Handing Out Wriggly Pink Slips

Bit of a dilemma in the Ol’ Needle household. Here’s the poop…after a year of training, the worms are still not working hard enough. We love them…don’t get me wrong. They are great listeners… but they simply can’t keep up with our food scraps. Now we are not a family of food wasters…but we do eat an insane amount of fruits and veggies which leads to a lot of peelings, cores, nubs, and whatnot. With the Spring CSA shares coming just around the corner….something must be done.  They are only eating about 1/4 to 1/3 of our organic waste. The rest sadly goes in the garbage. There were entire months this winter that we couldn’t add more food to the bin because they simply hadn’t eaten enough. And now once again they seem to be dieting for bikini season.

So…the major complaints….
1. Keeping the balance of moisture , temperature , destinking, demolding, demiting and daily worm massages are a pain in the rump and seriously time consuming.
2. Evil, evil, evil fruit flies are on their way with the summer months.
3. They are space piggies…this is NYC, people…every inch counts.
4. They simply are just not doing the job they were hired to do. A lot of work on our end…with not a whole lot of overall results.

So…here are the Options….
1. Take them for a long drive out to the Pine Barrens, Soprano style.

2. Drive them to my mother’s in VA and add them to her outdoor compost pile and hope the milder temperature works out for them. (This would mean another few months of worm wrangling until our July trip.)

3. Find a local single person or couple for whom the worms could do the job. (I like this idea…but not sure how practical it would be.)

4. Find a farm or educational place that could use the worms to teach about vermicomposting. (I’ve contacted a local farm that does traditional composting but they haven’t responded.)

5. Suck it up and keep them as pets.

6. Eat them and sing a sad little ditty. Nobody likes me…..


Now I haven’t given up on the idea of keeping our scraps out of the garbage; we just need to find a system that better meets our needs. I tried getting our building to sign on to outdoor bins. People fear rats…which I can understand, but I will try again to get a discussion going. I also asked the farm I contacted if I could bring my scraps there…no response yet. Then there is the whole take political action and fight for more composting options…which I may do…right after I do the 400 other things on my little green to-do list…and take a nap.

So…what would you do with lazy worms?

9 Responses to “Handing Out Wriggly Pink Slips”

  1. Added by Chile on March 24th, 2009 at 9:23 am

    So…what would you do with lazy worms?

    Um, go fishing? Feed the robins? Sell them on craigslist?

  2. Added by TheGreenCat on March 24th, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I think you would do well to offer them up to someone else. There is a lot of interest in vermicomposting in the city and I bet you could get rid of them on Freecycle or Craigslist pretty quickly. The LESEC might also have some ideas for you.

    You mentioned taking your food scraps to a farm. There are a couple of places in the city that accept food scraps for composting which might be more convenient for you (although I don’t know where this farm is). Let me know if you want more info on composting sites.

  3. Added by ruchi aka arduous on March 24th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    I think you should force the city to offer municipal composting. Go yell at Michael Bloomberg until he gives in.

  4. Added by organicneedle on March 25th, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Thanks Cat…I have a list of places that will take the scraps. None are particularly convenient, but I will figure out something. I was referring to the Queens County Farm. I bring my kids there for events and to see the working farm and feed the animals…so I thought that would be a good choice if they will have me.

    Ruchi…I totally agree but with the city budget the way it is I just don’t think that is going to happen right now. There is a NYCCompost program that is set up to help people compost on their own and through their buildings. They will come, provide the bins, and even give tutorials. But…if you don’t own your own house, fairly rare in the city, then your building has to be OK with it. So far, mine isn’t jumping at the idea. But I’m working on it.

  5. Added by organicneedle on March 25th, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Chile…I have threatened them with the hungry robins so many times they just tune it out. But the fishing threat might hit home. 🙂

  6. Added by Theresa on March 29th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Nassau County has some very hungry robins. In fact, I saw one this morning. Momma robin was already getting ready for spring. I also have a family of cardinals that reside next door. Every year I plant veggies with my grandsons. Your lazy worms could help condition the soil for their planting.

    I think maybe some of the worms could be happy here at my house!! What do you think?

  7. Added by Long Overdue Riot Update : 56% Less Consumerist Pig! | Organic Needle on March 30th, 2009 at 5:50 am

    […] isn’t horrible…but it is still an increase.  As you may remember we have been raising worms all year long with the hopes that they were going to greatly reduce our organic waste…which […]

  8. Added by The Worms Have Been Pardoned…..for Now | Organic Needle on April 1st, 2009 at 7:23 am

    […] their "issues."  I mentioned last week I was really frustrated with my little guys…the little wriggly pink non-eating ones , not the giant peach colored ones who never STOP eating.  So my amazing husband spent Saturday […]

  9. Added by Beware:NYC Worms Released/ A Tale of Vermi-Failure | Organic Needle on April 11th, 2009 at 7:53 am

    […] all my flap about the trials and tribulations of raising worms… about saving them against all vermi-odds?  Well…it’s all […]

Leave a Reply