Welcoming Home the New Family Pet

I’ve wanted a worm bin for a while, but it was never an urgent issue. It’s not as though we don’t have a compost pile. For as long as I can remember, we’ve composted all of our food scraps. In fact, when I was a kid, I didn’t know what a garbage disposal was. I distinctly remember visiting a friend’s house and asking where they kept the compost bucket. The way I understood it, throwing food into the kitchen sink was a BAD thing. Imagine my surprise when she flipped a switch, and the sink ATE the table scraps! At the time, I probably thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I’ve since gotten over it.

College was a different story. No one composted in the dorms. There were no places for compost piles at any of the various apartments I rented. I was vaguely aware of worm composting as an option, but I really didn’t think much about it. I was too busy making sure I got to band practice on time. Yes, I was a band geek.

Then I moved to Austin, Texas, where my brother and I shared an apartment for three years. Geoff kept a community garden plot, but there was no place in the apartment complex to keep a compost pile. Geoff decided to try worm composting, and he had some degree of success using five gallon plastic buckets that he kept out on our balcony. He also made me read Worms Eat My Garbage, by Mary Appelhof. It was a very informative book and a pretty good read, but still I didn’t really pay much attention to Geoff’s worms or his garden plot. I was too busy working two jobs.

When I started working for CobraHead, my interest in worms began to grow. I attended garden shows and Green Festivals, and I would see stackable worm composting systems like the Worm Factory and the Can-O-Worms. I thought they were great products, but by then I was back at my parents house. We didn’t need a worm bin – we had a compost pile (several, actually).

But then, it happened.

My best friend got a worm bin. And the worm bin was cool.

When I visited, I would ask Kelly how the worms were doing. “Can I feed them? Can we call them Squiggly?” Yes, I named her worms Squiggly. All of them. It’s not like we were going to try to keep track of individual worms, so the whole bin became Squiggly. I was so fond of Kelly’s worms that I regarded them as another pet. And I wanted my own.

I finally got around to ordering my worm bin a little while ago, and Kelly was kind enough to give me some of her worms. I decided I’d better come up with a name other than Squiggly, and Squiggly II seemed a bit unimaginative. It’s been a few weeks, and I’ve finally settled on name.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Phil.




Nice. Hello, Phil.

I too have been kicking around the idea of a worm bin. Here in Utah our weather at 4,000 feet goes to extreme near zero in winter and over 100 at least 6-10 days in summer. So, placement and good insulation is my biggest concern. One of these days I will get started, probably when I least expect it I’ll find myself buying a bin and off we will go.

Good luck to all your Phils, I look forward to seeing how they all do.
# Posted By Greg W | 1/31/09 9:29 PM

We’re no strangers to extreme weather here in Wisconsin. Two weeks ago, it got down to -17F. Summers aren’t quite so bad, but it can get into the 90s. I’ve got the worm bin in the basement right now, and that’s probably where I’ll keep it year round. My friend Kelly actually keeps hers in her kitchen (in her 2nd floor apartment). This particular bin has a reasonably small footprint, so it’s not too hard to find a corner to stash it.
# Posted By Anneliese | 2/1/09 2:34 PM

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