Friday, December 16, 2011

Garden wildlife: Gift of Wonder

This summer spit became an object of fascination for my grandkids. Mali and Kale weren't interested in just any old spit. The fell in love with "spit bugs" as Kale called them. We took long walks looking for spittle bugs in the parks and pathways. They carefully collected them in their plastic tubs (with breathing holes and parts of plants of course). Getting them to head home was a tricky thing and I never did ask their mom how she handled them at her end but that's the fun of being a grandma- we can drop off kids and bugs with one happy farewell wave.

This spittle bug collecting was an extension of my grandkid's love for worms and all the worm sorting and finding we had done earlier in the summer. Yes, once a year we dump out our worm bin and the kids are excited to help sort the worms from the finished compost in my big yellow wheelbarrow. Obviously this is kind of a gross job and one of the many things I learned this year is that I can avoid all the sorting by taking the lid off the bin and shining a bright light on it to drive the worms deeper. Thanks go to Ralph Rhoads, inventor of the Worm Factory for this tidbit- Like me he started with the can-o-worms from Australia but unlike me he did something more and invented this newer studier system called the Worm Factory.

To say Ralph knows something about worms is an understatement. For more info about the Worm Factoy see By the way Ralph offers many opportunities for communities and cities to buy bulk or discount worm bins - check out his web page for details.


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