Saturday, February 12, 2011

Being a Worm Mom

I keep trying to get a picture of the many cardinals outside my office on the bird feeder.  Can anyone tell me why when you look through the view of your digital camera it's twice as far away than in real life so it feels like you have to get to the full extent of your zoom to travel 20 feet via camera?  But what does this have to do with worms?




This turned out nice though.  I love early morning shots.  This is out the front door of my office.  Not bad eh?



On to the worms!  Being a worm mom is very interesting.  I feed my children the offal, waste and grossness leftover from cooking mixed in with some shredded paper and a douse of used coffee grounds for moisture content.  They never complain.  They love me for it.  And so far they've been kind enough to not wiggle out of their 5 gallon bucket and slime their way all over my kitchen floor.  They wouldn't get very far, maybe they know this.  My cat would die from excitement at having something to do.  Kill worms.


They looooooove used coffee grounds, they appreciate things that are ground up a bit


The lid of my bucket which I have been filling with kitchen scraps for a couple months now.
  
Ok so look closely....the tiny C shaped squiggle just to the right of center is a baby worm! The adults are in the bottom left hand corner; there's an even tinier worm up and to the right of the C shape; he looks like ----

Most people would probably get the heebie jeebies from doing this in their kitchen but once you start composting, it's really hard not to keep going.  Frozen ground or not.  I have a hard time throwing anything down the garbage disposal when I know I can turn it in to great stuff for a garden.  I live in a condo.  But maybe not for long. 

Being a worm mom basically means letting your worms do the work for you (sounds familiar) and monitoring moisture content.  If the mixture gets too wet, the worms seek more air hence you get a kitchen floor wriggling with red wrigglers.  If the mixture is too dry, they die.  It's much easier to make it too wet than too dry as many kitchen scraps have so much moisture in them already. 

Last summer I collected fallen leaves off my patio and shredded paper from a shredder and combined them in a big bag.  I crushed the leaves up by hand and I add this mixture to the bucket when things are too wet.  It can fill up fast!  And unfortunately, unless you have lots and lots of worms......it takes quite a while to break it down.  But at $5.00 for 100 or so, maybe I should get more.  I found a local source for them, someone like me who does it indoors.  She put an add in the back of a flyer and advertises $5 which is a total bargain!

Check them every day.  Or if you're like me, check them obsessively to make sure they are happy.  Sigh.....my real kids are in for it.

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