This is a bit of a confession.
I don't run in a real “green” crowd. Sure, my friends and family recycle, make sure not to litter, and take reasonable steps not to destroy Earth. But not one of them vermicomposts or, to my knowledge, derives any pleasure out of earthworms beyond what fish they might attract. Nearly all of them would not describe themselves as “crunchy,” granola,” or back-to-the-Earth types.
And I guarantee you none of them would describe me that way.
This kind of a problem when I devote a good portion of my precious free time and effort – and half of my barn – to vermicomposting and raising vermicomposting worms.
I am a white-collar Dad in the suburbs of Philadelphia. My real professional life, while very enjoyable, requires a very conformist mindset and my job simply does not attract people who would embrace something as eccentric as worm composting. So while I love learning what works and what doesn't when it comes to vermicomposting, how do I share it with others close to me?
And outside of this blog, I'm not sure I am going to start.
Remember me mentioning my precious free time? Well I can't say I'm enthusiastic about spending much of it trying to explain why I dig through coffee shop dumpsters for used coffee grounds or what those stacks of Sterilite bins are in my basement and garage. Even my close friends have little idea about this. While there's no secret I am actively keeping, I literally cringe when my wife – who I'm not convinced is 100% behind my efforts – tells our friends about the worms. I have to admit, I would just rather they remain ignorant than have me stammer through a “yeah, it sounds weird, but let me tell you what the worms do” sort of spiel. (I think the birds and the bees talk with my children is going to be more comfortable for me than answering for my worm hobby to a close friend.)
Do any of you feel this way? Do your friends think it's strange? Does your own spouse think you're a little weird because of it?
If any of you feel the same way, there's a support group out there for you. For real! Head on over to Facebook and join a vermicomposting group. The two I love are the Red Worm Composting group and the Vermicomposting-Worm Farm Group. You won't find a more welcoming mix of newbies and experts. There is literally no question too stupid to ask. And if you want to learn about the antifungal properties of actinomycetes, there will be someone with the heart of a teacher over there to answer your questions on that too.
Got any worm insecurities you'd like to share? Let me know in the comments section below (psuedonyms are welcome!) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Worm on. Even if in secret.
The 2020 Vermicomposter's Starter Guide
Your roadmap to a successful beginning in vermicomposting.