November 11, 2012

Pictures to Make You Squirm

As promised, I snapped a few super-freaky update photos from the jack-o-lantern drop-off in the Worm Wigwam.

The pumpkin that was left peeping out after I buried them all last weekend had some snow accumulation...
moldy pumpkin
Or was it....ewwwwww....mold?!?

You probably want a closer look.
moldy pumpkin
I've never seen this type of mold before in my bin, but a quick Google search told me it's probably sclerotinia sclerotiorum, "the most nonspecific, omnivorous, and successful of plant pathogens"- according to a reference compiled from the University of Hawaii

There is plenty of time for the worms to gobble that up and push it out before planting season next year, which is good because I don't need any omnivorous pathogens making my organic gardening life any more difficult.

That's the great thing about worms- they are able to take all sorts of disgusting, moldy, rotting things and turn them into fantastic organic plant food. In Australia, there are even giant industrial worm farms designed to process sewage and water waste. You can read a great set of FAQs about these systems at A&A Wormfarm Waste Systems.

Back to the bin! The pumpkins got unusually soft and mushy this time around, so I don't think I'll have any skins/shells to pick out fortunately.

I say fortunately because when I dug around through the bin, it was exceptionally squirmy this year!

pumpkins in the worm wigwam

Double ewww! Even for a seasoned worm farmer like me, that is a LOT of worms!

You probably want a closer look.
pumpkins in the worm wigwam
One peek was enough- I am not anxious to go scooping through there again to pull out any shells. Every single pumpkin had giant masses of worms similar to that one.

At this rate, I expect the pumpkins to last another 1-2 weeks before they are completely gone.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and guess who's hosting dinner this year? THIS GIRL. With my novice cooking skills, the worms will probably be the most thankful about that.

Related Posts & Links:
Post Halloween in the Wigwam
Pumpkin Shell Discovery
NPR:Fermentation: When Food Goes Bad But Stays Good
A&A Worm Farm Waste Systems

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