Friday, October 23, 2009

The worms in my basement

People generally respond positively when I tell them I'm composting this year. Friends have been impressed that I've undertaken the project or envious that I have the space. However, when I reveal that the aforementioned decomposition of food is occurring in the basement of my house their reactions tend to change. Regardless of their level of support for the project they have to double-check: "It's inside?!" From there, reactions range from a topic-changing level of grossed-out to relative enthusiasm (as long as it's not their basement).

It was all my idea - or fault, depending on the day. I read somewhere about indoor worm composting and resolved to start a worm bin in my next house. In the past year, I read all the information I could find on the topic and built my very own worm bin. My roommates, while not quite sharing my level of enthusiasm, agreed to humor me in this endeavor.

There was - and probably still is - some hesitancy. I mistakenly told one of my more reluctant roommates the story of a friend whose worms were constantly escaping from her bin for reasons unknown. Realizing my poor judgment, I hurriedly assured her that I would keep the worms happy and that, in the event that they were not, any escapee would dry up before reaching her bedroom.

Still, my four roommates have been great sports, dutifully sorting their food scraps according to the list I posted and even taking the scraps down to the worms when the container gets full. If nothing else, we've discovered that the worms in our basement make a great conversation piece. The highlight of the tours we gave at our housewarming party was, without question, the worm bin. The trivia question for the evening: "Guess how many worms are in our basement right now" (the answer: 1,000). Our worms do not want for PR.

In this space, I'll document the trials, successes and progress of my worm bin - an adventure which has engrossed me more than I could have predicted.


  1. Superb Maura!
    I can't wait to read about the weekly goings on of my basement.
    Post a picture of Hildegaard. I think the world is ready to see her.

  2. Steve

    Washington DC

    I wish you great success, Maura, even as I squirm at the thought. Put me down as a NIMB (Not In MY Basement).



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