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Sunday, 22 July 2007

I have worms

Funny thing: you buy a "Can-O-Worms" but the worms are sold separately. But anyway, as of yesterday I have one of the first and around a thousand of the second, and a hundred and ten fewer dollars in my bank account. That's eleven cents per worm.

The worm farm itself deserves a bit of a plug, I think. For starters it appears to be a really good design. It has legs, a fluid collection base with tap, three "working trays" and a lid. The theory is that when the top tray gets full the bottom tray will contain heaps of fertiliser and very few worms so you just empty the bottom one and then place it at the top. As you add food to the top the worms come up through the holes and begin creating more fertiliser there. Round and round it goes.

It is made of plastic, but it's made of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. As with my decision to use concrete blocks as part of the base for my water tanks, I think it's an appropriate use of materials. It's hard to imagine something like this being made from anything other than plastic or metal - of which plastic seems like the less wasteful choice. We do have an enormous amount of existing plastic which would otherwise be headed for a landfill. And unlike many other plastic products this one's designed to perform a valuable function over a long period of time.

Moreover, it's made in Australia and there's very little packaging to be "disposed of" after the purchase. You can check out the model I bought here.

Worms are sold separately, as I mentioned. I grabbed a box of a thousand from the shelf right next to the Can-O-Worms. Good thing, too - it turns out that a thousand worms is the minimum recommended number for starting a worm farm. The worms aren't loose in the box, they're buried in a lump of moist, compost-y black stuff which you just place as-is into the worm farm. Once they've eaten through all the tasty parts of that they will, I understand, squirm up through the holes into the next tray in search of the food scraps I've laid out for them.

For the time being they seem content to stay in the bottom tray in their black stuff. Just to prove I'm not making all this up, here's a pic I snapped late this afternoon.

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