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Re: Worms

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Worms
  • From: David Smead smead@amplepower.com
  • Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 20:59:13 -0800 (PST)

I've operated worm boxes for about 8 years now with mostly great results.
Because we collect all the fruit skins, etc., for our small company, the
biggest problem is usually having too much feed material.  And I got a
little tired of harvesting because of the wait period to let light drive
the worms down.  I think also that wood boxes which are used too long as
worm bins may end up harboring diseases because there seemed to be fewer
and fewer worms each year a given box was used.

Then one day, a friend offered me some sturdy stainless steel wire mesh on
a 3/8 inch grid. A light bulb went off.  I welded up a stainless framework
which is 2 feet wide by 3 feet long and about 18 inches high, and welded
the SS mesh into the frame.  A simple, unpainted plywood lid graces the
top of my `worm cage'.

The cage is buried in my garden with the lid at ground level.  About 2/3
of it is used to dump in the feed.  After a few weeks I scrap off the top
of that into the remaining 1/3, and scoop out all the composted material,
worms and all, distributing it around the garden.

It does take up some garden space, but it seems to break down the food
quicker, and since the worms are free to come and go from their `cage', it
may be more disease resistant than a self-contained worm box. The cage can
be moved periodically, of course.

There are probably some plastic mattes or maybe boxes that would work just
as well.  You just need a grid small enough to keep out the rodents and a
framework sturdy enough to hold the walls upright.

Now, does anyone know how I can radio tag worms?  I'd like to know how far
away I can dump them and have them migrate back to the worm cage.  It
would also be interesting how far from the cage the worms migrate and what
type of food attracts or repels them.  Better yet, does anyone have a
source of money which can be used to study these earthy issues?

Long live the worms!


David Smead

On Fri, 17 Jan 2003, Honigman, Adam wrote:

> >From middle aged gardener guy's perspective, what's better than a NYC garden
> full of worms? While I'm at work, watching the Superbowl, sleeping, paying
> bills, at a concert, making dinner, on the subway, or engaging in myriad
> quotidian activities, these primeval little beasts are aerating and
> enriching the compost bins and soil of our garden in ways that are truly
> miraculous.
> In the spring, when I clear off the some of the mulch from my raised bed and
> start to plant, the work that the worms have done and continue to do always
> amazes. When conscious gardener doesn't love a worm...and when they get a
> veggie or an apple, well that's because we didn't pick it fast enough.
> If you continue to use compost, and intelligently and organically amend your
> soil, digging with care,  gently returning the worms you inadvertantly dig
> up to their home, you're in step with the universe and the natural order of
> things.
> A story: President and gentleman farmer Franklin Delano Roosevelt understood
> this, profoundly.  He left instructions that he be buried  in a coffin with
> a missing side, in order that he be become one with his beloved rose garden
> all the sooner. The next time you get up to Hyde Park, look at the
> roses...they're filled with Roosevelt's essence - literally.
> Blessed worms.
> Happy weekend,
> Adam Honigman
> -----Original Message-----
> From: LTanenb50@aol.com [mailto:LTanenb50@aol.com]
> Sent: Friday, January 17, 2003 5:28 PM
> To: gfcp@mindspring.com; community_garden@mallorn.com
> Subject: Re: [cg] worms (he he)
> I agree, Helen - some of us, some of the time, sound like we have pretty
> funny loves.... Laurie T

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