Ok so I when I tell people that I am into worms I never know what to expect. Some people don’t question it at all or say something like “Yeah, I have heard of people doing that,” but other times I get these weird looks, blank stares, head scratching responses that say, “I don’t get it.” Those are actually my favorite, because then I get to tell them “Why worms?”
They are many reasons why different people keep worms. One of the most common reasons today would be vermicomposting’s (composting with worms) ability to dispose of garbage in an efficient and compact way. People have been composting their garbage for years. It is a natural process and composting simply means the breakdown of once living materials into the components from which they came. “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” However for many people traditional composting of their garbage is not an option because of any one of many reasons including: a lack of the space that is required, complaints from the neighbors, maybe animals in the area would dig into their pile, and on and on. However now with vermicomposting their is another option. Composting with worms has been around for a while, but it is just in the past few years that it has become somewhat mainstream. With its rise in popularity there have been many improvement and refinement in vermicomposting bins and techniques. Also the availability of information on the subject is amazing compared to just a few years back. What all this means is that anyone can now compost there garbage. Yes, that is right anyone! Even apartment dwellers. A book that I strongly recommend for beginners is Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof. In it Mary details how to vermicompost in an apartment setting. With concern for the environment and the demand for limited landfill space on the rise, vermicomposting on a small and individual household level is sure to become very popular.
People also may keep worms because they love of gardening or want to become more self-sufficient. Either way if an individual loves gardening then one of the best things they could do is to get some worms. Why? Because worm poop is an amazing plant growth stimulator! What’s more is that worms eat your garbage problem away and poop out your free gardening solution. Farmers all over are now starting to realize the incredibly important role that worms and their poop play in plant growth. So much so that a revolution is taking place where the traditional practice of “tilling the soil into submission” is no longer the standard practice. This practice is being replaced with a no or low till approach that places an emphasis on increasing the density of soil life and especially worms. Also with the increasing price of petrol synthetic fertilizers have seen an equally huge rise in price. Also synthetic fertilizers do nothing to increase the tilth of a soil and there effect is short lived because they are washed away with any rain or irrigation. This fertilizer run off can have serious repercussions upon the environment and the government is now taking measure to prevent fertilizer run off. Organic fertilizers, including worm castings (poop), are much less likely to leach and cause environmental damage. This is because the nutrients are bound to carbon containing molecules and are released gradually when needed. Not only does this mean that less nutrients are wasted, but the sudden and unnatural flush of growth caused by synthetics, which often leave plants vulnerable to disease and insect damage, does not occur. Castings strengthen plant in a sustained manner over time increasing their resistance to disease and insects. Yes, plants do have natural defenses against insect damage, but these can be weakened by sudden and unnatural growth. Also synthetics can cause permanent damage to a soil when overused. This is because all fertilizers contain salts but synthetics are an extremely concentrated source. Ok really I could go on nearly forever on how great worm castings are where gardening is concerned, but I will write more on this coming up in spring. In fact I am planning on writing a lot of articles on gardening sustainably with worms.
Most people provably only think of worms as being used for fishing bait, and indeed that is a great use. I have so many fond memories of going down to the lake and catching blue gills by the dozen and crappys by the basket fulls out of the lake. On some warm summer days they would be hitting the worms as fast as you could get a new one on the hook and back into the water! On occasion me or a friend would get a total surprize when a huge large mouth bass would nearly take the rod and real out of our hand. However when it comes to worms fishing bait is just the tip of the iceberg.
Or just because
They are so many countless other reason why people may choose to keep worms. Science fair projects, out of pure curiosity, exotic pet food, kids love them, companionship (ok thats a joke), cause they don’t want an ant farm, or just to be different.
I need your help
If you liked this article leave a comment. Maybe tell us why you have or are thinking of getting worms. Know of a use for worms that I did not cover? Tell us about it. Maybe leave a suggestion on another article, or just say hey. Thanks for your help.