Tag Archives: garden

I Shouldn’t Like Worms

My oldest boy and my husband were away all weekend on a scouting trip, leaving me with my two girls and younger son. I was planning on a quiet weekend at home when both my daughters came to me begging.

“Please, Mom, please?” they asked. “Tabitha and Rebecca really want to come over. They can spend the whole day. Please, Mom?”

Not quite what I had planned, but it seemed like a good idea – IF they would include their little brother.

“We will!” they assured me, so I agreed.

The friends came over, and the girls did include Luke in their activities. They worked on the playhouse, took a walk through the woods, and looked for worms. When it was time to take the friends home, they gathered up their things, including a cup with a couple of worms.

Yesterday afternoon, one of my daughters went searching for worms again. After a while she came inside, disappointed.

“Where do you look for worms?” she asked. “I haven’t been able to find any.”

We went outside together and started digging in our little garden area. “I bet if we start weeding this spot, we’ll find some,” I told her. And we did. Tiny ones, big ones, fat ones, skinny ones – she had a new cupful of worms.

I went back inside, and she came in about thirty minutes later. “I dumped out my worms,” she said.

“We just found them,” I replied. “Why’d you dump them out?”

“I shouldn’t like worms. They’re slimy and icky.”

“You can like worms if you want to,” I told her. “There’s no reason why you shouldn’t. Some people have jobs working with worms. Some scientists like to study worms.”

I wondered, though, where she had gotten that idea – not from her friends, because they played with the worms too. Perhaps from something she’d seen in a movie? Perhaps from other acquaintances?

With homeschooling, I try to keep my children from that kind of thinking as long as possible – from believing they have to think a certain way, just because that’s how others see it. But while it was a little sad to me that she wasn’t being true to herself, her comment did open up a great opportunity to talk about peer pressure.

I hope she goes searching for worms again today.

Worm Castings

A friend of mine has a home business I had never heard of before I met her. She and her family sell worm castings. They raise the worms, gather the castings, and package them up for customers.

“Castings” is another name for worm poo. No, worm castings aren’t smelly or icky – they’re actually like rich, dark, soft soil. They act as an organic fertilizer, releasing nutrients and water to the plant only as it needs it. My friend gave me some to try, and the results were amazing.

We have a large field which includes an area we marked off to plant a garden. Each year, my husband plans to plow it up with his dad’s antique John Deer tractor, but every spring he gets too busy. Two summers ago, I decided to just plant a small area instead, one that I could prepare and tend on my own. I already had the castings, so I bought a few cherry tomato plants. Being homeschoolers, we decided to turn our garden project into a science experiement.

We divided the plants into two groups. One group we planted with the castings, adding a large handful into the hole before planting, and then adding a little more around the base of the plant when we were finished. The other group we just set into the soil with no castings at all.

That summer, our area suffered from a terrible drought. Unfortuantely for the plants, I had placed my garden quite far from the house, and I often forgot to water them. In fact, I think I only carried a watering can out twice to the little garden. It’s no wonder the plants without the castings died away.

But to our surprise, the plants we had treated with the worm castings thrived. Not only did they grow, but they grew beyond the supports we had set up. They produced…and produced…and produced! We had tomatoes through September and into October. I even had to pick a few tomatoes before they were ripe because we were beginning to get the first frosts of winter.

I’m convinced. We’re going to try it again this year, and I can’t wait for the results! Maybe we’ll even get that big garden planted.