Friday, February 7, 2014

Waiting for the worms


About a month ago, my landlady and I determined that between us we seemed to be creating a bit more compost than our single Oscar the Grouch can out back could handle. Okay, a LOT more. I suggested that we simply get a second can -- no, not only because I'd get to let loose again with the drill. Jacky had a better idea: worms.

Now, our household's curious and tenacious beagle population would not allow us to consider an indoor worm bin. And I'd always thought that you could only have red wigglers in your outdoor compost bins in mild weather -- certainly not during extreme cold (like, say, the past few weeks) or hot weather. I didn't want to get some happy wigglers and have 'em freeze to death mid munch, leaving us $40-50 poorer and with the same amount of compostables as we started with. I said as much to Jacky. Luckily, my landlady was not to be foiled so easily: after some research we learned that there are some hardy outdoor composting worms that would do just fine in our chilly DC winters. So a few days before the Martin Luther King holiday, we put in an order for 500 European Nightcrawlers and started stockpiling special kitchen scraps to welcome our hungry new arrivals in 1-3 business days.

We waited.

And waited.

Scraps continued to pile up.

And finally, after the first batch, delayed by snow and federal holidays, was delivered to the wrong address, and the replacement worm package, complete with the traditional misspelled name but at least the correct address, dispatched the following week, Jacky was elated to have our box of first-class-mailed wormies handed to her by our local postal worker yesterday afternoon. (The mailwoman was visibly weirded out when she learned what was in the box she'd been toting around in her messenger bag. It seems this company doesn't label their shipments as "LIVE WORMS" like my previous supplier did, but they were well protected -- as was the mail carrier -- by the sturdy, but breathable bag inside.)

This morning, before I headed out to teach, Jacky and I had a ceremonial installation of our new neighbors.

Our European Nightcrawlers must be Scandinavian. It's the only way I can fathom them not being phased by this weather and immediately starting to chomp away....

We covered them up with our special welcome scraps -- avocado skins, butternut squash peels, shredded crossword puzzles, and some of their other known favorites -- and left them to eat long and prosper. And multiply, we hope.

p.s.- Apologies to all of you Pink Floyd fans who ended up reading this blogpost by mistake (though I will say it's decidedly more hopeful than what you were originally seeking).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment! Just making sure this isn't spam.... Thanks for your patience. :)Ibti