Worm love

Wiggly scriggly slightly slimy little things that eat all my veggie scraps. It’s great. Until one falls on my hand.

I appreciate them greatly — they don’t smell, they stay in their container, they eat my leftovers and shredded documents. I just can’t bear to touch them.

Vermicomposting is one of my projects this year. Last year I tried doing it in a plastic tote on the back deck, but I couldn’t drill draining holes because of the neighbour downstairs. I don’t think he’d have appreciated it. It was hard to keep it the right level of wetness — not too dry, not too soggy. It worked somewhat until it got left out in the rain and filled up with water and rotted all winter.

The worms live indoors in the laundry room. Add a layer of shredded paper, dampen it, put in the week’s fruit and vegetable scraps, tea bags, moldy rice. Add some paper. Spray it down. Put the cover back on.

The cover needs to go upside down, though, or the worms crawl all the way to the top of the container and hang out there. Why? Why do they sometimes disappear into the pile of decomposing stuff, not a single one to be seen? Then crawl up the sides of the container? Do they need to exercise? Why do they all lie on top of each other in clumps? All those moist slimy bodies entwined together. Worm love.

For vermicomposting information: www.wormwoman.com. I bought my red worms here and received some very helpful advice (and handholding — my coworkers convinced me that the worms would escape the bin and stage a take over on the house).