When I was little my favorite thing to do was dig down deep in the soil and find clay. My father was an avid garden farmer and while he tended to the corn, tomatoes, and eggplants, I sat on a hill not so far away and dug my little heart out. As the daughter of two midwestern country folk, I guess you could say mud was in my blood. Like a little garden mole, I was on the hunt. I wasn’t hunting for worms though. I was looking for red clay, the infinite variations of gray clay, and the rarest of the three – white clay and I didn’t mind digging deep and getting muddy to find it. On my way down, I encountered worms of all shapes and sizes. This was in the days before playdough was big and when I was okay with worms, even curious about them. In fact, I liked to collect worms for bait to use when my whole family would go fishing. I never caught any fish myself, but I was a great worm catcher…a downright mole, like Jeff in our latest Digital Storybook & App.
Having spent years living in big cities, I had almost forgotten how deep down worms are in my roots. I suppose if you want to get gruesome about it, we would do well to consider the worms that we will one day find in our roots (if we aren’t already being eaten alive by them). Since a huge percentage of us Berliners have terrace or balcony gardens or participate in some sort of community garden …and that several of NebulaHouse’s Digital Apps & Storybooks cover topics like caterpillars and moles, worms started running through my mind (not literally). My sun facing balcony garden has a tendency in the summertime to dry out, and, if I am not careful, all of my balcony plants can wither and die. This year, I have started to look for solutions to this problem. Might it not be a good idea to infiltrate the soil with some earthworms and breathe a little life into the dirt?
After a bit of research, I found out quite a bit about how worms help revitalize tired, dried out soil. Turns out that worms, much like the moles who love them, spend their lives burrowing and tunneling through the dirt to oxygenate it and, according to Charles Darwin, lover of slimy things, humanity wouldn’t have survived very long without them. We found a great post here about how to make your own worm composting bin. We are going to try it… not sure the neighbors below are going be as enthused about the whole thing as we are. I just won’t mention that we are growing worms right above their heads.