wormie surprise

stories from the odd person keeping worms and generally having fun learning things and goofing around with dirt, worms, rotting, etc.
i started two more buckets a few months ago as some friends really need help with their poor garden soil and it's also sandy so the clay i have in the mix will also help. as a contrast our brussles sprouts were 3-4ft tall and theirs barely made it to a foot tall. so Ma volunteered me to start some buckets for them, but i also thought they were going to take the bins off my hands after i got them started because there are more people living there and they would have more food for the worms than i could easily provide.
nope, they wouldn't want to keep them (silly kniggets, ah well). their initial food supply would last about a month and that's when i checked them out to see how they were doing (this was a few weeks ago). one of the improptu worm foods i've come up with is to bury soybeans (which i do have a lot of from the days when i was making soy milk) down deep enough so that they'll soak up the moisture, but won't sprout because there's not enough light and heat. they ferment instead. smells like some of the japanese food i've had. not unpleasant, just different. and the worms eventually will chomp their way through them.
gave them a good stir, noted the population of worms was doing well and there were plenty of new little ones in the mix. all good signs for these bins as they're only going to have half a season to do their thing before they get taken away to their new garden home. 4-5 months from now! eek! :)
and today i had the dried carrots and other mixed fruit and veggie scraps to put in the bins (depending upon how much of what i have i can rotate through the entire sequence of bins in a week or a month) and one of the bins in today's rotation was the largest one that i am now using to increase the native worm populations in my gardens. it has a fair proportion of dirt/clay and mixed in that are some wood chips and various other materials (bones, shredded paper, leaves, old potting soil, etc.) the native worms don't increase nearly as fast as the other worms i have in most of the other bins. the natives in this bin came from around the yard.
well one thing surprised me today for sure was a large nightcrawler came up and said hello when i was mixing some new goodies in the top layers of soil. very healthy looking critter. i have kept night crawlers in the past, but put them all outside when i learned they'd not do well for the long term in such a small bucket as i have for most of the other bins. when i was gathering native worms from the gardens to start this bin there must have been a young night crawler that i picked up by mistake. now i gotta keep it until spring when i can put it back outside again. there were plenty of other large worms in this bin too so they were good to see as they will be the breeding stock i'll need to build up the other worm populations i'm after.
i need more room... :)
songbird
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