Was This Suicide?

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?

Poor little creatures - they must have escaped their home and wriggled to their death on our kitchen floor!

Poor little creatures – they must have escaped their home and wriggled to their death on our kitchen floor!

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!

Delicata squash seeds growing in the bedding for the worms. This is actually a good sign!

Delicata squash seeds growing in the bedding for the worms. This is actually a good sign!

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!

This is the new tray being added to the worm farm. First went vegetable and fruit scraps, then moist coir, then moist newspaper scraps. Hope the worms like their new home addition!

This is the new tray being added to the worm farm. First went vegetable and fruit scraps, then moist coir, then moist newspaper scraps. That’s also a used paper coffee filter on the top. Hope the worms like their new home addition!

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7 thoughts on “Was This Suicide?

  1. Worm killer! I love when a new story comes out. I have come to look forward to the next one. Keep telling your wonderful stories. I really like hearing about what you are going through also the things that my dad helped you with. He always had fun.

    • Your dad will always be a part of our property and all the memories we have associated with it. More to come!

  2. Hi Vickie, I am really enjoying your blog, informative and entertaining. I am sure we will benefit from your effort…..Hey I like your kitchen floor. What kind is it and is it real hardwood. Still need to do my house floors.

    • Thanks Linda! The kitchen floor is actually a laminate from Lumber Liquidators! We put it in ourselves about six years ago and have loved it ever since. Would love to see you guys again! Did you know Reynold sold?

      • Yes I knew about Reynolds property. Trying to make contact with Randy who says he has met me? Maybe we can do wells at same time. After hearing story about your driller not sure you would recomend him?? We are also getting tired of hauling water but it sounds like at this time you are at your property much more then we are.

  3. I read somewhere that pumpkin seeds can be used to eliminate intestinal worms. I wonder if your worms didn’t like the seeds? Who will know! 😉

    • Good thought! I don’t know, but I have heard that if you feed pumpkin seeds to chickens, it does help to de-worm them! I will have to look into their effect on worms. Thanks!

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