That’s the first time I’ve said it out loud. I HAVE A WORM BIN!!
You might be wondering where that came from? Well, yesterday, I picked my first tomatoes.
These came from the bush Early Girl I caught on sale at Home Depot for a buck. Since I didn’t grow it from seed, I don’t have a big emotional attachment to the fruit. Plus…I know you’re not supposed to prune determinate varieties and this plant just plain confuses me. It upsets my equilibrium. I’m a train-to-one-stem kind of girl as far as tomatoes go, and this little plant is bushing all over the place. But since it is putting on lots of fruit I’m going to try to understand her.
The three tomatoes turning red were growing almost on the ground, so I went ahead and plucked them. Then after I cut the grass I saw the little green one on the ground. That’s how I get to the “I’ve got a worm bin” declaration.
I harvested the worm casts from the worm bin yesterday morning (three gallon bags…hey). Yesterday afternoon I was sprinkling some of the casts throughout the garden when my neighbor pulled up. She is the anti-gardener, even though she’s got a double lot and a huuuggge back yard. I’ve been trying to “inspire” her to plant something since I moved here, but she truly has no desire to be bothered with dirt. None. Zip, zero, nada. The best I can take credit for is inspiring her to plant a few perennials in a little bed near her garage.
I know she likes to fry green tomatoes, so I was thinking I’d give her the tomatoes I harvested today…after they’d been properly weighed and photographed, of course. While we were talking she asked me what I had in my hand. Me, in the spirit of full disclosure, which I just can’t stop myself from doing sometimes, I told her I call it extreme composting, that the bag had worm casts in it. I went on to explain that you have the worms, you feed the worms your table scraps, the worms eat your table scraps, and then they poop and the poop is fertilizer. Boy do I now wish I had said something like, “Oh, it’s just fertilizer.” Full disclosure…it’s a curse. The moment I said “worm poop,” it was over.
Hindsight being 20/20, I should have gone on to explain how plants are in the soil, worms are in the soil, lots of worms in your soil is a good indicator of the fertility of your soil because worms (and their poop) are helpful companions of gardens. With a worm bin, you’re controlling the eventual output of worm casts instead of hoping the in-ground worms will deposit their powerful poopie fertilizer near the plants you want to grow. There’s even a fancy name for the process. It’s called vermicomposting. You’ll find some interesting information on vermicomposting here.
I think the only thing my neighbor heard was worm sh*t…on food…that you eat…and you want to give me some. I gave her the tomatoes like I said I would, but I’m not sure they’ll get eaten.
Here’s a video that was on the Redwormcomposting.com web site that was made by Allison Jack showing some of the science behind why vermicompost is good for the soil.
Happy Gardening Extreme Composting!!