We arrived home from our long holiday weekend of working on our property up in the mountains to see an absolutely horrible sight. It was heart wrenching, absolutely awful. I don’t think the poor little dears knew what happened to them. They were scattered all over our kitchen floor, their poor little bodies here and there. Some actually had crawled several feet to their untimely death. Was this actually suicide?
I’m talking about the worms from our worm farm, of course!
I uncovered the worm farm tray and carefully sifted through the bedding to see if I could determine what had happened. I knew they had enough food. After all, the pamphlet that came with our Worm Farm 360 even said they could be left alone for several weeks at a time, and I had just fed them a handful of food just a few days before we left. When I raked through the material, I could find nothing out of the ordinary and it certainly didn’t smell bad, but there were some errant delicata squash seeds trying to grow. I found out from doing a bit of research that the fact these seeds were growing was actually a good sign because seeds won’t generally germinate unless the soil is at least 60 degrees, nor will they germinate if the soil is too hot. So that means the temperature must have been okay. Was the bedding too dry? It hardly seems that could be the case because I also watered down the newspaper covering the bedding material before we left. Ah ha! Was that it? Did I water them too much? We think that may have actually been the case. Ray and I surmised that because the worms had crawled out of the bedding material, they were trying to get away from something, which was probably too much water. Kind of like the earthworms that crawl out of your lawn during a rainstorm. The instructional booklet that came with the worm farm said to keep a wet newspaper on top, but to only water the bedding material if it actually got too dry. So I think I drowned them, or at least they would have drowned if they hadn’t crawled out. But then when they crawled out to the kitchen floor they dried up – like jerky. Poor little darlings. I had actually murdered them with my own ignorance!
In hindsight, I think there may have been two good outcomes from this carnage: Our cat (shadow) was probably amused and maybe even had fun with a few of the wriggly strangers in our absence 😉 , and secondly (of course, more importantly) I learned not to water the bedding so much at one time. As luck would have it, not all of the wrigglers escaped and died and quite a few actually remained in the bedding, so I decided to carry on and add a new tray today. I surmised that in this way if one tray is too wet (or dry) they can crawl to the other one and I may be absolved of this sad crime. Hopefully I won’t be seeing a mass exodus of biblical proportions like this ever again!