Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Worms, Worms, Worms

When a word is said enough times, it begins to not sound like a word at all, or it seems like a foreign language.  Worm is one of those words.   How did Adam think up that name?   He didn't have a dictionary and he never had a vocabulary class!  Come to think about it, why did he call a cow a cow, or giraffe a giraffe and so on?  Amazing! 
Anyway, worms are small, amazing creatures and following is an agricultural lesson.  Enjoy!

A few months ago, we purchased some red wriggler worms on the Internet and they (250 of them) arrived in this bag.....

Red wrigglers are not considered fishing bait, but they are used for composting.  My goal is to have them multiply, sell some to other folks, sell the worm castings (their manure), and possibly make a "tea" from the castings and sell it for fertilizer.  This whole process will take awhile, but it is a fun goal.  This is how we are "raising" them..... 

We put clean, good soil in a Rubbermaid container with strips of black & white print newspaper and made the soil damp, not muddy. 

We tilted the bag of worms, which arrived in sawdust, and dumped them on top of the damp soil.  We didn't mess much with them, except spread them around just slightly.  We then covered the container with an old towel and searched for a dark place to keep them.  Their home couldn't be too hot nor too cold, so they ended up in our living room under one of the chairs. How hick-ish is that?   Raising worms in the living room!  I was really hoping that they didn't develop an odor.

We discovered that their favorite menu is pieces of apple core (not peelings), & cooked sweet potatoes.  Feeding them meat, citrus, and food that may rot and draw in rodents is not recommended.  We would just lay the food on top of the soil (food can be mixed in with soil, also),  cover with towel and push container back under the chair for a few days.  There is no odor and it is so interesting and fun to pull it out, quickly uncover and watch the worms dive underground for safety and darkness! 

Worms are God-created farmers.  They burrow through the soil, making tunnels that allow air and water to more easily penetrate the soil.  This also creates soft soil and soft soil provides an excellent bed for seeds.  The worm's manure, called castings, fertilize the soil with the perfect balance of nutrients.  Worms do not like light, but prefer dark.  That is why fishermen hunt for worms at night, hence "night crawlers".  They will come to the surface of the earth and pull their food down into the soil, which creates a composting effect.  They do not have eyes or ears, but only a mouth and it's whole body can taste and feel.  They have bristles, or setae, which they use to help move along and to hang onto the soil, especially if a bird is trying to pull them from the ground.  They can hang on so well, that the bird will sometimes tear them in half.  Now the part of the worm that contains the head will grow again, but the tail end will die, of course.  When the worm grows after being torn apart, the new growth will be a lighter color.  If you look closely at a worm you will see a section that is thicker than the rest.  That is called a saddle and it secretes a slim to help them stay moist and it also protects the eggs.  A worm creates a cocoon to lay her 20 eggs in, but only one will survive.  Conventional farming is not friendly to worms.  Pesticides and other chemicals used by farmers kill them and when fertilizer is spread on fields it suffocates them.  If you have lots of worms in the soil, there would be no need to use fertilizers  If a comparison is made between organic soil and pesticide/or other chemical sprayed soil, there is a very noticeable difference.  So much more can be said about the seemingly lowly worm, but maybe you would like to do your own research.  The library has some very interesting books and easy for children to understand.  This lesson was taught to my 1st & 2nd grade ag science class at our homeschool co-op and hopefully now you will look at worms in a whole new light, too.  Our family has a new appreciation for those crawly creatures and now when it rains and they cover the road, we feel sad driving over them.  God has created them for a wonderful purpose and they are a huge benefit to the farmers!  They are small, but mighty!

Until next time................

No comments: