The Waste Buster gang of composting worms!

December 30, 2011

in Composting, Working with Schools/Colleges, Worm composting and worms

All my articles, videos and work are funded by my teaching and sales of award winning bumblebee nest boxessolitary bee boxes,  and wormeries.

“Hi ,  I’m Walter the Worm and a member of the Waste Buster gang. I used to live in a garden compost heap. I lived here all my life, from egg, to baby worm, teenager, adult and as a parent! It used to be my home, where I lived, ate and slept. I lived here with lots of my worm friends and relatives. We all belonged to the Waste Buster gang. We used to have lots of fun! I thought I had everything I needed when I moved there and made it my home.”

Waste Buster gang making worm-compost. Hi, I’m Walter!

“When I was younger, I really loved it there. It was dark, damp and warm with loads of little tunnels made by other worms which we used to play hide and seek in and chase each other ! In the summer months, the tunnels allowed a cool breeze of fresh air to cool us down. Like you I need air to breathe, unlike you I don’t have a nose. I breathe through my skin. I don’t know how you can breathe through those two little holes in your nose! Though like your nose has to be kept moist, so does my skin, that way we can both breath more easily.”

Waste Buster wormery gang member with green-hat

“Food? I was spoilt for choice

Your yukky waste is my yummy food! Waste Buster food!

“I know my home might look yucky to you, but to me it was food and home all in one! We had a feast and it was really good to eat apple cores, toast, cooked and uncooked food ( I’m not fussy! ), banana skins, dead leaves, eggshells and loadsa other waste food stuffs, which I love. I also enjoyed eating loadsa goodies such as coffee grinds, newspaper, garden waste and cardboard. I’m partial to a brew myself and really appreciated the tea bags with a few old biscuits! The corrugated cardboard not only tasted great, it was cosy and warm to sleep in and I could lay my eggs in those long dark tunnels you find in corrugated cardboard.

Heaps too hot!

Heat in the compost heap can get too hot for worms 🙁

Sometimes people would cut their grass and weed their gardens putting piles and piles of it onto my home. After a day or two it felt like the roof was on fire! Boy was it hot! Too hot for me and my Waste Buster mates. I had to move by crawling through the heap, making new tunnels further down the heap and away from the heat. I could have died, because of it. Luckily though my home was big enough for me and my mates to move away for a while. Then after a few more days it cooled down and we could move up again and start eating the dead grass and stuff.

Waste Buster wormer gang member

Gummy worms!

Walter, “But how can you eat all that stuff when you haven’t got teeth I hear you say? Well we suck up tiny pieces of grit which we find amongst the food waste and swallow them. We use these to grind our food up with as it settles in our guts. Some birds also do the same thing, like the pied wagtail, the small black and white bird you often see on car parks as it runs along, dead fast really for a small bird. It is looking for grit to swallow.  They have n’t got teeth either. Who needs teeth eh?”

I need little pieces of gravel just like the waste buster gang

“After we have eaten all the food scraps and stuff, we have recycled it and a rich, black stuff like soil  is left behind, adults call it vermicompost. This stuff is great for food for plants, lawns and vegetables. You can even use it on your houseplants and watch them all thrive. So instead of all your food being thrown in the bin and emptied at a big smelly tip, give it to us and we will eat it all up for your and give you vermicompost for your plants in return! Now I call that a good idea!”

Unwelcome visitors.

“Then one day, someone put in some hamster and rabbit manure. I was not too keen on it at first; it didn’t quite taste right. I think it needed weathering or something for a few days on the heap before I could eat it. After that it tasted much better and I love it now! I think the rabbit and hamster smell attracted a fox first and later a badger to our home late one night. They dug holes all around our home. Then they started to eat my friends up. In the daytime the birds also came along, and started pecking and scratching around the holes looking for me and my friends to gobble us up. I do not like being eaten! Our home was being raided! Then hedgehogs moved in and made their home in ours and a mole made regular visits near the ground floor, taking some of my friends away with him. It was too much to bear. My home was gradually being destroyed. One day it would be gone forever. I decided to leave. That’s when I heard about a worm hotel. A Five Star Worm Hotel! Can you believe it? You can see pictures of it on this web site”.

The Waste Buster wormery (My new home, it’s a 5 star hotel!)

Waste Buster wormery by Nurturing Nature

In here I have everything I need. Can you remember what I need? Here, let me help you….. I don’t like it too hot or too dry. I don’t like sunlight because it dries my skin. I certainly don’t like being eaten or chased by creatures that want to eat me!!

