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A Case for Loving Worms

I’ll admit it, I was one of those little kids who patrolled gutters during rainstorms to save drowning worms. All these years later, I have a new appreciation for them. Honestly, what’s not to love about critters that reduce global warming global warming, the gradual increase of the temperature of the earth's lower atmosphere as a result of the increase in greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution. , help you garden, and will eat most things that you toss their way? As pets, they may not be much to look at, and they’re decidedly bad at playing fetch. But compare them with other kinds of pets and you’ll see that they do hold a certain charm. For instance, they’ll never defile your furniture or your leg, they’re good with kids, and they’ll circulate your kitchen scraps back into the garden faster than you can say "vermicomposting."

Vermicomposting, also called vermiculture, is a method of home composting in which "red wiggler worms" quickly digest yard waste and kitchen scraps. Perhaps the most ingenious use of vermicomposting I’ve ever come across was in a Santa Barbara, California Santa Barbara is a city in California, United States. It is the county seat of Santa Barbara County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 92,325. , elementary school elementary school: see school. . Over the course of her career, a teacher at the school developed a program in which the students would vermicompost scraps from their school lunches. They would then use the compost in the schools sunflower and vegetable garden. Students also kept a journal of the gardening project. Food from the garden was used in the school lunches, and the lunch scraps were then composted once again. Students sold excess garden goods at a farmer’s market. Cleverly, this gave students the chance to practice writing, journalism, math at the market, biology, and a host of other subjects—all while playing with worms. Now that’s a great reason to love worms. But it’s just a start.

Believe it or not, your little buddies in the dirt can help to reduce global warming by composting your food scraps. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 a study by the University of Arizona (body, education) University of Arizona - The University was founded in 1885 as a Land Grant institution with a three-fold mission of teaching, research and public service.  Garbage Project, Americans toss out as much as 390 million pounds of food every day. As this food decomposes in landfills, it releases global warming methane gas. About a quarter of the methane gas released in the U.S. comes from landfills and roughly 7% of that comes decomposing food, the EPA EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.

eicosapentaenoic acid

EPA, See acid, eicosapentaenoic.

 estimates. Luckily, some of this methane is captured and turned into electrical energy. By starting a home composting bin with worms, you can reduce the food waste that ends up in landfills, which will also help to decrease methane levels in the atmosphere.

Now, let’s imagine that you’ve just finished preparing your favorite vegetarian dish—say, flame-roasted red pepper red pepper: see pepper.  enchiladas. If you cook like me, chances are that by the time you actually finish what it is you’re preparing, you’ll have a kitchen counter strewn strew  
tr.v. strewed, strewn or strewed, strew·ing, strews
1. To spread here and there; scatter: strewing flowers down the aisle.

 with onion skins, vegetable peels, and forgotten ingredients. What can we do with all our food trimmings and waste? Feed it to the pets? Dogs and cats are carnivores by nature, so offering them this selection may get them wondering why exactly they chose to hang out with us in the first place. But one animal who’ll love every last scrap is our humble friend, the worm. Keeping a worm bin is fun because you can literally watch yesterday’s food scraps and leftovers turn into tomorrow’s rich garden compost.

And what great compost it is! If you like to garden, it’s worth giving worm bins a shot. You’ll have an endless supply of rich, organic fertilizer, produced in your own back yard or even under the sink. No pesticides, no chemical fertilizers, no plastic fertilizer bags and bottles… just pure homegrown plant food.

You can find instructions for building a wooden, outdoor vermicompost bin here, or find instructions for building a plastic indoor or outdoor bin here, courtesy of Seattle Tilth tilth

Physical condition of soil, especially in relation to its suitability for planting or growing a crop. Factors that determine tilth include the formation and stability of aggregated soil particles, moisture content, degree of aeration, rate of water infiltration, and
. Especially with autumn rolling in, this is the perfect time to start your compost bin A compost bin is a container used to make compost. These bins are often made of hard plastic and are cylindrical in shape, sometimes resembling a barrel. Compost bins can be as simple as a square slatted enclosure or as sophisticated as a tumbler, which allows for the . Red and yellow autumn leaves will be a tastey treat for your worms, and by the time spring appears you’ll have ample compost with which to start your new garden.

References and Resources:

Worm Poop: The Other Black Gold (Video) | Treehugger

Learn to Compost | Seattle Tilth

Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2003 | Department of Energy

Food Waste | Waste Age

Weekly DIY DIY

DIY or d.i.y. Brit, Austral & NZ do-it-yourself
abbr DIY
do it yourself a DIY shop/job.
: Build Your Own Worm Composting Bin | Green Options

Photo Source:

Yummy Worms | Flickr
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Author:Gavin Hudson
Publication:Green Options
Date:Sep 25, 2007
Next Article:Architecture 2030

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