Not only will red worms eat your garbage, but these girls/guys may take a bigger place in your life than you imagine. You’ll find yourself, even if you’re the prudish sort, gleefully discussing their male/femaleness and digging through your worm bin show off their eggs at when you have parties. You’ll make proclamations like, “Earthworms are the intestines of the planet!” and you won’t be kidding. One day you may stoop to hiding your worm farm under the kitchen cabinet to appease your partner or take home food scraps from every potluck you attend. Lost causes freeze food waste while on vacation to take it home and place it lovingly in their worm bin. You will discuss your compost tea with the kind of pride wine growers use when bragging about their best vintage. That’s what happens when you become a Compost Queen, King or Kid.
Blame it on Mary Appelhof, who literally wrote the book on worms eating your garbage. Or the Seattle Public Utilities, who made it so easy to build or buy a worm bin or Green Cone. Perhaps it’s those dastardly green-thumbed folks at Tilth who show off their lush gardens and train you to be a Master Composter so that you too can be an evangelical for vermicomposting. So goes my own tale. True story: When I first became enamored of the miracle workers known as red wigglers back in 1991, I was seized by the entrepreneurial spirit. Why not raise and sell them to eager newbie Seattle composters? In the back of some organic gardening magazine, (the World Wide Web was only a two year old toddler), I found an advertisement for red wigglers way down in Plains, GA. When I called for my first order of livestock, the fellow who answered had a such a familiar voice and accent. How thrilling it was that we started our business with wigglers from the President’s own cousin, Mr. Hugh Carter.
Now, you don’t have to go all the way to Georgia to get your starter set of worms. Ask your friends and neighbors or the Garden Hotline folks will help hook you up: 206. 633. 0224. Maybe you can get your kid started on a business for their college fund.
FACT: Red wigglers don’t like to live in soil…surprising, eh? They love rotting food and especially leaves, but their tiny little bodies are too sensitive for the minerals in soil. Sniff. Don’t believe me? Check it out.
Warning, once you get these hardy, never complaining, tiny work horses into your life, you’ll wonder how you ever gardened or got along without them!
Check out our Edible Garden series, with programs and activities for gardeners of all ages.