A Child's Guide to Vermicomposting


| 3/24/2009 4:35:00 PM


Tags: vermiculture, worms, compost, wildlife, living,

Brent and LeAnna Alderman StersteAlthough our city has been so cruel as to outlaw keeping chickens in your backyard (it’s breaking Brent’s heart!), we do have some livestock working for us. In January, Brent ordered a pound of Vermont Wiggler worms from a worm-farmer (www.greenmountainsoil.com) in Vermont to begin vermi-composting. It was my job to wait for the mail carrier to come, so our worms wouldn’t freeze on the front stoop. This made for a tense few days when I was waiting for 1,000 worms to come via the U.S. Postal Service. Of course, the day they did come, I was putting the girls down for a nap and missed our mail carrier. When I looked out the window, I saw him still in his truck on the corner.  I threw a blanket over the baby and went running down the street in my slippers. He opened up the back of his truck and freed the worms. 

Our worms arrived just when LeAnna least expected it.

Our poor animal-lover child, who has had to endure a childhood populated by two untouchable and frankly downright crazy cats, was particularly excited about the worms coming.  A few days before they arrived she began asking, "Worms coming to our house, Daddy?" "Yes, Ella." "I play peek-a-boo and aprise them." She continued later, "Worms coming to our house, Daddy? I bark at them. Daddy?...I can't wait for the worms to come to our home." 

At this point we were beginning to wonder if Ella knew what worms actually are, so we asked her.

L: Ella, do you know what worms are?
E: Yes, they're animals.
L: Do you know what they look like?
E. They're animals. They make noises. They quack. 

Ella was under the impression that worms would quack.

leanna alderman sterste
3/27/2009 5:52:00 AM

Hi Becky- In a few months, she'll be enjoying baby brother even more-- giving him full body hugs and helping him roll over. You will think the baby is too young for this kind of treatment, but the baby will not agree. You're in for some very sweet moments seeing them interact.


leanna alderman sterste
3/27/2009 5:51:41 AM

Hi Becky- In a few months, she'll be enjoying baby brother even more-- giving him full body hugs and helping him roll over. You will think the baby is too young for this kind of treatment, but the baby will not agree. You're in for some very sweet moments seeing them interact.


becky and andy
3/26/2009 5:28:44 PM

What a great blog! I have to laugh out loud, thinking of our own daughter saying the same things. Except, Elly's new pet is her baby brother. Right now, he's about as responsive as the worms, I'm afraid. :-)


brent _1
3/25/2009 8:52:55 AM

Thanks Paul and Debbie! We are enjoying the process so far -- with, of course, some minor stumbling along the way. I'm always deeply pleased when I can make good stuff out of trash -- whether that be making broth from leftovers or vermi-composting. It feels so efficient and spiritually sound to boot! Have you had to divide you "herd" yet?


debbie_1
3/25/2009 6:24:56 AM

Nice to meet other "wormies" and Welcome to GRIT! I have kept worms for 2 years now and learned how important patience is in receiving the worm castings. Keeping the ratio of wet to dry seems to be key also ... adding shredded newspaper when in doubt seems to keep the worms happy & as Paul mentioned there will be liquid runoff (great for compost tea to feed your plants). My unit has a bottom bin with a spigott (which gets clogged alot) so I lift all the bins to retrieve the liquid most times!


paul gardener
3/24/2009 5:19:22 PM

Reading to the worms...Too cute! Good luck with your worm bin. I set mine up last year in the summer and have over wintered them in the garage. Try as I might, my otherwise very accomodating wife will NOT have worms in her kitchen no matter what! Ours happily exist out doors all summer and in the garage through the cold Utah winters. I'll soon be going out to add in some new bedding for this summer and "harvesting" the Black gold for potting purposes. Make sure to keep the bin on top of something to catch any liquid runnoff and the occasional "jailbreak" worm making a run for it. Great post! Paul~ http://apaetoday.blogspot.com http://www.grit.com/blogs/blog.aspx?blogid=2340





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