Yes, I said “Love” about worms. Some of this gardener’s best friends.
Worms – Our Underground Gardeners
As I told the kids I think worms are incredible, wonderful and very important to the health of our planet.
Do they feel slimy if picked up? Of course, but slime does not equal dirty. Our skin would feel slimy too if it was always moist, so we could breathe, or had to always be moving through tunnels of dirt.
If an earthworm dries out it will die.
Worms are the underground gardeners. They are the ones who work and tender the roots and soil that all our living plants grow in. Worms help aerate our soils. They mix it up through their eating and tunneling. They supply a very rich fertilizer.
Worms have no ears, eyes or nose, only a mouth. They tunnel by digging with their mouths. Thus they really dig and eat at the same time.
What does our body do with the extra waste from our foods? Well worms do the same. Unlike us however, their poop is wonderful fertilizer.
My favorite place to find worms is in my large composting piles. Worms mean the composting is healthy and working. Now it’s hard to find worms during the day, unless you dig one up. That’s because worms come above ground mostly at night. remember they do not want to dry out.
Speaking of Composting….
We followed up our reading of Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser with a visit to the garden’s composting bins. 2 bins got totally turned and screened this weekend in time to start loading up again with dry, raked material. This will be mixed with our fruit and vegetable scraps and peelings. I left one bin so the children could see how the screening works and also see the different layers. There was also an almost full wheel barrel of compost waiting for use that we could inspect and explore.
It was fun to pick out very small pieces of peanut shells, eggshells, leaves, etc.
The compost on top was warm and dry, but as we worked our hands into it it became cooler and damp. The children all seemed to enjoy the feel of the material. Very light/airy.
The last part of this was showing the children what worm poop (“castings” for those that want a more refined label) looks like. Luckily I have a nice flower garden area where there is a lot of worm activity.
That means piles of poop.
That means lots of laughing kids.