Wednesday, February 06, 2008

How do Iove thee? Let me count the worms

With dh away, I have picked up many of the jobs that are usually his - grocery shopping, feeding the fish, taking out the garbage, fixing broken drawers...but by far the wierdest and downright creepiest is taking care of his worms.

I'll spare you the picture.

My well-meaning, back-to-nature dh thought we should be composting to help save the planet. We live in the city with a little yard. Our house is jam packed. There just isn't much room for a compost heap. After extensive research, he decided that worms were the answer. He sent away for worms and a home to put them in. I didn't even know that one could order worms in the mail. They live in a round plastic house about the size of a side table. There are layers of trays. They live in the top ones eating the garbage and the compost falls through to the lower layers, as does the worm pee, politely referred to as "Worm Tea." I will begrudgingly admit that it does wonder for roses.

The whole contraption was set up outside and he happily spent the summer months bringing out banana peels, watermelon rinds, coffee filters and other such worm gourmet delights. He even opted againts a garbage disposal because the worms needed the waste that might otherwise have been just ground up and washed away.

The problem with his plan is that we live in New England, where it gets cold in the winter. The worms don't do well with cold. They had to come inside. They now live in our basement. They live there permanently because their house is too heavy to easily move back outside.

I just don't dwell too much on the fact that we have slimy critters happily slithering around in a big plastic bin in our basement. I put the worm edible items in a bin and they disappear. Except that he's not here and the bin is full.

Not only that, I suddenly had a panic attack that the worms were drowning in their own worm tea. I'm not particularly enamored by the critters, but that's just inhumane. Besides, I'm the mom. This is what mom's do - they take care of all living things in their house.

I drained off the tea - it wasn't actually to dangerous levels yet, but I have no idea how quickly it builds up. I emptied the bin into their house. They were crawling all over the top and the insides. I didn't scream. I didn't even grimace too much. I did have to remind myself that they're just harmless worms. Squiggly and wiggly, yes, but doing good none-the-less. And if they make my guy happy, well let's just say I love him - a lot.


loribird said...

Will you think less of me if I admit that I've always wanted a worm-composter? I think they're so cool :)

Holly Jo said...

OOOOOOHHHH! I love worm composting. We had one in our garage when we lived in a condo and it was the best. The kind you have with layers is a little more complicated. Don't worry - they will move wherever they need to. The lady we ordered from said most people kill them by not leaving the wet enough. The tea is the best, huh? How much longer until you get to use it again, and we can say it is spring?

Beth said...

I'd like a compost pile, but I hate worms! I don't know if I could overcomemygut "Eewww!" response.