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A Regular Helping of GREENS

JUNE 1, 2007

A handful of garden worms
Izz

Posted by: Izz
6:40am

Today Dex and I are talking to some friends, Jamie and Beth. Besides making music and Web sites and things like that, they are vermiculturists, which means they use worms in a really interesting way: to cut down on the amount of garbage they throw out! And by the way — YUCK!

Jamie

Posted by: Jamie
6:43am

Hey, Izz. Hey, Dex. Can you give us a hand? We're checking on our worms.

Izz

Posted by: Izz
6:45am

Um, I don't think I...

Dex

Posted by: Dex
6:46am

Absolutely!

Worm condo with spigot Beth

Posted by: Beth
6:47am

See, these are our gardening worms. But the worms don't live in the garden. We have them in a worm "condo" — a special bin — in our kitchen.

Dex

Posted by: Dex
6:48am

Yes! Finally, a real reason to keep worms in the house! I've always wanted a pet worm.

Izz

Posted by: Izz
6:49am

Gross!

Jamie

Posted by: Jamie
6:51am

We're trying to cut down on how much garbage we create. We feed kitchen scraps to the worms, and they turn them into nice, fluffy, full-of-nutrients "dirt."

Izz

Posted by: Izz
6:53am

Okay. Still gross, but... this sounds green. So, where did you get the worms from?

Beth

Posted by: Beth
6:54am

We bought them on eBay. There are lots of people who raise and sell worms for composting — and for fishing bait, too. We found ours for sale. We got 1,000 red wigglers, the kind that are good for composting. They weigh about a pound altogether, and cost about $20.

Izz

Posted by: Izz
6:56am

1,000 worms! In the mail? I don't like the sound of that. I also don't like the sound of anything called "wigglers."

Dex

Posted by: Dex
6:57am

That's because they need names. Did you name them all? I could help. Aaron, Abner, Ace, Adam. Alan, Little Andy (he's so cute)... Wait. Was that Abner or Aaron? Hold on. I'll start again.

Eggshells ready for the worms Jamie

Posted by: Jamie
6:58am

They can chew up vegetables, dry leaves and grass cuttings, junk mail, newspaper, egg cartons, eggshells, leftover pasta, bread — even vacuum dust! It all turns into worm castings, which look like used coffee grounds, and smell like earth.

Izz

Posted by: Izz
7:00am

Not so gross, maybe. So what have you learned, besides how easily you can gross me out?

Beth

Posted by: Beth
7:03am

The first thing we noticed was how much organic, compostable trash we create. For just two people, we throw out about twice as much as 1,000 worms can eat. We may need to get more worms soon, just to keep up.

Jamie

Posted by: Jamie
7:05am

We've also had to try to remember the life science and math we learned in school. You have to keep the right amount of moisture and air in the worm condo to keep the worms happy, and to get rid of any bad smells. It took us a while to get that balance just right. It's like a terrarium with a mission!

Izz

Posted by: Izz
7:07am

I just hope you have a secure lid for that thing. Ick.

Dex

Posted by: Dex
7:08am

We are sooo doing this!