[this is a piece that i wrote several years ago about two months after I’d set up my worm composting system in the basement. Obama had just been inaugurated and Nancy Pelosi was the Speaker of the House. tried to get it published… but did not succeed… and thus am throwing it up here… for the sake of some giggles and good fun… and Worm Wisdom to share… ;~) ps. it could be updated with current events in a heartbeat and still submitted… but not right now. ]
I Composted Nancy Pelosi
© Mare Cromwell
Jan 12. Ordered the worm composting contraption on the Internet today. Am very excited about setting up the vermiculture system in my basement. Have told my cats that this will be set up next to their kitty litter and hoped they did not mind. Really did not give them a choice. Started saving cauliflower scraps and tea leaves in container in frig.
Jan 17. Looked on line for where to purchase worms. Need to make sure that the worm farmer is relatively close to Baltimore and ships fast since it’s January and we don’t want any frozen worm butts sitting in a box on my front porch at the end of January. Called worm farm for more information. Did not ask how they lasso the worms to round the buglies up for shipment. Don’t really need to know.
Jan 20. Big box arrived today. Ah…the worm composting system. Opened box up and put the pieces together. Rather cool. It has five trays with open grids on the bottom of each. A bottom tray with a spigot for ‘compost’ tea. And a lid that tells me what to feed the critters and how to take ultimate good care of them once they’re all set up in the cozy new home. Cats are not too sure about the real estate location of the worm condo but assured them it will be fine. Worms are good neighbors. There was some small fine print on the bottom of the instruction booklet but I could not make it out. Looked like a smudge. Put more scraps of veggies and spent tea leaves in frig.
Jan 24. WORMS are HERE! Mailman circled around again after dropping other mail off first. Worms must have told him they needed to stay warm in the USPS van. USWormService in their minds, I suppose. Unpacked the small box and carefully emptied worms into bowl with some water, per instructions. All seemed stunned but two. Those two must be the security worms. Let them sit for about twenty minutes in bowl while I set up their first tray with damp newspaper sheets, veggie scraps, shredded paper and soaked shredded coconut husk stuff. (Came with kit. Guess worms like the tropical ambiance.) Spread the stunned worms on the 3rd World contribution to their new home, covered with damp paper and more damp paper, while lovingly talking to them about how much they will like living with me—and my cats—and my cat’s kitty litter.
Noticed the cover articles of the Baltimore Sun were about Nancy Pelosi and the Economic Stimulus Plan in Congress. Also some other piece about Michael Phelps and some bong. Michael would be grateful that I’m composting that story.
Jan 25. Checked on worms eight times. Some movement afoot. Or acrawl.
Jan 26. Checked on worms five times. Even more movement. Some have found the food scraps. Seventeen of them are in the wrong place under the first tray. Initiated my first worm relocation venture and moved them all back up to tray. Need better system to move them than my fingernails. Can hear them screaming when I pick them up. Ouch. Am realizing that I might need to change the kitty litter even more often now. Cats are starting to feel more favorable about worms.
Jan. 27. Checked on worms four times. More of them on food scraps. Saw Nancy Pelosi on the news. She looked much rosier and healthier since composting her. Must be good for the skin. Economic Stimulus package is still being digested. Not sure how it will fare the worm munching. Looking damp and tattered today.
Jan 28. Checked worms once. Looking good still.
Jan 29. Economic Stimulus package has been further digested and the worms are ready to complete ruminations on its viability as a successful remedy to our nation’s woes. Their overall conclusion is that one of them should have been elected to President but then again, they lean toward a Communist platform and are certain that many voters in the USA are not quite ready for such political values in the White House. They have voted to delegate the decision-making to Congress and the new President who resembles their fellow worms of color. They support the diversity in our nation’s leadership. (Have just realized that I’m now channeling worms. Am not sure if this is a good thing.)
Jan 30. Put some rotten carrots that looked black in the worm condo. All looks serene there now that worms have delegated the Economic Stimulus package.
Feb 2. Put some old parsley in another corner. Black carrots are a popular food item for the mini-earthmovers.
Feb 8. Found some more runaways or crawlaways in the bottom tea tray. Maybe they’re teaching swimming lessons? Moved them back up. That was not in any background information that I read about vermiculture. Still need better relocation system. They are concerned about the Economic Stimulus package in the Senate. Tried to assure them that all was moving forward. But did not know the details.
