My how vermicomposting changes your habits...

jasonkJune 6, 2008

I started my first worm bin a little over 3 weeks ago (very successful so far, thanks in large part to this forum and a few other VC websites - one of the better communities I've been involved with on the internet) and already I'm constantly finding examples of how it has changed the way I think.

For starters, it got me to read some books like Teaming With Microbes that really made me re-evaluate my garden. Now I don't freak out when I see some leaves have been nibbled at; it's all part of the process and slugs need some food too...

Really what made me think of this is that I just got inside from being out in the garden with a flashlight staring for 10 minutes at a pair of mating worms. I probably wouldn't have even noticed them before I started my worm bin (and certainly not before I started gardening), but there I was, squatting in the garden with a flashlight, marvelling at these little copulating annelids at midnight on a Thursday.

And don't get me started on how it's changed the way I look at garbage.

Anyway, just a thought. Feel free to contribute your own stories of changed perspectives/attitudes; I'm sure there are plenty.

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squeeze(z8 BC)

I've been on this journey too long to think about the changes, but I'll add that most folks could benefit from understanding the importance of the microbial component of our planet - the teeming population invisibly underpinning our very existence that folks spend much time and effort trying to eliminate when they should be working with it

be sure to spread they word to friends and family ... and encourage your kids to play in the "dirt" :)


    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 11:13AM
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Well, I've had compost piles for years and pretty much threw everything in them that was appropriate. Now I do scrutinize my compostable a little closer for tasty tidbits that my worms might like.

I always feel happy when I lift the lid of my bin and see worms there. I lost a large portion of my worm colony last year when I was sick and I wasn't sure the few that were left would be able to recover and repopulate, but apparently I was wrong about that. They seem to be repopulating just fine and dandy with just the barest minimum of encouragement. Cheryl

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 2:53PM
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newoahuwormer(11 - Hawaii)

YES - get all of us started on how we have changed! My changes are in my marketing & menu planning for the week - I lean towards what I'll have "left" for my worms! I have been bad to them and haven't juiced like I did at the start so they don't have as much pulp (which breaks down faster, right SQUEEZE!???) so I think I have to go back to juice.

And once a week I sit in front of the tube and shred my newsprint and cardstock. I STEAL the puffy cardboard stuff at work!! Everyone is getting new computers & monitors and I know THAT STUFF breaks down fast and is YUM YUM for my worms.

Yes, STEAL. If folks are saving all that stuff they should not leave it in the open for me to happen upon and make off with!!!! hahhahaaa

Worm Nelly

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 12:41AM
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Hey Worm Nelly! Maybe they are hoping someone will pick up after them and put what ever it is away. So your playing into their hands but not for free you get the worms some good from recycling it.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 8:19AM
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newoahuwormer(11 - Hawaii)

Hey! I like tomatoes too!

As for "work" - I think there are small children around that no one ever really sees! Leaving stuff all over, taking the last paper towel, overflowing the trash cans!

My tomato plants are getting SOME worm tea. I have green onions growing too. I think I need to put up more stakes, the branches are starting to hang.

Worm Nelly

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 12:11AM
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folly_grows(10 SF by the Bay) buying bananas and cantalope because I've heard that worms love these buying organic because the banana peels are safer for the worms checking this forum as soon as I turn on the computer in the morning and just before I turn it off at night wondering if I have an addiction or OCD because I keep lifting the lid on my Worm Factory and poking through the bedding to see if the worms are still there and eating yeah :-)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 10:50AM
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Worm Nelly: I love the tomatoes and I'm very fond of keeping worms. All is good til I find the tomato horn worm then its all out war.
I got some of them little round green fruits where the blossems were. The Moretons are comming the Moretons are comming. F3 fruit this year.
tomato sandwiches for me and the worms! Hoorah!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 6:57PM
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sqh1(z7 NC)

As per a recently resurrected post I made in 2005 on Worm Digest:


A Protected Species Earthworm
Posts: 652
You can learn a lot from a worm - 2005/11/18 10:21 After 5 years of working with worms in bins, I realize what an incredible journey I have been, and am still on. What a great science lesson I've had. Looking in with kids and adults, at the bins we have made, discussing what is going on, how necessary all the creatures are, working on their own specialty. How they all have to be there, and that no one creature can do it all. There is a new understanding of diversity and community. Talking about how things work in nature, it becomes very clear that we humans are the fly in the ointment. We like our conveniences and we like our food and yards to look perfect and pretty, (to a fault). We spray herbicides and pesticides, helter skelter, so we have an easier time growing our vegetables, fruits and yards. In doing so we destroy the soil with chemicals and then eat, breathe and walk around in all those residues. We spend way too much time and energy trying to exclude ourselves from the not so pretty side of a natural process or cycle. We should, I think, be spending much more time trying to learn how we humans fit in.
I believe, also, that things happen for a reason. I have been asked many times how/why I got started doing this vermicomposting business. I am beginning to think that there is something greater that I am going to learn and be part of as I read articles on reasearch being done. My family , as I am sure many families are, dealing with cancers of many types. My family, in particular, has 3 members with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Immune diseases give me great pause. I am of the opinion that we humans are obsessed with cleanliness. Antibacterial soap is one point. We do not like to think about bacteria being on or in our bodies. We are "above" that stuff. Fact is we are swimming in bacteria and it must be there for our health. They are altering our foods, to make them disease resistant, so production will be greater. If these foods we eat are modifyied to rid plants of disease, and make them look pretty, I am wondering what price we pay, when what we are eating no longer has the nutrients and living enzymes it was supposed to have. I just read the article in "Latest News" about enzymes and worms. Very interesting! (This is actually really "old news", if you look at the dates of some of the research.) I am starting to think, I was meant to start this little project at my daughter's elementary, working with worms, dirt and kids. I might have never met some of the folks doing such interesting work/research, read any of these articles or even been making this very long post, hoping to start another interesting conversation. Susan Quinby-Honer
Starve the Landfill...Feed the Earth."

The journey is still on, just as, if not more intense and fun.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 9:51PM
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Hi susan! I have said to some of my fellow inhabitants(of the earth) many times. If its made in nature it is neither good or bad it simply exists. If its made by the hand of man watch it closly. Man is the only living thing on earth that destroys natural things. He is also the only creature that destroys matter by upsetting the balance of energy in atoms. Before the atomic age the destruction was controlable by the action of nature in the relative short term. To day I am not so sure anymore the lessons of time, will tell for sure.
We all watch our worm bins some folks require large changes for the keeper to take note. As we journey on this road we (at least most of us will I hope)become more astute at the skill of observation until we are able to perceive even slight changes, all of this at a casual glance. Hence an old saying (most obvious to the casual observer). Practice and the ability to learn is all that is required.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 7:40AM
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I can't go into a department store without checking out their bins!! Before, I couldn't care less, now it's an addiction.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 2:35PM
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