Friday, July 14, 2006

My newest obsession, plus I'm not the only one

Despite what Boy said, I was way on this idea before we went to his co-worker's barbeque. His co-worker (who thinks he's fantastic -- naturally) practically had this barbeque for us, as we were the only ones there (save another woman who left quickly). They have a lovely semi-detached outside of Edinburgh in Penicuik. We lusted after the place, as it had a huge, well-maintained garden, tended by her husband, Peg. He showed me his wormery, which was really cool, save his second lot of worms had, like the first, pegged it.

I first heard about wormeries in The urban gardener feature of Guardian's Weekend magazine, a week or two before I saw it in the flesh at the barbeque. Since I've got bugger all to do during my holidays, I've spent hours on the web, reading sites and forums to learn more about wormeries. The worms break down kitchen waste and they can an alternative, or a compliment, to a compost bin -- instead of nature doing the decomposing, as in a compost bin, worms do it. I had plans for a DIY wormery and was able to find the supplies (ended up not doing the drain).

Well, you might wonder, why didn't I just do a compost bin? I have always wanted one, but I have, also, always been too lazy to do something about it. A wormery could be kept indoors (actually, good for them, as a consistent temperature is better for them), which I liked. The thing that ixed-nay compost bins for me is that in addition to the worms and other insects that inhabit a bin, so do rats and mice, which I know I am not down with. I have a fear of living things.

"All living things?" Boy asked, as I was trying to open my box of mail-order worms.

I stopped and gave it a thought. That was an extreme comment to make. Really, all living things? "Yes," I replied, as it finally sunk in what was happening. The stacks of boxes in the corner with their mesh bottoms, one filled with shredded newspaper, meant something. I was going to have to touch these suckers. I made Boy open the bag that they were in.

He did it, but made me dump the bag over into the bin. Just a lot of soil. Using a wooden spoon, I gave the heap a little jiggle. Nothing for a second, then I could see the sides of about three worms, moving slowly about. I was supposed to get at least 500! Quickly, I put another box on top of them and a dog towel (the towels we used to wipe the dogs down when they come in) so they would have even more darkness and let them be. I was supposed to give them a week or so to settle in.

But I'm freaking nosey, so I went back today. The soil had all been spread out and they were out and I could see I had gotten my money's worth. There was some sort of worm orgy going on, as well. As I lifted the lid, one fell on the floor and, surprise, surprise, I actually tried to pick it up. It was too wee, though, so I shoved a piece of paper under it and returned it to the bin. I pushed the other crawlers on the bin walls down and reluctantly, I put the cover back on, gifting Margaret and Hess (those are the worms' names) with their preferred darkness. In a few days, I'll give them a wee bit of food. And that's probably why all of Peg's worms have died: he's feed them too much, too soon.


We weren't the only ones who noticed Zizou's odd choice of attire for his first interview since the World Cup -- jacket over shoulders. Click here to read.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have more food than you can feed them at one time, you can take left over food, like old lettuce and such, put it in a ziploc bag and freeze it ( if you have room in your freezer) and that way the old food is out of your fridge but you haven't over fed the worms.

Enjoy Autumn! Vermicomposting does involve wiggly worms, but at least they are your own wiggle worms, and only worms.

Love, Meghan

Monday, 17 July 2006 at 04:40:00 BST  
Blogger Autumn said...

Thanks for the tip Meggys. Lovely to hear from you doll! Been talking to our friend Kirby -- don't know if she's told you. She's keeps threatening to take me to Tuscany!

Monday, 17 July 2006 at 08:07:00 BST  

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