July 30, 2007

The Feeding Frenzy....not really

It was time to do some feeding. The worms had been with me a week or so, and I had issued various friends and family "worm bowls" to save their veggie scraps in. The first "worm bowl" filled up at my house.

I mashed up potato peels, strawberry tops, egg shells, green and red pepper tops/stems, and more coffee grinds. It looked not good, and smelled not good. I tried to keep in mind this would have all ended up in the garbage, but I was turning it into yummy (gulp!) food for helpful creatures. Ew anyway.

Went downstairs and pushed the shredded newspaper out of the way about a quarter way across the bin. I had read to feed them in a new row each time and slowly move across the bin, so by the time they get to the last row on the farthest side from where they started, you'll have all the castings (POO!) left. That sounds like a swell idea, but my worms seem to be all over the place. Hopefully, I have received intelligent enough worms that they will understand this slow migration of food across the bin.

I will try to photograph the worms actually feasting, if and when this feast takes place.
By the way, worms are kind of boring. I was very elated building the bin, overjoyed when they arrived, and way ecstatic to show them their new home. Then, a lull in activity. Hmmm...worms just don't take all that much energy. I guess that's a good thing, or I would be complaining how much work the worms are!

July 26, 2007

There Was Darkness and Potential Escape

In the morning, I got ready for work and headed to the basement on my way to the garage. I stopped to take a heartworming, Earth-loving peek at my bin.....HOLY TERROR and ALARM! I was witnessing an escape attempt by about forty of my creepy crawlers!

They were crowding up around the top of the bin, which thank goodness had a top on it (with the middle cut out and replaced with screen so they could breathe!). Still, I looked around with a panic I had not known would come with worming. WHEW! No escapees had made it past the top! A few quick taps on the side of the bin later, they were all laying back in the bedding.

I got to work and emailed my supplier- what the heck was going on? Were they trying to get back home? Did these worms have a innate sense of direction I had not read about while I was researching them? HELP! I did not want unhappy guests!

My connection to the worm world, a great gentleman from Da-Le Ranch with the quickest, most complete, and positive thinking emails EVER, emailed me a nice calm reply and noted that I should leave a light on at night so they stay put in their bed (bin). They tend to move away from the light, and you don't even need a bright light- just a small one.

I obviously need to consult my directions more closely. I have been missing some key points.

Stay tuned for the first feeding.

July 25, 2007

In the beginning...

I couldn't wait to see how worms were shipped through the US Mail like a Christmas card. I was amazed that within two or three days, a whole pound of living wiggling worms would be on my doorstep. They arrived from a ranch in California. After mapquesting, I found out my little friends travelled over 2,400 miles. They have already logged more miles than me this year!

The worms arrived in a regular cardboard mailing box marked with red felt pen alarmingly "LIVE BAIT!" Yikes! I was not planning on hooking my worms as fish food!

In the box was a ton of shredded newspaper, and in the middle lay a tightly packed cloth bag with a little drawstring. I dampened the newspaper and placed it into my bin like the directions mentioned- oh, yes, worms come with directions! Sometimes in projects, you might just breeze over the directions figuring you know the deal- but THIS WAS NOT ONE OF THOSE TIMES! Not with hundreds of little lives on the line!

Not knowing how productive/successful I would be, I only ordered 1 pound for about $30; however, it looked like I had received the bargain deal of the century because there looked to be, oh, about a kizillion in the cloth bag.
I dumped them quickly into the bin and shuffled them around with the newspaper. Then I sprinkled in the coffee grounds I made my husband save and shuffled them around, too.

I gave them a few sprays with my new water sprayer purchased strictly for worm sprinkling.

I looked at the worms, newspaper, peat moss, and coffee grounds in the bin. I pushed some stuff around to make sure they were still alive.

And then I thought, wow, that was easier than I imagined. I had pictured wild worms needing to be wrangled back into the bin by way of worm lasso.

And then, with day one of my worming adventures over, I shut off the light and went upstairs. You'll never guess what was going on the next morning...