Thursday, February 19, 2009

Digging deep.

Photo by Raginglily

Maybe it's a throw back to when I was small, and worms were such a big part of the day-to-day experience of being a kid. Dares to eat the worms, murderously cutting them in half to see if they would continue to wiggle across the sidewalk with each half going its separate ways. The battle cry of misunderstood children everywhere - NOBODY LIKES ME, EVERYBODY HATES ME, GUESS I'LL GO EAT SOME WORMS. I noticed today's New York Times' article on composting not for its useful information (which it had), but for the hilarious readers' comments.

Somewhere, in the process of stepping up and doing their part for mother earth, people were deeply traumatized by this immediate throwback to childhood and the most organic circus of all - urban composting. And, immature at heart, I could only giggle and shriek at the thought of it all.

Here, then, are the best of the readers' comments:

"I took my then 5 year old son along and when we opened the bin I was horrified to see this disgusting rotting swamp. My gag reflex immediately engaged. I was glad to have my son along to fish out the worms which seemed like a perfect boy pursuit. Soon after he reached in however, his hand covered in a plastic bag, I heard him very silently murmuring, "It's only a dream, it's only a dream, it's only a dream." When worm bins go bad, they do so in a big way."

"My roommate and I attempted to compost with a worm bin in our kitchen starting last summer, and have made attempts with three batches of worms, all with the same results: worm death...we always came home to find worms spread out, dried and dead, all over the kitchen floor. Too hot, too wet, too dry, too much citrus, not enough ventilation, too much frozen food, too much fresh food, or a combination of these factors led us to give up after the third tragic attempt."

(Some good news) "Worms eat the bacteria involved in decomposition, they cannot "chew".

"My roommates and I put a worm bin in our kitchen (off to the side) and successfully composted for a few months with no bad smells or problems. We didn't have to take the trash out as much and it was wildly entertaining. Unfortunately, disaster struck one fateful day in August when the temperature of our kitchen killed ALL of our little worm friends. R.I.P fellows. It also killed any desire for indoor composting."

"My fatal error was spritzing the top of the bin with water each time I fed it...Two days later, the floor around the bin was littered with dried corpses. Desperate to save the few remaining worms, I tore up several cardboard boxes and newspapers and mixed the shreds into the stinking wet waste. Unfortunately, this activated the compost pile. The whole bin grew hot to the touch. It steamed for several days, and the few brave worms that had survived the flood cooked."

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