*This, I have learned, is not the best thing to yell out in the middle of a crowded public place. Speaking from experience.
We had some friends in town a few weeks ago, and while enjoying a few brewskies at a local brewery, somehow the topic of vermiculture - or worm composting - came up. And I, forgetting my surroundings or basic social skills, yelled out, "I USED TO HAVE WORMS!!" I'm so good at life sometimes.
My history with worms is a bit ... storied. So buckle up kids, 'cuz it's story time.
For a few years in college, I lived in an on-campus apartment with a few friends and had several secret (and illegal) pets in my room, including a large fish tank and some chinchillas. At some point, I did some research on worm composting. I don't remember why - it's not like I was doing much cooking of my own - but I decided I absolutely had to try it. So I went home one weekend to my parents' house and built myself a little wooden worm box with a hinged top. I filled it up with newspaper strips and a bit of sand, just like I had read, and happily set it up in the corner of my apartment bedroom. A day or two later, my worms came in the mail, and I plopped them into the box and left for classes for the day.
When I came home later that night, I was so excited to see how the worms had settled into their new, home-made worm box. Would they already be eating some of the bedding I had put in there? Or would they need some time to settle in?
Neither, it turns out. I unlocked my bedroom door and walked into the bedroom to find the aftermath of a horrific worm apocalypse. The worms had crawled up the sides of the wooden box, squeezed out through the crack between the top and sides of the box, and took off in a mass exodus across the carpet to seek greener pastures. Worms had made it to varying distances across the room and under furniture, only to realize (in the words of Gob Bluth), "I've made a huge mistake." They perished by the dozens, drying into the depths of my carpet as they passed into another realm.
Like I said: horrific.
I abandoned my worm dreams for many years, until a few years ago when I owned a house and was older and wiser. I bought an actual kit designed for worm composting (see? wiser.) and it was wildly successful PLUS tons of fun. When we decided to sell the house and move cross-country, I took a big jar o' worms to re-establish the colony, only to find when we moved to Seattle that there was city-wide composting, and we had no place to set up worms in our small apartment. So, I took another worm hiatus.
Cut to: NOW! We own a house again, and you better believe I busted out the worm box and got it all set up, then promptly ordered a fresh batch of worms. They are now happily chugging away, which will be great for our new gardening opportunities. In a few months, we should have some primo worm poop to feed our plants, and then feed us. I mean with the plants, not the poop. Circle of life, friends. Circle of life.