I’m Worm Wrangling!!! Why?


I have cowboys, ranchers, and shepherds scattered about my genealogy.  I wonder if my ancestors and kin would be proud to learn that I have now grown up to become a worm wrangler? I must confess that I have worms!

However, instead of going to the Doctor seeking remedy as a normal, more sane person would do, I have instead intentionally instigated and then encouraged this situation.  Why would anybody in their right mind actually want worms? Isn’t that a little loony?

Agreed, it is totally loony! This factor in itself is its main attraction for me (as I am predominately right-brained).

I recognize that the most folks do not actively seek out the strange and unusual, so let’s get to more practical benefits of raising worms. These benefits can be summed up into the following categories:

  • Worms cruise around.
  • Worms eat stuff.
  • Worms poop.

Cruising Worms

Worms cruising and tunneling about in your garden soil provide aeration. More importantly they also move and mix organic matter, beneficial bacteria, and other goodies throughout the soil. The bacteria (good bacteria) break down the soil and organics into the chemical components that your garden plants need to absorb through their root system. In the soil, the diggers and the movers are typically your common Earthworm. Yup, the little dudes that go fishing to either drown or become dinner. In in aquatic applications, some worms (California Blackworms) can even help you to prevent anaerobic bacteria (bad bacteria) from forming in a deep sand bed.

Eating Worms

No I don’t intend to eat worms any time soon. My son does inform me that their is a great book and movie all about the subject should I ever become interested. Worms love to eat stuff. The stuff they really enjoy coincidentally happens t be the stuff at the bottom of my garbage can. My trash. On a weekly basis this “trash” fumigates my home with a horrible rotten odor. It reminds me I have forgotten to take out the trash (as usual). So one man’s stinky old trash is one worm’s treasure. Instead I can have the worms eat this trash. Best of all, worm poop doesn’t stink! Unlike the junk rotting in my can each week, the worm poop doesn’t smell much at all, and the odor that it does produce smells similar to earth. There are special worms called Red Wrigglers that are best suited to this task.

Pooping Worms

After worms eat all of the nasty stuff that I don’t wan’t anyway, they poop. The worm poops with such perfection its beyond comprehension. They are quite possible the world’s best poopers. Why should I become excited about Annlid excrement? Because worm poop is very valuable. Poop (in general) is the pinnacle of recycling systems! The absolute apex of efficiency. Like many great inventions, poop was thought up by mother nature (or the deity of your choosing) and is almost entirely disrespected by human kind! The the more squeamish, and obsessed refer to these turds of treasure as “castings”, “hummus” or “vermicompost” (depending on its stage of breakdown).

Whats so good about this worm poop?

Several things, but most specifically it is the ultimate plant food.

*Analysis of earthworm casting reveals that they are richer in plant nutrients than the soil, about three times more calcium and several times more nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. (K.P. Barley, Advances in Agronomy, Vol. 13, 1961, p. 251) Redworm castings contain a high percentage of humus. Humus helps soil particles form into clusters, which create channels for the passage of air and improve its capacity to hold water. Humic acid present in humus, provides binding sites for the plant nutrients but also releases them to the plants upon demand. Humus is believed to aid in the prevention of harmful plant pathogens, fungi, nematodes and bacteria. Blueprint for a Successful Vermiculture Compost System. Developed by Dan Holcombe and J.J. Longfellow 1995.
“Vermicompost outperforms any commercial fertilizer I know of.” continues [Professor. Clive A.] Edwards, who began his earthworm research in his native England in the early 1970s before coming to Ohio State. “I think the key factor is microbial activity. Research that I and others have done shows that microbial activity in worm castings is 10 to 20 times higher than in the soil and organic matter that the worm ingests.” Dr. Clive Edwards, in “Worldwide Progress in Vermicomposting” by Gene Logsdon in BioCycle October 1994, p. 63.*

* Quoted from http://www.happydranch.com/articles/Organic_Farming_and_Organic_Gardening_Using_Vermicompost.htm

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7 Responses to “I’m Worm Wrangling!!! Why?”
  1. whispit says:

    Yes, your ancestors would be so proud.

  2. whispit says:

    They would be more proud if you did this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_MaJDK3VNE

  3. Falhalah says:

    LOL Ok sooo I hope you have a garden or lots of flower pots to use this wonderous stuff in. It would be a terrible waste to let it get away. LOL I prefer Earthworms. I know what they look like. I didnt know there were so many different kinds of earthworm. that was interesting Luna. Of course we only use worms for fishing in out household. But a nifty Idea to cut down on the waste site refuse.

    • lunatactics says:

      Yep. Lots of garden for my compost. Some folks raise them for fishing as well and even sell them as fishing worms. Local trout have told me that redworms taste just as yummy as earthworms.

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