1,800 Arrive Early

This has been the week for company. We hosted a graduation open house for Sweet Miss and shared the afternoon with 40 friends and family. Then we geared up for our annual 5th of July party on Wednesday.

No that’s not a typo; I know it’s still June. The Mr’s family has sold fireworks for over 20 years, so we always host a get together on the 5th after a frantic week of sales. His folks live in Nevada and his sister is in Dallas, so this is the perfect time for the Washington clan to see everyone and catch up. This year was different. No one sold fireworks, no one slept in a trailer in a grocery store parking lot, and no one borrowed the dog to guard the stands at night. So our party was moved to a date when everyone could make it. That meant hosting a BBQ for 17 on Wednesday.

I thought the rest of the week would be quiet until more company arrived this morning three days early–all 1,800 of them. Not people…worms, and we’re setting up house.

Before we moved, we had a compost pile for more years than I can remember, so I have felt very guilty about all the apple cores and carrot peels I’ve been throwing away lately. You see, we live in the boonies, and I’m still a city girl in a lot of ways. I don’t want to attract the wildlife.

A neighbor told me about bears going through the trash, and I’ve seen coyotes watch my girls sled during the snows. At 2 am, I’ve awoken to critters in the walls and critters on the roof. I don’t like to think too hard about them. And finally, I’ve been chased from my bathroom by a mouse. I don’t want to encourage these animals to come and visit. A compost pile seems like a warm invitation for them to do just that.

We had dinner with friends recently, and they were showing off their worm bin. I’d been seriously considering starting one, so they let me borrow their copy of Worms Eat My Garbage. Not long after, I had another blogger like my post about foxgloves, so being the friendly type, I stopped by to see what they were all about. Well, Soulsby Farms was talking worms (check it out here). I love how blogs can bring people together. I read their simple instructions on how to build a worm bin and figured it was totally doable.

The next time I was at Target, I found plastic bins on sale–this was meant to be.

OK, so I had the supplies for a worm bin, now I needed worms. When the Mr stopped for gas at a local country store, I saw the sign for worms and thought I’d check it out. These were fishing worms; $2.59 for a dozen. At that price, I was in trouble. So I went in the hardware store–no, just fishing worms–and then I called a local nursery. The nursery gave me the name of a worm farm (who knew such things existed) down in Yelm. I almost ordered from them, but I decided to see what else I could get online. Overstock sells worms. Why not? They sell, rugs, furniture, that’s where the Mr bought the new sink faucets–they’re truly one stop shopping. Overstock sells twice as many worms for the same price with $3 shipping instead of $10–hmm. Sorry, but sometimes I’m cheap. So I pulled the trigger and bought 1,800 red wigglers.

Oh, I hope this works. I do have scatterbrained ideas sometimes. The Mr tolerates them, but I always feel better when things work out and he’s not simply humoring me.

I got the email…they are on their way. I am somewhat embarrassed to say how excited I was. Well, if these silly things are coming, I better get busy and build them a home. This involved power tools, and while my sweet, handsome man doesn’t always trust me with them, I figured drilling a few holes was something even I couldn’t mess up. Besides, worms aren’t that picky. I drilled holes in the bottom of one bin.

Put some boards in the other bin.

Stacked them, put on the lid with more drilled holes, and added some shredded paper for bedding.

This took 15 minutes, and then I waited. Patience is a virtue. Where are those guys?

I checked out the UPS link; they must be getting close. Nope. They started in LA and decided to check out Nevada and won’t arrive until Monday. Isn’t it a little hot for them there? Oh no, I’m going to end up with fried worms.

Well, the UPS guy arrived this morning with this little piece of happiness. Did I mention I’m excited?

Before I could introduce my little friends to their new home, I needed to add some water to the bedding. Worms like the bedding damp but not soggy. And then I added this veritable feast we had saved for them: a little rhubarb, some coffee grounds, a cantaloupe, and some egg shells (Theo made a great omelet this morning). The worm book suggests weighing out the food and keeping a record. I’m hoping it’s a little lower key than that, but for now, I added 2 lbs. 4 oz. of compost to the bin on the right side.

Then I introduced them to their new home.

I carefully covered them with the damp bedding and closed the lid so they could eat in peace. Worms can eat their weight in food each day. And if my whole little experiment goes right, they will turn our non-meat food scraps into lovely “worm juice” and castings for houseplants, vegetable starts and someday our garden.

For now, their home looks so safe and quiet, but exciting things are happening inside.

Do you have a worm bin? Would you invite 1,800 worms into your home?


4 thoughts on “1,800 Arrive Early

  1. This was so fun to watch our Mr’s, Mrs, put this bin together and that the whole family excitedly awaited the ‘red wigleys’ arrival. Yes, living in the ‘boonies’ has its own type of excitement. The family of the ‘sweet handsome Mr’ used to live on an island in the San Juan Islands and had geese to eat our compost thrown out the window over the sink. They also ate all the slugs that hung outside the fence that surrounded our garden. Those geese got to know the sound of the kitchen window being opened, and would run, squawking all the way, to gather under it for their free food. We also ate their huge eggs, so it was an even trade. We also had 3 pigs (Stick, Brick and Straw) who also ate our left overs however, they prefer it cooked, making mash, which is easier on their sensitive tummys..
    Anyway, now I am thinking that our retirement home in the desert might just need a worm bed as well. Life lessons go around, the kids learned from us, and now we are learning from the kids.

  2. Pingback: A June Recap « bigwhitehouseonthehill

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