MaxWorm House vermicomposting?

I don't know if this will work, but I've got a surplus of red wigglers volunteering to colonize new worlds. As teachers learn, it's all in how you phrase the question:

"I need someone really brave and strong for this job... "

The little kids are so desperate to be chosen that they use their left hand to support their waving right arm. Same with worms.

With the current success of our school wormbin, we are considering setting up bins for families, possibly as a school fundraiser. I'm wondering about the family that isn't really ready to commit to a regular bin due to space concerns or squeamishness. Could we hook them with an small introductory worm chalet, then reel them in for the big bin?

I understand parents who can handle the goldfish bowl, but don't want to walk the German shepherd or empty the kitty litter box. Heck, I've always been one of them. Worms have a lot going for them in the mini-pet competition:

  • Worms do not run in a squeaky exercise wheel all night like hamsters.
  • Worms do not die the second day like the residents of an Uncle Wiggly ant farm.
  • Worms do not molt.
  • Worms do not shed on your nice black slacks.
  • Worms never need a bigger shell like a hermit crab.
  • Worms don't require shoebox burials and backyard funerals.
  • Worms DO NOT STINK.
  • Worms are really very quiet.
  • Worms are perfectly happy to be neglected while you are on vacation.
  • Worms do not bite, scratch, or sting.
  • Worms are easy-going about being picked up the wrong way.
  • Worms do not need special accomodations to breed.
  • Worms are pleased to participate in all non-malicious amateur experiments.
  • Worms eat your sensitive double agent spy documents.

And so my intrepid volunteers are going to try living in a coffee can mini habitat, complete with handy handle, on the bathroom countertop. I drilled four holes in the lid, three in the bottom, and eight on the sides of the coffee can.

For this outpost, I've torn up half the lid of an egg carton and one tp tube. I shredded one each incredibly difficult Sudoku and NY Times Sunday crossword puzzle, and one credit card offer. I added a scoop of dirt, a dead petunia, and four leaves from last autumn, and sprinkled in maybe two tablespoons of water. You know those plates you always hoped your grown children would take to their first apartment, but they shopped at IKEA instead? I set the MaxWorm House on one of those plates.

Tomorrow, after they complete the rigorous selection process and written essay, I will add the best and brightest two dozen red wigglers. Thursday, I will give them a soggy strawberry. Maybe after that I'll teach them to write blog posts in their off hours, but they don't have the keyboarding skills of Archy the cockroach.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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