Wigglers Down

20 Jan

We had a small tragedy this weekend in our house on a hill. Death in the family, really. Many deaths…

So, a few weeks ago I learned a valuable lesson. I put some scraps of broccoli and cauliflower in the worm bin, which I had moved into the basement from the garage when the thermometer dipped around Christmas. That stuff began to rot and really, really smell bad. I mean nasty here. If things are all on track, the worm bin really shouldn’t stink at all. (If you’re a vermiculture expert, let me know what I may have done wrong). Understandably, Jaim sentenced the worms back out to the garage. We had fairly nice weather since, for January. Until last week. I don’t think the temp has topped 10 degrees F in the past 6 or 7 days.


On Friday, I discovered the worm bin had some frost in it. Not good. I moved the critters inside and kept watch. I lost a lot of worms to the frost. The ones you can see in the picture are goners (click on the pic to see it up close). On Saturday, I started digging through the compost to assess the damage–it didn’t look good. But today–when Riley asked to see the worms–I noticed thousands and thousands of tiny little white worm babies. The comeback is on!


Posted by on January 20, 2008 in compost, going green, worms


6 responses to “Wigglers Down

  1. Josh Atherton

    January 21, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Joe, when I read this the first thing that popped into my mind was that you and Jaime have officially turned into Carl and Mary Ribbing! I remember a time (had to be high school) when Carl moved his worms into a storage closet (located in the laundry room) when the temp dropped outside. One day Mary was doing laundry and happened to look into the closet (probably the first time in years) and was surprised and angry to find one of Carl’s white styrofoam cases (with worms and compost and all) in the closet. Luckily for Carl the compost didn’t smell and after relentlessly pleading for the lives of his worms, Mary finally relented and allowed to worms to live happily ever after in the Ribbing home.



  2. joebart

    January 22, 2008 at 12:00 am

    I find my wife affectionately calling me “Carl” often these days, as I rummage through the garbage can after she’s tossed precious worm food in there, or seeing the panic in my eyes as I rushed the worms’ styrofoam bin into the house after finding frost on the rotting surface…God help me…It’s an EXPERIMENT, damn it!

  3. joebart

    January 22, 2008 at 12:04 am

    BTW-Sorry I lost some of your babies, Uncle Carl. Don’t worry though, I found that most of them just dug down deep into the compost. I’ll be ready to migrate some to the second bin by spring…If they survive the garage (pssst–don’t tell Jaim they’re still in the basement!)

  4. Paul

    January 22, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Have you started saving some of the food scraps in the refrigerator so you can give some to the worms a few days later instead of giving them all the scraps at once??

    If you have, then you have officially become Uncle Carl.

  5. kyra

    April 1, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    You have no idea who I am 🙂 but I am searching for compost worm sources near Boulder, CO and your blog came up. I need them for this Saturday, April 5, as they will be a birthday gift for my bro-in-law 🙂 [my sis is really excited about this, as they will enjoy the composting AND it will be a very funny gift] Little did I know but everywhere I’ve tried only ships on Mondays or Tuesdays, for orders placed a week in advance. So…does your uncle sell his worms?
    Longmont is pretty nearby so I could go get them.
    Thank you for your help!

  6. joebart

    April 11, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Hi Kyra–

    Terribly sorry, but I just read your comment now (I’ve been traveling and unplugged)…If you’re still interested, he might sell you some. Let me know if you still want me to connect you. Email joebart33 AT gmail DOT com


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