Sunday, December 19, 2010

Do You Have Worms?

The following scenario played out numerous times in our little house in Kamloops:
Guest wanders into our house.
Guest: Where's D?
Me: Oh, he's just feeding his worms.
Guest: !!!....???......!

No, D doesn't have parasites living in his intestines (that we know of). He has a worm composter. A thriving metropolis of red-wigglers in a five-layer composting farm that very kindly chew up our household waste (like food-gone-bad, paper, vacuum dust, you name it) and turn it into worm turds. I know what you're thinking, "Worm turds! Oh golly, where can I sign up?!" Actually, worm turds are a gardener's dream. They are super potent natural fertilizer for the garden.

Now, you may be thinking that I am a pretty tolerant wife to allow a worm farm in my house. But I actually like the little guys (they give me great fertilizer!) And only seldom have the words, "You love those worms more than you love me!" floated through our home.

Alas, our worms are now dying in our apartment. They are tucked away (ok, jammed into what space is available) in our storage closet and it is difficult for D to give the proper care and attention they need. You see, worm composting is a very precise and difficult science. I hope at least some survive our exile in the apartment and will make lots of new babies when we get a house. Luckily worms are intersexed, so we don't have to worry about making sure of one surviving male and one surviving female.
The worm composter when it was starting out.

Some red wigglers. These are not your average earth-worms. These are super-composters and also a favourite among anglers (and kinda expensive too!) This photo is from Extreme Pumpkin. They sell worm composting supplies. If you are interested in worm composting, check to see if there is a local dealer in your community. If not, there are tons of places to get started online. We used All Things Organic. If the prices of things are putting you off, you can also make your own composter from a rubber maid container. It is a little harder to remove your finished turds though (I guess the proper term is worm castings). You definitely need to shell out the money for red wigglers though. No other worm will do!

And it is worth it! In Kamloops, when we had the worm composter, our outside composter, and recycling, our waste was so diminished that our garbage can only needed collecting once ever one to two months! (And it was a small can.)


  1. Hermaphroditic...worms are hermaphroditic, having both male and female sex organs. I was surprised that clownfish are considered hermaphroditic, only they change from male to female as they mature (or some of them do). "What do you want to be when you grow up, Nemo?"

  2. hi,

    I have some worms at home too, are yours still alive ?
    I got them from my friends, it a basic rubbermaid box with holes on the lid. I find it hard to maintain because there is no hole on the bottom. I was wondering what your setup is like and if you have advice. I'm on ravelry as meleroux.

    Love the blog.


    1. Sadly, our worms didn't survive our move, as we lived in a tiny apartment for 6 months where they had to be packed away. But we are thinking about getting into it again.
      When I was a kid, we had them at school in each classroom and we used a rubbermaid container as well. I think it should work, as long as you are careful not to get it too wet in there. This website should give you some more information, although they will probably try to convince you to buy a worm factory or something :) We do have a worm factory, but like I said, we don't have any worms at the moment. But it is definitely do-able in a rubbermaid container.
      Good luck!
      p.s. Thanks for checking out the blog!


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