Those worms really do not like being touched, either. If you nudge them with your fingers, they really bolt out of there. I'm sorta paranoid about hurting them when I have to pick them up/move them. They seem pretty delicate. They are also a little slimy, but it's not as gross as I thought it might be. I haven't actually touched a worm since I was a kid, so I was honestly expecting to be a little grossed out and hesitant. But really it's not bad. It's a lot grosser shoving your hands in the compost bin and touching rotten, fuzzy, moldy fruit. And then having to grab it with your hands and manually rearrange it.
Also, I'm still expecting a few more pounds lost in the next couple days if I can keep guzzling enough water. I'm still a little squishy. It's been so hot though that I don't feel like eating or drinking at all. It's kind of a struggle to make sure I'm sipping down enough water since I am basically forcing myself to do it.
I was worried about the hot spots in the bin, so I did some google searches. It turns out grass clippings are horrible for worm bins because they are too high in nitrogen and they get too hot. I had put some grass clippings in there, so I went to the bin and fished all the hot spots out. Sure enough, it was the grass clippings. But I think I unsettled the worms doing so, because then they were all trying to climb out en masse. I even put a light over them and that did not deter them. I literally had to stand over the bin for about 15 minutes just throwing worms back in the bin.
Worms are supposed to be kept between 60-80 degrees. It's over 90 here today and I'm on the 4th floor. And I can't turn my AC on because I'm broke. Sooooo I walked to the store and bought some ice. Pro tip: Apparently ice counts as food! My food stamps covered it. Hooray. So anyway, I had actually bought two 10-gallon worm bins in case I decided to expand later. So I came home and put ice water in the empty one and put the one with the worms inside it. So hopefully that keeps them cool and they won't be too unhappy.
What the hell? I drank over 100oz of water yesterday and today I wake up and go to pee and it's just, like, an anemic little dribble. Get on the scale and I'm at 221. What a cruel joke. My breasts are still 100% squish, too.
The good news is that my worms seem happy. Or at least I think they are. None of them escaped to the floor last night! However, some did drown in the water bucket. I am somewhat concerned that I only saw one worm on a very cursory glance under the top layer in the box. They might be happily gorging themselves on banana peel below, but they could just as easily all have committed suicide or something due to the extreme temperature fluctuations. It's much much cooler today (67!!!! YAY) so at least they won't be overheated again today and I won't have to ice them again in some kind of nail-biting last resort. That sucked.
I mean, if they do all die, I am really only out $30. And I can try again later when I have another $30 to blow. But I would still rather have them live and not have to start all over. And $30 is kind of a lot.
By the way, some desperate google searches last night led me to a theory on one site: If you've got a handful of worms trying to escape the bin (particularly a new bin), don't sweat it too much. Some worms are just super dumb and/or malcontents, and they have a tendency to weed themselves out by making bad life decisions. It's survival of the fittest, and it's fine. The worms that are most happy/adapted to society (the bin) are the ones who will continue living and breeding, while the punks who float through life smoking and drinking and throwing parties on the floor die young and don't have children. And that's what you want.
....Shit, I'm applauding my worms for being heteronormative..... And they're hermaphrodites....
But yeah, that made me feel a lot better. So now instead of spotting a worm on the floor and going "No no no no! " I am just going "Oh man, look at this idiot. " and I almost don't even bother putting them back in the bin.
Hopefully everything works out well in the end. At least I know that icing them makes them happy if it's too hot out. That is going to come in handy a lot this summer.
Oh, and I ended up taking a bunch of food out of the bin last night (newly-added carrot slices and banana peel) because I read about the dangers of overfeeding, especially overfeeding new worms. Apparently you are not supposed to give them more until there is no more recognizable food in the bin. And there totally still is. So I took some stuff out and put it in the freezer for later. Freezing helps break down the food, and also I read that adding frozen food (unthawed) to the bin during the summer can help cool it down.
I'm going to go digging later and see what's going on in there, but I'm kind of hesitant to bother them. Still, I want to make sure they're not all dead.
Last edited by Gravyboat; 06-22-2012 at 06:56 AM.
I like all this worm info. I feel like I'm getting little lessons for future worm endeavours. (Yes, that's how I'm going to spell it. Deal with it, spell-check!)
Ok, the worms seem to be dispersed along the bottom (which makes sense because that is the coolest area of the bin). I'm not seeing any big clumps of worms, which apparently is a good sign. Still, I was seeing big clumps before, so having them all spread out now makes it seem like I have fewer worms now than I did. To be fair, however, I did not dig all the way down to the bottom of the bin. The bedding is pretty compacted and moldy down there. And, once I started seeing worms a couple inches from the bottom, I didn't want to keep digging and disturb them too much. They prefer to be left alone, which I can understand, because I'm the same way.
I think everything is ok, though. It's only 78F right now, but I put some more ice cubes in the bottom tub because they seem to really like it. And the decomposition does heat things up a little, so I guess better safe than sorry. Better to give them different temperature'd areas in the same box, too (the top is warmer since it was under a light).
I have turned the light off for now since they don't seem to be escaping anymore. The light was there to discourage them from coming out of the top, but now they're not even NEAR the top, so I think it's fine.
IN OTHER NEWS, it's kind of exciting how I can bear the heat so much better than I could before. I mean, I've essentially taken a winter coat off in terms of fat loss. I used to absolutely hate any temp above about 75. The last few days it was in the high 90s, and, while I would not say I was happy or comfortable, I also wasn't melting to death. I sweated a fair amount and I felt uncomfortably hot at times, but I have felt much worse than that before, even around 85. I'm excited to see what happens when I lose more weight. It might make winter worse, though..
My sunburn blisters are mostly gone. They started popping hardcore last night. It got mega-itchy and so I was blotting my chest with a tissue to avoid scratching, and the fluid started flowing. My tan line is a little weird-looking, though. Like, it's really, REALLY obvious, yet it is above where most of my shirts sit. So I have shirt, then a ring of pale skin, then super dark skin. It's not a good look. I'm going to have to figure out how to fix it. I guess I'll have to lay out in the sun next week after my burn is fully healed and try to even things out.
Tried to put bigger earrings in today but the holes are TOTALLY not ready yet, which is a bummer. They wouldn't even go in a little bit. I guess I could use the taper, but I've decided to just be patient and try again in a couple weeks.
Have to walk to the pet store today, and tomorrow is Pride. I am feeling pretty low-energy and really don't want to go out, but I really have to. I'm almost out of cat food, and I'm definitely not missing Pride.
Watching worm videos and reading a ton of stuff. It's difficult starting out with a hands-on hobby with no real-life guidance. You can never be sure if you're fucking up royally or not. I guess only time will tell.
We've been contemplating worm composting or the kind with the bacterial starter. I'm thinking we might have to do the bacterial one since I'm not sure I can be that dedicated to worm-herding. I mean, I can take the dogs to a boarding kennel or get a housesitter for them if we're travelling, but I'm pretty sure there aren't many boarding options for a worm bin.
Happy Pride! I hope it's a fun day and you meet a cute woman.
“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde
Happy Pride to you too!
Actually, once established, worms don't require a ton of upkeep. You can even go weeks without feeding them and it's not a huge deal. Right now I'm dealing with a temperature thing because my whole place is an oven, and I'm keeping the bin in my kitchen, which is even worse.