Community: Forum: Vegetarian Discussion

Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

Before you scold me for submitting my letter in the Veg*n Section please consider that Veg*ism is more than the type of food in our pantry and kitchen… It is a lifestyle that considers both the origins of food and, yes, disposal… Hence my 100 worms--not for eating but for recycling…This is a short V*ism story. Both I and my red worms eschew meat, maybe not for similar reasons, as rotting meat attracts maggots that in turn eat worm eggs!

This story is ONLY about 100 worms. But as a short introduction, my worm interest began many years ago when I discovered a huge earthworm that I wanted to raise to introduce in my organic avocado grove… As much as I tried I could not reproduce the conditions for multiplying this earthworm but I had no problem "raising" red worms (manure worm, compost worm, etc). Red worms like organic matter and not soil--unlike their earthworm counterparts that require soil…

One day in frustration from only producing the smaller red worm I went into the house and resorted all the paper items from the trash, including boxes, bags, etc. I dumped it all into the bed and covered the area with freshly plucked weeds… I could see that this wasn't enough to really demonstrate much of an effect so I embarked on a grand scale project which for a while enlisted my boy's school and any roadside litter… These were humble beginnings… and my worm pile is now as fixed to my life as my pet and plant schedules… I'll get to the 100 worms… But who cannot resist the recycling discussion of separating all paper-based waste items to feed a backyard worm pile?! But these little guys require gobs of water… I place as much water on my worm pile as any bush, tree, grass section of the yard… My conservation instincts tell me that the net effect of my outside worm pile (in dry So Cal, San Diego) is saving one resource at the expense of another….

Hmmm. Darn! And I was so excited by the prospects! Hmmm… One day watering the plastic greenhouse, that I typically keep closed-up to create very humid conditions for my plant propagation work, I got the idea to place a 55 gal plastic barrel inside and create a miniature worm haven in the barrel… I added exactly 100 worms… (minus any eggs and tiny guys..). At first I thought my added paper was shrinking from full barrel because my happy little worms were having a smorgasbord in the humid conditions… then upon examination I saw it was nothing more than moistened paper compacting… Watering my worm barrel is always an after-thought… as the plastic house keeps everything inside moist. I found myself adding more and more of my weekly trash… Then one day just too perplexed about the shrinking paper I dug deep in the barrel… There, in the middle, was a sizeable "nest" of activity, with casting hither-and-yon. That was about a year ago… and my little barrel has now replaced my big worm pile as the leading consumer of household paper materials…

One-hundred worms, and a year… How many now? I have wanted to examine my little experiment, but I wanted others, my close friends that care about these things near to witness… What to do, should I wait until the Universe give me a sigh?! Like the Fallbrook fire that almost gave the entire family here a BIG sign… Or, should I just topple the barrel and check out my wormy friends? (I will of course care for them after their weigh-in) Maybe you could let me know…

Your Veg*n friend Gray


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