By Wendy Wood
July 17, 2013
Recently, kids in the summer reading program at the Charles H. Stone Memorial Library in Pilot Mountain had the opportunity to “Dig into Reading” by learning about vermiculture.
OK, so you may know what agriculture is, and multiculture, but do you know what vermiculture is?
The creatures that are studied in vermiculture do a lot of digging and are very good for gardens and the environment. Still don’t know what they are?
They certainly aren’t moles or groundhogs, or even skunks, who will leave holes in your yard.
They are worms.
Yes, the kids got to learn about how worms are good for gardens and how they aid in composting.
Assistant Librarian Dewey Sturdivant, who is a worm farmer for uses of gardening and composting, taught them that worms’ favorite foods are used coffee grounds and watermelon. They also eat apples, rotten fruit, and paper like newspaper.
One red wiggler, which were the worms Sturdivant shared with the kids, can produce about 468 hatchlings in a year.
After learning about the wigglers and what they eat and how they are good for the garden and environment, each of the kids got to make their own worm farm to take home.
They used jars, decorated a piece of paper to identify their farm, added shredded newspaper, potting soil and then finally a handful of worms.
As a reporter for The Stokes News a few years ago, I did a story about a lady in the northern part of the county who raised worms and bagged their castings and sold it for rich soil to gardeners and others.
And when I was in high school and looking for some spare cash, my dad tried to talk me into growing my own worm farm to sell the worms to fishermen headed to the nearby lakes in Guilford County and to Belews Lake, which wasn’t far from our corner of the county.
Of course, what high schooler worried about boys and having fun wanted to get her hands dirty and deal with worms? Not me.
Now it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. These kids have gotten their kick-start into worm farming, and I wonder how my Little Man would like playing with the little wigglers (no pun intended) whether they be red wigglers, earthworms or night crawlers — or even bloodworms, that’s what I used to fish when I was a kid.
It was fun to watch these blooming readers get their hands dirty and enjoy the worm farm experience. And I didn’t even hear an “eek” from anyone.
Wendy Byerly Wood is the associate editor of The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1923.