“While modern capitalism constantly develops new needs in order to increase consumption, people’s dissatisfaction remains the same as ever. Their lives no longer have any meaning beyond a rush to consume, and this consumption is used to justify the increasingly radical frustration of any creative activity or genuine human initiative — to the point that people no longer even see this lack of meaning as important.” - Pierre Canjuers, Socialisme ou Barbarie #27

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Putting the worms to work

This morning I had the satisfaction of plunging my hands deep into my wormery for the first time to extract my first handfuls of worm compost.  The contents of my worm bin look like this:

Not pictured: actual worms.  Worms are shy.
I set up the worm bin about six weeks ago - a simple contraption of two plastic boxes, stacked, with holes drilled into the upper box for drainage.  (The liquid that drains can later be added to your compost as fertilizer).  The bottom layer consists of shredded paper and cardboard that I pissed on a couple of times; on top of that, a layer of dirt; and then comes the key ingredient: worms.  Here they are settling in their new home just after Christmas:

You can buy live worms on eBay.  They will come in the post in a box labelled, "URGENT: LIVE WORMS.  This makes me happy.

I added 300g of tiger worms to the initial mixture, and for the last few weeks I've been gradually adding food scraps for them to eat.  Based on my rummaging in the dirt this morning, I'd say the colony is establishing itself pretty well.  The worms are wriggling away and look nice and fat, and the organic material is breaking down nicely.  The few handfuls of worm compost have been added to my soil/compost mixture (of which details to follow) along with the liquid residue, and so is ready to resume its role in the cycle of life.

I'm feeling very pleased with myself about all this.  Amidst all the horrors going on in the outside world, there's peace to be found in plunging your hands into the earth, letting it get under your fingernails, and under your skin, wherever you happen to be.