ways: :-)
- In the winter especially, this is a perfect use for food scraps. Not everyone feels like going outside to the compost bin (if you even have one).
- They make free, top quality soil to be used in gardens or potted plants.
- Worms are quiet, low-maintenance, and you can keep them in an odor-free high-rise building.
- You always have a supply of free fishing bait.
- If you go on vacation, you do not have to get a worm sitter for them.
The only disadvantage to having worms as pets, however, is that they are impossible to name! Lol. But other than that, I look forward to getting to know and appreciate our worms more, and the soil they will help make for us.
“It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.” – Charles Darwin 1881
P.S. Sorry if I opened up a can of worms there, Lol….
LATER NOTE: For some spiritual insight that I received from my worms, you may be interested in this new post, done later in April of 2017 called, “A Lesson From My Worms.”