Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Worm Tea

Welcome to the January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Experiments in Natural Family Living
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have reported on weeklong trials to make their lives a little greener. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


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We received a worm bin for Christmas, but when this post was written, we had only experienced two days of worm care, which left me a little short on real world wisdom to share. In lieu of practical information [added 1.17.12], I'll give you the highlights of our worm adventure so far.

"We know Liana doesn't want you to get a dog, so we bought you some other pets," my parents told my husband on Christmas. He opened a box of 1000 red earth worms. He was speechless.

We were going out of town for a week, so my parents agreed to worm-sit. My Dad called that night to report that the worms were comfortable in their new composting bin. "They asked where they were, and I said Rochester. Aside from a few plaintive strains of I'll Be Home for Christmas, they seem to be fine."

Complete with spigot to drain worm liquid waste tea.

Later in the week, we spoke again. "Tell Jeremy the worms miss him." "I only saw them for a couple minutes!" "Worms bond quickly."

Our worm manual warns repeatedly against over-feeding. The worms must be engaged with what has been supplied before new kitchen scraps can be added. My husband checked his pets tonight. "I'll go see if the worms are 'engaged' and then feed them some of this nasty salad."

Worm manual from FindWorms.com. No, seriously.

Our worm manual also outlines our top two goals for us. Thanks, worms. I was feeling rather directionless up to this point.

All in all, I'd say it's going quite well. Stay tuned for continuing updates on the worm saga!
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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

21 comments:

  1. What a thoughtful gift : )

    Good luck with your worms! I started some last spring, but it didn't work out - We're going to try again this year!

    It's nice that the worms have bonded with you so quickly : )

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    1. Hope this year your worms are as affectionate and productive as ours are proving to be!

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  2. Oh my gosh - this is hilarious! What does the manual suggest you do with the worm tea? Can you feed smaller, less cuddly creatures with it? Water your plants? Certainly, it can't go to waste! Please keep us updated on your worm adventure, this is too funny.

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    1. It's meant for plants, but only in small doses. Apparently worm tea binges are harmful to ones health.

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  3. Your inlaws sound hilarious, do you want to switch? ;) Good luck with your wormy friends!! Maybe you could do a parody of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtyfmRChwRw ;)

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    1. That was awesome! When I was a kid, Slimy was one of my favorite characters. I always thought he was cuter than Elmo. I guess worms were my destiny. :-)

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  4. omg, I about spit my water out when I read "worms bond quickly" lol! This is great I would love to compost but I wonder how hard it would be to move since we will probably be moving shortly. Also how do they do in winter in Ohio? hmmm. Thanks for the food for thought.

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    1. We're in upstate NY, so I would assume winters are comparable. We're keeping them our attached garage, which has an insulated door but nothing special for the outside walls. As long as it doesn't get below 40, they're fine. Also, they don't have any particular odor. The only reason we moved them from the kitchen to the garage was for counter space. (Didn't want them on the floor where my toddler would get into them!) I don't know how well they'd do in a move...

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  5. Oh, I am so jealous! I totally want a worm bin. Your parents are hilarious, by the way, and what an awesome picture with the manual. :) You'll definitely have to let us know how it goes.

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    1. I'm psyched about it. So far, everything has been going really well! I'll do an update post later this week or early next week. Thanks again for a great carnival!

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  6. This is awesome ... and thanks for making me laugh! I hope the worm bonding continues to go well! :) Deb @ LivingMontessoriNow.com

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    1. Almost too well... it's hard to even leave the house to go grocery shopping now, they're in that separation anxiety phase... :-)

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  7. Someone gave my mother a big jar of their "worm tea" for Christmas last year. She almost poured herself a mug full before my dad explained that the plants might enjoy it more! She fed it to her houseplants, and they bloomed. Good luck with your continued experiment!

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    1. Haha, that's great. We grow basil in the house and are hoping the worm tea helps keep the plants healthy through the winter.

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  8. Oh, my. I *knew* there was a way to compost indoors, and now I'm intrigued. How much counter space does the worm bin take up? How much can you give them each day?

    We've been bringing our compostable scraps to the local greenmarket, where they collect scraps for city gardens. But we can't get there every single week. I'd be nice to have another option.

    Best wishes!

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    1. Our bin is about 2 sq ft, which is a fair amount of counter space. We ended up moving them to the garage. Right now, we can give them about 1/2 lb a day, but as they continue to reproduce we should be able to do closer to a full pound. I'll be doing an update post in the near future with more details!

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  9. Dear Editor of Working to be Worthy,

    Some consider us to be the lowest of all animals, but I'm proud of my contributions to the gardening world. You cannot imagine how hurt I was to read your recent blog about worm composting. How insensitive to call us red earth worms. We are Red Wrigglers, and proud of our heritage.

    Hermi, a fine red wriggler

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    1. Dear Hermi,

      I am very sorry for offending you. In all my excitement about welcoming you into our home, I didn't take the time to carefully read about your heritage. I hope you will be able to forgive me.

      CatholicMommy

      (good catch, Dad!)

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  10. Neat! How's it going? I've seen the bins before (not complete with worms, however) and have considered farming the little guys, but I don't know what I'd actually DO with all their "tea." We do enjoy the wrigglers in our compost bins, however. They do good work outside. Hope your inside fellows are as helpful to you!

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    1. So far, so good! I plan on putting some of them outside in the spring to help our regular compost pile. I don't know how they'll survive the winter, though, so definitely going to keep most in the bin!

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