Worms: A Progress Report

How are our worms doing? They’re still alive! That’s good.

Are they happy? They haven’t crawled out to seek fame and fortune elsewhere, so I suppose they must be.

Are they eating up all their yummy apple cores? They get three apple cores a week from the library manager’s lunch. We don’t have very many worms, so we don’t want to over-feed them. So far there’s at least one of last week’s apple cores left, but we can’t find the banana peel, so maybe they ate that first. (No, they don’t really gobble it up with their little teeth. Worms don’t have teeth! They wait for it to get nice and mushy.)

We also found a melon or squash seed that had germinated. It must have come with the compost the worms were in. We planted it in with one of our geraniums. Perhaps we’ll grow a squash this summer!

Our friend E. says chubby worms are the best. I’m not sure if our worms are chubby. They look rather thin to us. Maybe they need to eat more.

We haven’t seen any baby worms, but we hope they’re down there somewhere.

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Introducing the Red Wigglers

Today we received a container of worms from Ook’s friends the Murray family and introduced them to our worm bin. They came with some nice compost of their own to get started with.

Worms in compost with cocoons.
Our worms arrived with some of their very own compost.

Here they are in their new bin, ready to start eating our apple cores and banana peels.

worms-spoon
Slightly out of focus! Here the worms are going into their bin.

Thanks to the Murrays for giving us the worms to get us started!

The Worm Project

We’re starting a new STEAM project in the library — vermicomposting! Soon we’ll be home to a bin of wriggling red wiggler worms (Eisenia foetida). We’ve been getting ready by preparing our worm bin.

The worm bin and a worm pail.
Getting ready for our worms.

Ook hopes they like their bedding. We have coarsely-shredded newspaper, a little old potting soil, a bit of mud, some old leaves and flower petals, and a couple of apple cores and banana peels to get them started.

Damp shredded newspaper bedding.
Damp shredded newspaper bedding.

We froze the apple cores and banana peels first, because that’s supposed to kill any fruit fly eggs or larvae.
Here’s what the bin looks like in the library.

The worm bin lid.
The worm bin.

I hope the worms will be happy!
Thanks to Lindsey Murray for giving us some worms to get started with.

My Heart Fills With Happiness, by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Julie Flett

My Heart Fills With Happiness is a simple and charming board book to share with your baby or toddler. The beautiful illustrations by Flett show small children engaged joyously in everyday things – watching bannock bake, singing with an older sibling, dancing in the sun, holding a parent’s hand, while the text repeats, “My heart fills with happiness when …” every few pages. As is usual with Flett’s illustrations, there are lots of details to linger over, providing good opportunities for conversation and language-building interaction. Look! Do you see the puppy? What’s it doing? Can you find the ladybugs in the flowers? What’s that? Is it a frog? Do you think the boy sees the frog? It ends by addressing the child directly, “What fills your heart with happiness?” leaving room for more conversation and reflection.

Camp X: Enigma, by Eric Walters

Teenage brothers Jack and George are back in another Second World War spy thriller for young readers. In this one, the Canadian boys travel with their family to Britain and plunge back into a world of intrigue overseen by “Little Bill”, William Stephenson, while their code-breaker mother serves at Bletchley Park. As with previous novels in the series, history and action-packed fiction are well-balanced, from the start, where they escort a German naval Enigma machine to Bletchley to an ending of high-adrenaline drama with a German spy. Many historical figures cross their path; the author’s afterword expands a little on these people. Though the teens’ involvement is improbable, it doesn’t tax the bounds of imaginative plausibility. George’s first person narrative is able to explain unfamiliar things to younger readers without seeming to lecture. This would be a great read for teens and older children.