Thirty New Pets Through the Mail

By | January 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm | 4 comments

Yesterday I received about 30 new pets through the mail (but shhh, don’t tell my landlord). 30 pets might sound excessive to you but they don’t take up that much space. I keep them in a plastic tub on my balcony and I’ll feed them on scraps once a day in about two weeks. This isn’t animal cruelty, this is the life of a womery owner.

That’s right, I finally got the wormery (compost) I’ve been dreaming about since I was…well a few months younger than now. But still, the excitement was huge. As was the parcel.

I carefully opened it up (not sure why I was being so careful, it’s not like the worms were just going to¬† be free-crawling around the box!) As I unpacked it, I got a slight stomach flip of ‘ugh, worms’ but brushed past that feeling and told myself to stop being silly.

I don’t mind worms. The big pale ones you find in the garden. One big pale worm is fine. I used to play with them as a kid. They were the garnish on my not-so-delicious Mud Pies. But suddenly the prospect of dipping my hands into a big tub of wiggling worms wasn’t so appealing. Luckily they were packaged up nicely and looked quite friendly. I think. I mainly had them between thumb and forefinger at arms length.

I hastily read the manual then set to putting it together. Tap at the bottom, layer to hold the compost up over the liquid compost (also known as liquid gold thanks to its wormy, pooey, nutrients) , bit of newspaper, pile of earth and some damp shredded newspaper. Then the worms. I gently, but fairly quickly, emptied them into their new home. In my hurry to cover them with tasty vegetable peelings (which I had to dig out of the bin!) I forgot to take a photo of them in their new home. But trust me, they are somewhere under this lot.

When the lid was on tight (and double checked) I placed them and their new home outside on our balcony. It’s a bit nippy out there at the moment, not to mention windy, so I tucked them into a corner and then hastily retreated back inside to watch through the window (for about 2 minutes until I realised I was just watching a plastic tub).

“If it gets too cold out there, I’ll bring them in” I promised myself, trying to forget what I read about one wormery owner who woke up one morning to find her worms had escaped and were partying all over her kitchen.

Unfortunately I have to wait for about 2 weeks for them to settle in before I can start adding more food to the tub. I have the date circled and starred in my diary. It also means that in about 2 weeks we should have almost zero waste going into our bin. What with our vegetables being delivered packaging-free by the wonderful Abel and Cole, our pretty good borough recycling and my refusal to buy things that are over packaged, our bin has mainly been filled with vegetables peelings. Well, not for much longer! This was one of the main reasons for wanting a wormery. At my parents home we compost all our food scraps but in London it hasn’t been possible. Chucking bin bags of rotting potato peelings into the rubbish truck has made me feel slightly guilty as food doesn’t break down in the same way in a landfill site as it does on a compost heap. And what is so great about the worms is that they will eat almost anything. Aside from the easy to compost vegetables and teabags, worms also eat cooked food and meat (not that meat is an issue in our flat). I love these gross little things already. Plus, just think what all this liquid gold is going to do for the veggies we’re going to grow this year!

Roll on January 20th, mama wants to feed her new pets!


Thanks to Original Organics, the wonderful, wormy people I bought my wormery from. And who are very friendly on Twitter. They may become less so when I send regular panic-stricken tweets about the health of my worms…


  1. Shannon (6 years ago)

    Congrats on your new pets! One thing you may want to be careful with that type of setup is leaving the tea spout open. My friend did that by mistake during the summer. The worms got too hot, tried to escape and then all fried on her porch. There are few things that are as weird/sad as dead worms all over your porch, or in my case, basement floor. I wrote about my experience keeping worms here: Although we’ve had our issues, they’re doing quite well now.

  2. Jo Corrall (6 years ago)

    Hi Shannon, thanks so much for your advice – I did have a mini panic of ‘is the tap off??’ when I set it up but I’m pretty sure I have it figured out now….fingers crossed anyway!
    Living in Britain I’m not sure it will get hot enough for them to fry for quite a while but I will certainly keep my eye on the little things!

  3. jeza (5 years ago)

    i need to do this!

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