November 28, 2008

Pumpkin Shell Discovery

Despite my bragging about the worms loving pumpkins, it seems they only love the insides. Here's the small bucket of pumpkin shells I extracted from the bin today that were cleaned of their insides and starting to harden:pumpkin shellsBut far more interesting (and photo worthy) were the pumpkin shells they hadn't quite finished just yet:worm wigwam feedingWhen I lifted up some of the shells, the worms were congregated in the goo inside and kind of flopped out all together:
pumpkins in the wigwamThis is almost too gross even for me!

ANYWAY, the final feeding before the first turn of the wigwam just took place. It was an extravagant post-Thanksgiving Day feast for the squirmers before a part of their world is cranked out and readjusted. This feeding brought everything up to within a few inches of the top of the bin.

Bin cranking countdown is T minus 7 days!

November 12, 2008

How Do The Pumpkins Grow?

FAST, that's how. In a matter of only a week and a half, all the pumpkin insides are eaten and pumpkin plants are sprouting!I mixed them back in real quick so the wormies could finish them off, too. As you can see from this pic, I am mere INCHES away from the top of wigwam FINALLY!

At this near momentous occasion, I would like to highlight some important things I've learned about worms in the past year or so that contradict what I had read to be true:

1. Worms don't eat their body weight, or even half their body weight, every day. Not even close.

2. Worms don't necessarily need their bedding to be sopping wet, or as some put it "able to squeeze a teaspoon of water out of handful of bedding". Baloney. They do just fine with it damp.

3. Worms will try to escape no matter how wonderful their environment. When I first got my worms, I used a lamp hooked to an outdoor Christmas light timer in my basement to keep them in. I was feeding them all sorts of wonderful scraps and some were still bent on creeping out- light/no light, delicious scraps/crappy scraps. It didn't matter. Just like people, some just need to get away! Whatever!

4. Worms don't go sterile if you touch them too much. Believe you me, I am always mixing them around, picking them up and examining them, plucking them off the top of the bin and tossing them back in, removing them briefly from the bin to take photos, and they seem to be multiplying just dandy. I estimate I now have about 15 pounds worth, although it is impossible to know exactly.

Those are the most significant that I can think of right now. If you need any worm myths proven or debunked, let me know!

November 3, 2008

Useful Jack-O-Lanterns

These pumpkins were artfully carved for Halloween this year (mine has the tongue sticking out a la Gene Simmons style). Their artfully carved parts and gooey insides ended up in the latest worm bowl (along with some strawberry tops):

Then, we roasted the pumpkin seeds with some EVOO and steak seasoning. Essentially we were able to make use of the whole pumpkin- very environmentally friendly.

I have no idea how long it takes pumpkin parts to rot, so before I go gangbusters and toss in entire pumpkins for the worms to devour, I am going to see how long it takes them to finish these small pumpkin parts.

Did you know that pumpkins were first carved back in the 1700's to welcome back dead relatives and scare off evil spirits? I learned all kinds of interesting stuff at the Pumpkin Patch.

If I find out pumpkins rot fast enough, I am going to cut the jack-o-lanterns into pieces and drop them in.

Hopefully, this Halloween symbol will symbolize the last feeding before the big crank of the Wigwam!!!