The Slow-Eaters-Tiny-Bite-Takers

I have a bad habit.  When I think that a task will be depressing or gross, I am often inclined to put it off.  As you might expect, this frequently leads to tasks becoming more gross.  And no matter how long you put something off, you generally have to deal with it eventually.  This personal foible is why Andrew is in charge of taking out the compost.  While I love composting on a farm scale (building fertility, yay!) I don’t really like taking out our kitchen’s organic refuse.  Left to my own devices, our kitchen compost bucket would be, shall we say, overly aromatic.

At this point you probably think that this post is not going in a good direction.  But wait!  Bear with me!  I promise that you won’t lose your lunch.

Another bad habit of mine is that I tend to over-commit.  Last spring, in typical fashion, I embarked upon several projects that I realistically lacked the time to manage.  Most saliently, I started a vermicomposting project, in an attempt to turn some of our kitchen rubbish into rich, wonderful worm castings. I purchased the requisite equipment (worms, large plastic bin) and read a lot on the internet about how great my future fertilizer would be.  I created what I had read would be a nice home for my worms: shredded damp newspaper, a little bit of dirt, and a preliminary sprinkling of vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and egg shells.  I stashed my bin in the dark of our basement, far from worm-stressing daylight.  For the next several weeks, I checked on my worm colony regularly, adding new food as often as I could.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, our kitchen’s output of scraps far exceeded my worms’ collective appetites, and I soon began diverting our kitchen compost back to the farm compost pile, up the hill.  Worms are apparently very slow eaters.

Lacking a reason to check in on them regularly, the worms slipped farther and farther from my mind.

After a few months of farming, forgetfulness melted smoothly into procrastination, and I feared the worst for my neglected worms.  I decided to let sleeping worms lie.

Flash forward to this morning.  A recent conversation had once again ignited my interest in vermicompost.  The stuff is reputedly magical, a veritable plant probiotic.  I decided to see how far my worms had gotten before starving.  Perhaps they had left me a few cups of I crossed my fingers that decomposing worms did not smell too rank.  I steeled myself for a rush of guilt.

Instead, I found bin of rich worm castings and a healthy colony of worms.  The only remnants of the worms’ initial feeding were the half domes of eggshells dotting the otherwise uniformly black surface of the casting.  I knelt down and gave the bin a timid sniff: the smell of loam greeted me.

I wish more procrastinated projects would end this way…

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