Thursday, May 25, 2006


The compost bins were a little stinky when I turned them this spring. Though I got two lovely barrows full of black, rich leavings (worm poop) that I spread around the front roses and the French pear tree, I was not happy with the quality of the rest of the compost. More worms, I thought. More Worms!

After an exciting, informative 45-minute conversation with the folks at (luckily in Kalamazoo), I ordered a pound of red wigglers. They came early the next day (I was still in my nightgown) in a damp, crooked box marked:

If you order worms in the mail (which I highly recommend), it is v. funny. They come - get this - free and loose in their box. No bag, no liner, not even a wax coating.

They crawl all around the box - find their ways into the corregations and under the flaps. In the end, I just took off the tape and put the whole box in the pile...

Now, as I weed and poke in other parts of the lawn, I'm always keeping an eye out for particularly large and healthy worms. I gently coax them from their worm holes and carry them carefully to the back. Composting is like having a garden and a zoo - there's always something growing and wriggling.