Today my niece Julie came over with her two daughters. Molly is in 8th grade and required to do a Science Fair project this year. She decided that she wanted to do something with vermicomposting. Jim and I have had worms eating our garbage for over 15 years now. Because I go into classrooms and talk to the students about the composting process, having worms to take along was a great way to illustrate how it all works. Plus the kids always get a big kick out of seeing the worms.
I have a mini vermicomposting bin I use for the classroom, and it is empty when we aren't doing any talks. So I let Molly build her own worm bin with it. As she followed my instructions on how to get it started, Julie snapped away with the camera. However when it came time to transfer some of the worms into the new container, no one wanted to get their hands dirty. So I scooped out some of the compost and some of the critters and put them in their new, temporary home. It was probably for the best as I was gentle in moving them. After that Molly added the grapefruit rind I had saved from breakfast to get the worms going.
They took the bin home and Molly will feed the worms and monitor their eating habits. The worm bins are truly full circle recycling. You give the worms your food waste, thus saving on landfill space or sanitary disposal costs, the worms create a compost that can be used on your plants, and any extra liquid in the bin can be diluted with water and used as compost tea. All organic!
Cordelia, who is 8, thinks the worms are disgusting and was dismayed with the fact that some were going to be living in her house for awhile. She calls them little snakes. She had a close encounter with a big snake at her grandparent's house, so anything that reminds her of that experience is taboo. I hope that as she listens to Molly talk about the project and begins to see what the worms do to help the environment, that she will feel more kindly towards them. If nothing else, she probably will enjoy having them eat her garbage.