Tag Archives: compost

Starting To Grow Worms

I found out some really terrible news today. It turns out that worms, when you cut them in half, do not in fact grow both parts back. If this isn’t devastating to you, maybe you never cut a worm in half accidentally as a kid? Or, your parents were better informed than mine and you felt the appropriate sorrow in the moment. Either way, I live with new knowledge that I am a murderer with my shovel. I found this out in a book, on worms.

This book said that depending on where the worm was cut, the tail end can sometimes grow back. The tail, though, cannot grow a new head. This makes a lot more sense when you think about it for half a second. Sometimes, it’s possible to find a worm with two tails, like a fork. This is usually caused by some injury to the worm’s tail end where it had to grow a new one, I imagine, just in case.

Worms As a Trend

Worms are especially fascinating to me because, growing up in a 12 foot wide townhouse in the middle of the city, I distinctly remember discovering a big red bin full of red wrigglers in my parents basement when I was about three years old. At three, I thought it was super gross. Now, years later, I think it’s totally awesome, and interviewed my parents about their worm habits this afternoon. My favorite question was “so… dad… was this like, a thing? Like, was there some sort of worm trend that you were on to? Or were you and mum just totally wacky?

It turns out, that they were definitely wacky, but they were also on to something! Reading gardening manuals from the late 1980’s, worm composting inside the home was kind of a thing, maybe. Please, people who were adults during that time, confirm or deny for us?

Vermicomposting, I’ve found, has a whole subculture to it. After interviewing my parents I went and bought a second hand book called Worms Eat My Garbage: How to set up and maintain a composting system by Mary Appelhof. Written in 1982, it tells you how to recycle kitchen food waste, save energy, produce fertilizer for house plants and gardens, grow fishing worms, and reduce waste disposal cost. It sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

Doing It!

Making up for my earlier years of brutal murderous ways, I’ve immediately and unequivocally decided to start a vermicomposting system in our urban apartment at home. Will my boyfriend appreciate it? Maybe. Will the four year old? Yes.

Looking in to some resources now, this one seems like a pretty good starting point, along with Worms Eat My Garbage. I’m also wary of what can go wrong, especially after reading about this atrocity. We’d love to hear about any experiences you’ve had with vermicomposting! Please let us know in the comments whether this has worked for you or not.