Urban Worm composting system

Here you will find my previous presentations, my observations, and my final project: Urban Worm Composting System



Presentations in PDF glory:

WORM WORLD (1st presentation)

Worm Brand Analysis (2nd presentation based on Mel! Epstein’s work in Brandicapped?)

WORM WORLD STATUS UPDATE (3rd presentation)

Urban Worm Final Preparation (4th presentation)

The Final Presentation

I learned so much from the worms. I won’t ever be able to express it all here, in my presentation, or in life.

They have given me a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience. They have helped me to understand, truly understand, an earth cycle other than my own. They have taught me what it means to be a caregiver, to be a steward of vermiculture, a wormom.

They taught me about respect and attention. All you need to do to keep the worms safe is observe and absorb the feedback they give. The smell is the strongest feedback, in terms of human senses, that they generate. If the worms are unhappy in some way, the bin will smell funky. It’s the first smell I breath when I walk in my room, so naturally the worms are the first thing on my mind when I get home. I usually check the bin immediately for signs of distress, lack of moisture, or any other chaos that can and has ensued in the Worm Condo.

In the beginning, I had no clue what I was doing. Now, after a few months, I have a slightly better sense of purpose and what to do. I have more confidence and less fear when it comes to understanding and protecting the worms. Sticking my hand through layers of newspaper to dig around worm castings and Rececc7ea2-a0d4-4a5c-a8e0-25f3d27bc2b0d Wigglers to deposit rotting banana peels and lettuce leaves feels like second nature now.

I made mistakes and I lost worms. I took every bad reaction to heart and constanly altered and improved until my new worm bin was ready to house my colony of wigglers. The new bin seems to be working really well so far!

While I was making the move from the Worm Condo to the UWCS, I was amazed at how much soil (or castings) the worms had produced! They started with less than half a tin of soil when I first got them, and they have at least tripled the amount of soil in the bin since then. The castings feel so rich and moisturized, I cannot wait to put it into some plants at home and at the farm!

The psuedo-harvest (which was really just the move to the new bin) was my favorite part of this process thus far. I got to dig my hands in deep and explore my worm bin to it’s full depth. I found concentration of worms hidden in pockets in the soil, I found what I consider to be a bin ‘floor’ of semi-decomposing thin layer of newspaper that the worms seem to use as a carpet or bedding  to rest on.  Amazing creatures.

This project has provided me with endless abundance and  I am grateful for the never-ending nature of this cycle. I will continue to compost for as long as I can, and hopefully my worms will reproduce more when they get settlled into their new home because I would like a few more generations of Worm Family 1: the Experimentunnamedal Wigglers.














What I learned about worms:

They do not sleep, but they take little ‘chill’ periods where they hang out on the side of the bin or on the bin floor.

They like sweet food scraps the most (What?! Worms like sweets too?? They are somewhat similar to humans?? Madness).

They need a lot of newspaper bedding to keep moisture in and flies out.

They will crawl their 5 little hearts out so there cannot be any spaces for them to escape in the bin, because if they are unhappy they will find it and they will not survive.

They like apples and tomatoes the most, I’d say.

The love I have for these worms, my worms, is very special and I am so thankful for this class because without it I would not be sitting here typing a love story to a bin of worms.

IMG_0817I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the way Tisch encourages us, the students, to be active and do something as opposed to just learning something. I’m thankful for the opportunity and ability to be able to take this graduate course as an undergrad in a different school.

I cannot thank Peter Terezakis enough. He was a sage throughout this process, he always seemed to know the right way when it came to the worms and their bin. Thank you Peter for allowing me to make this dream real and for showing me how to sustain and evolve that dream. My worms and I are in your debt and send you lots of gratitude. Thank you Peter, sorry it got a little sappy but hey, you’re not going to worm your way out of this one 🙂

Thank you to the three ladies that experienced this crazy journey with me! You each brought such a different and beautiful perspective to the class and to the worms and I. We love you all.

But a special thank you to Monica Geller who went the distance to save her weekly food scraps and bring them to me so I could feed it all to the worms. They are happy and healthy partly because of you Monica, so thank you so much.

Thank you to the NYC Compost Project for helping me get started and thanks to Ace Hardware for helping me improve on what the NYC C.P began.

Thank you to my roommates and friends for being supportive and respectful about this undertaking and the worms. I know it’s not easy to involuntarily live in the same room as 1,000 worms, but I appreciate the openness from all friends and especially my roommate.

And of finally, a deep and personally thank you to my worms for teaching me so much by doing so little. Thank you for helping me to see the cycles, to see the possibilities, and the power the worm body has. I hope I can give back to these creatures by making a greener world for us all to live in, with their help of course. It’s all for you and because of you my wormies, so thank you for motivating me to be better and do something.

The worms are the way. FIght for global worming.