Feb 11. Crunched some eggshells up for them. Seems to be popular with their kind as they need to crunch the compost with their teeny-weeny gizzards. They told me thanks for the shells but no omelet’s or fried eggs, please. Also gave them some rotten spinach.
Feb 12. Worms asked if I would crush the eggshells better. Maybe dance on them first. They suggested a Cajun two-step when I offered the waltz or East Coast Swing. Picky…picky.
Feb 15. Found a worm in my potting soil bag in other side of basement. Provided air transport to relocate worm to worm condo community. Did not ask permission of community (did not think to). Hope they don’t ostracize he-she. Have not seen the worm since, probably could not recognize him if I did though. Assume he-she’s been accepted. But heard some louder noises from condo later in the day so assume a meeting was held to discuss the new expatriate.
Feb. 20. Brought some leaves in from under one of my bushes in front yard. Layered them under damp newspaper in condo. Got a tiny smudged thank you note near kitty litter later in day. Wish I could have raked my whole yard into a worm farm in the fall but farm would have taken up the size of the whole first floor of my little cape cod. Kinda like to keep my kitchen and bathroom and home office available. Could have set up a farm in guest room, I guess. Maybe shoveled the good worm castings fertilizer out the window to the deck. Not sure about zoning and historic codes in my community for a worm farm home business however. Worms are historic though. Might look into this for later.
Feb 21. Added chopped Korean veggie potstickers that have been in freezer for two years. Along with something unrecognizable from back shelf of frig. Maybe old cucumber from Nov? Another question about the Economic Stimulus package. Told them it was passed by Congress and President Obama had signed it. But I still did not know the details other than there were some cuts. They did not like to hear about the cuts. Worms don’t like cuts. Don’t even talk to them about slices. Told them that if I could I would get them a full final version to compost but not sure how I’ll do that.
Feb 22. Korean potstickers are getting really moldy. Kinda colorful too. Worms don’t like Korean carryout.
Feb 23. Noticed worm casting piles under some of the leaves. Am very excited. Love celebrating POOP!
Feb 24. Banner Day. One month of worms in the house. Found a dead worm in the bottom tray. Did a little blessing and relocated him-her up to tray above and gave him over to their death rituals. Don’t really want to know their death rituals. Tray is starting to smell organic, like soil. Nice. Some of the green parsley from three weeks ago is still green and untouched though. Not too worried.
Checked the worms later in the day and feeling frustrated at how slow their progress is. Hoped for far more compost tea and worm castings by this point in time. Gardening season is coming up fast. Vented a little at them and then felt terrible. Apologized for my impatience and realized that they should not bear the brunt of my overall frustration about my little world and the entire global socio-economic system at large. But they really should be producing faster and more—in my very humble opinion.
Feb 25. Found a weensy-weensy smudged memo on my desk this morning. Paper looks like part of a front page of the Baltimore Sun. So much empty space on the front page now. It’s from the worm union. Can barely read it though. Note states that they can’t eat any faster unless I heat my basement up more or bring in more worker worms, of their species only. This was stated in their contract and I ‘obviously failed to read the fine print.’ It also said that I should only open the condo top at night since they’re night creatures and are not pleased with how I’ve been disturbing them during the day. Some of them have had their REM cycles disturbed and this has upset the eggshell consumption effort.
The memo also stated that I should leave the very bottom of the tray alone since some romance has been developing. They too celebrate Valentine’s Day and thus activity in that direction was heightened. They also appreciated the rotten spinach that I gave them prior to the great day of LOVE since it gave the lovers some good shopping gift options for their hermaphroditic sweeties. (Apparently they still need each other to swap the sperm and eggs but we were bordering on TMI there in the memo.)
Had to get the magnifying glass out to read the rest of the memo. Apparently they were giving me an okay evaluation to the great Universal Worm Creator and will sign the long term agreement to stay in the condo in my humble house now that the one month trial period was over…So long as I don’t vent my life’s frustrations at them any more.
So… while I never was aware that there was any trial period or contract in cryptic, smudged Wormese-English (that must have been the fine print that I could not read on the instruction booklet—need to look at that again)… guess I passed the test. Yet, wasn’t it my choice to keep them not theirs to keep me? Clearly the legalese was slanted in their favor. Worms are known to be slimy.
Went downstairs and announced to the condo that I was happy to pass muster and grateful they wanted to stay. Refrained from telling cats of the contract and memo. Don’t want to give them any ideas.
Feb 26. Another request for full review of completed Economic Stimulus package. Sigh… I need some political connections.