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How to Eat Fried Worms

on April 18 | in Gardening | by | with 11 Comments

When I was growing up one of my favorite books was How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell. I don’t remember anything about the book except how amused I was by the idea of eating worms. Not that I ever have, I swear. Okay, I don’t swear. Not because I am being dishonest. I am just trying to stop swearing. Apparently it only takes one well-placed adjective for a kid to latch on and repeat. Ouch.

Worms and I Go Waaay Back

In the fifth grade I did my science project on worms. My teacher, Mrs. Huffine, was really pretty and liked worms so I did it to impress her. Well, mostly. Apparently, I like worms, too. Not as much as my mom, though. About two years ago she began vermicomposting. We feed our kitchen scraps to worms living in two bins and then collect the compost they make for our garden.

Worm casts . . . contain five times more nitrogen, seven times more phosphorus, and 11 times more potassium than ordinary soil, the main minerals needed for plant growth, but the large numbers of beneficial soil micro-organisms in worm casts have at least as much to do with it. The casts are also rich in humic acids, which condition the soil, have a perfect pH balance, and contain plant growth factors similar to those found in seaweed. There’s nothing better to put in your garden! –  JourneytoForever.org

I have to admit, even with my childhood love of worms I think this is kind of gross. It’s one of those city girl things I have to get over. I made some progress this week when Katie, Gigi and I headed over to Green Mama’s to buy some supplies for our ultra-mini garden.

Personally, I think individuals with grand dreams that don’t have any real life experience connected those dreams may be very shocked if they ever get what they think they want. Transitioning ideals from theory to practice often brings a litany of rude awakenings. Some little girls may want to raise horses until they realize they can’t stand the smell of stables. Others love Farmville on Facebook but hate actual dirt.

If we are going to buy land, goats and chickens I want to know ahead of time that I am cut out for this life.

Live the Dream!

I have a big dream, and just because I can’t live it the way I want doesn’t mean I am going to just sit in my aforementioned suburban neighborhood and drool over chicken coops online. Zoning laws prevent me from putting chickens and goats in my backyard, so I make a point to do what I can here (like gardening) and visit local farms as often as I can to get a feel for how things really work. This year, to accommodate the teeny-tiny amount of extra time we currently have, we started our itsy-bitsy garden. We added tomatoes to our current staples: thyme, oregano, garlic chives and mint. Everything is in portable pots in case we sell our house ; – )

My Beloved Green Mama’s

If you’re anywhere near North Richland Hills and interested in gardening, you MUST check out Green Mama’s. I have yet to find a store more knowledgeable about soil and plant health in the area. Plus, they offer free classes!

I especially love their herb and veggie greenhouse. Each plant has been carefully selected based on its ability to thrive and produce in Texas’ super-hot climate. Their sweet basil is a favorite in our house. It should be arriving any day now. I can’t wait to get it planted and start counting the days until we make homegrown pesto!

Somebody is excited about tomatoes!

. . . and worms

Seriously, I thought she was going to eat this one!

Maxwell, totally unphased by all the fun we’re having.

All finished until the sweet basil arrives!



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11 Responses to How to Eat Fried Worms

  1. katie says:

    I love Green mamas!!! Awesome place and very knowledgable staff. You should check out Hare’s nursery, its family owned, both are very nice and they raise a lot of their own plants.

    P.S. Your cat looks just like my cat Oliver, and looks just as lazy!
    .-= katie´s last blog ..Chamomile rosemary cleansing hair rinse =-.

  2. Elisabeth McCumber says:

    I’m a worm rancher myself. They’re procreating like the dickens in their bin under the stairs. I just added some in the outdoor garden compost too; I’d like to see it become a seething mass of vermicomposters and castings… seems like they’re off to a good start so far.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Have you ever been to Elizabeth Anna’s in FW? That is where I went to get all my seeds and plants this year (all organic). I was able to meet the owner, Elizabeth, and chat with her for a while. Not only is she super friendly and knowledgeable, turns out she had homebirths when she lived in the PNW and fought for a natural birth at the hospital here with her last one. That alone makes me want to shop there again. :)
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.

  4. Elisabeth McCumber says:

    Hm, what am I growing… not much so far, aside from worms. I’m currently sharing a house with quite a few other people – a couple with 3 little kids, my husband, and 2 single friends. Since space is limited and time is too, I’ve been contenting myself with the worms. But the mom among us has planted some basics in our 8×8 plot of growable space – onions, peas, salad greens; and one of the singles farms full-time with a CSA. And actually, the other single among us caught the worm bug herself – her worm bin is right next to mine. (I helped her build it.) As you can see we’re all pretty earthy in our interests, despite leading urban lives; that’s why we named our home “The Country Mouse City House.”

    • Are you still in Portland / Oregon area, Elisabeth? How’s the fam? Haven’t heard many details.
      .-= Daniel (Daddypotamus)´s last blog ..The “Turn the Wifi Off at Night” Challenge =-.

      • Elisabeth McCumber says:

        Hey Daniel! Yeah, we’re still in Portland, currently living with a whole passel of people (as mentioned above) – friends from Southern Oregon University, which is where I transferred after leaving DBU. Good people. Anyway, the fam is mostly here in Oregon. My brother Dan and family are out in the picturesque Hood River for now, though moving to Corvallis soon. My parents are in Ashland, where my dad is teaching at SOU while also developing a pretty awesome language software program called ACORNS, designed to help Native Americans preserve endangered languages. Meanwhile, my sister Gayle and family are out on the other coast, in Baltimore, MD. Me, I’m a freelance writer these days, my husband Glenn is a “coffee steward” (like a wine steward, but for coffee), and we’re expecting our first baby next September – just a couple weeks behind your own next addition. Let me know how you’re doing, too – it’s been a while.

    • Heather says:

      Love the name of your home! Daniel and I want to buy a couple of acres and name the place but we haven’t come up with anything. Apparently naming stuff is not on of our strengths ; – )

  5. [...] yes, vermicomposting is just one of science experiment-esque things we have going on here. Looking back on the [...]

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