A nice damp, dark and warm place to live, with plenty of food and air passages. I also have loadsa other Waste Busters in here to keep me company. Plus, I am safe in here from the creatures that want to eat me for their breakfast! In here I get everything I ever needed. I even sometimes have a daily newspaper delivered, which I read at breakfast with a cuppa and toast! I prefer the Guardian myself as I can read and then easily digest it!

Making baby worms!

 

“This is another Waste Buster friend of mine, Wilma. Say Hello Wilma.”

Wilma, ” Hi everyone. I know many of you will want to know how we make babies!”

“Hi, do you like my lipstick? Walter told me I was to be on the web so I put it on specially for you. I wanted to look nice!”

Walter, “Making babies? Well kids, this is a little tricky for me to tell you this,  erm…….!!”

Wilma, “Go on Walter, tell them.”

Walter, “OK, OK. Here goes. You see both me and Wilma have man and lady parts. Yeah, I know it sounds funny to you humans, as some of you are boys and some of you are girls. Well we are different. We have both parts, if you know what I mean!!”

Walter, “Anyway, before we can have babies, we have to be old enough to be parents. You can tell if we are old enough as we have a ring, band or a saddle that goes right around our body. It’s easy to see and is called a clitellum. It’s about one third of the way down my body, from my head. If you want to see it and you want to pick me up, please wash your hands first and keep your hands a little wet. I like the wetness, it helps me to breathe. And remember to treat me gently. I don’t have any bones so I am not as hard as you with your bones and I will flop around. Once you have had a look, watch me crawl along and then put me back into my house and again wash your hands.”

The Clitellum is like a band, ring or saddle around a worm’s body

Walter, “When we are feeling romantic we snuggle up to each other so our bands are touching with our heads in opposite ends, so my head would be where Walter’s feet would be, only he does not have any feet!”

Walter, “Both of us make a sticky liquid,called mucus, that covers our bands, like a large sticky tube or donut! We are now bonded together. We then swop fluids, wait a while and wriggle out of the donut and that is what makes us have babies! We both go away, we both lay our eggs inside a cocoon, with our baby worms inside the eggs. The cocoons, I suppose look like tiny pale lemons that can change colour as they get older.”

waste buster worm cocoons

Wilma, “If you want to see this, go out one damp, warm evening with a torch and you may see the bigger earthworms on your lawn making babies! I only make babies with other  WasteBusters. I cannot make babies with other worms such as the earthworm you find on the lawn at night.”

Walter,”Now in the worm hotel, there are loads and loads of us. How come we are not overcrowded? Well, although we can make lots and lots of eggs and baby worms, if our home started to get too overcrowded, there would not be enough food for us all and we would start to feel a little worried.”

Wilma,”Stressed out more like it! So we stop making eggs, until there is enough room and food for us to start again! But where do you come into this? By buying a very special unit, called the Waste Buster and getting some Waste Buster worms you will be helping worms like me and Walter and all our friends to have a good life. We all now live in a 5-star worm hotel. They are very comfy and we love them!  ”

Worms can breed and breed, but stop when things are not to their liking!

Walter, “I hate any type of light: torchlight, bulb light and especially sunlight. I can feel when light touches my body. It makes me cross and if I am in the sunlight for too long, it can cause me pain and hurt, it can even kill me. I live in the dark so I get no sunlight. I am not used to it at all. I don’t need it. It is damp where I live. The sunlight dries me out.

Waste buster gang member with a miners hat!

I wear the hat to protect my head from the hot sun, just in case! Well, that”s my excuse. I also love to wear my sunglasses, I fell very cool and trendy in them! Do you like the hat and sunglasses?

Waste buster gang member with shades!

The award winning Waste Buster wormeries will shortly be available for sale from this web site!

Tel : 01925 452819, Mob 0787 – 358 6685,  email:       george.pilkington@ntlworld.com

Cartoon characters drawn, designed and displayed with the kind permission of Chris Savage…… ,

 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Anthony Powell May 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm

None of the pictures work on this page.

Reply

mrs susan davies November 4, 2014 at 9:00 am

Hi,
I started my wormerie this year on my allotment in Whitefield.
It is going really well. I am taking shredded newspaper down this week to help keep them warm. We also have a bee hive on the allotment within a small wild flower meadow, as we call it, just a very small area we have kept to grow wild flowers to help our bee population and of course in return to help pollinate our crops. So far, we are doing well.
We all, on our allotment, find it a very interesting topic.
I research this website due to the BBC breakfast program talking about bee’s, but unfortunately, missed most of it.
Regards,

Reply

nurturingnature November 6, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Hi Susan, You may be able to listen/watch the programme on BBC iPlayer? Cheers, George

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: