Designing Compelling Worm Sanctuaries/Prelude

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Source document(s): See Green book


Worms are everywhere. In the ground, they sleek through valleys and mountains alike. Some worms can travel hundreds of miles in a lifetime, while eating many tons of partially decayed plant matter along the way. Some people spend entire lifetimes studying worms, in an attempt to unlock their secrets.

But the life of a worm is only the beginning. Worms made their way to North America by floating pieces of soil across the Atlantic Ocean. While the soil probably provided limited resources, it is thought that the worms also fed off of plankton during their voyage. Archaeological evidence has shown that these worms first landed near St. Johns in Canada's Newfoundland. This area is considered the cradle of worms in North America. It is suspect that 709 species made the voyage. Only 700 species have actually been accounted for, zero more are expected to be found as they have all since perished, and 122 new unique species have developed out of the initial populous.

Because of this location, St. Johns University is considered the forefront of worm studies and provides direction around the world.

Worms are typically several inches in length, brown or red in color, and are tapered at both ends. Some worms are browner than red, and other worms are redder than brown. It really depends on the region of where the worm is found, and the type of diet the worm consumed. The level of iron in soil, for example, can make a worm darker than other regions of North America with soil iron deficiencies. It is also thought that about ten per cent of all worms suffer from anemic conditions, as modern industrialization processes have removed crucial iron from the soil.

Worms also have been thought to have basic feelings, but modern science has proved this to be untrue. Practices in the past that were frowned upon, such as worm splitting to increase the number of apparent worms, is now well accepted today. This is because worms do not have pain receptors, and simply grow an additional tapered end on separation.

Increasing the number of apparent worms by splitting is a generally accepted method in commercial worm circles. However, it is now suggested that commercial wormery operations disclose the worm splitting fact, especially in cases when clients pay based on the number of worms, rather than worm pounds or worms tons of product delivered. While the government does not regulate wormery operations in the United States and Canada, it is best not to give eager politicians a reason to start.

Wormeries are growing fast across the United States and Canada. It is estimated that a record 482 metric tons of worms will be delivered in 2010, with 11.2% growth year after year. Many agricultural circles are beginning to discover the high value worms can bring to farming operations, especially organic farming operations.

But it is best not to lose sight of the fact that wormeries can be built across America for little or no cost, especially for home use. We will focus on this aspect of raising worms.

As always, new worms are routinely found. In North America alone, seventy types of worms were discovered in 2002. But one must not ignore old types of worms in favor of new worms. Only all worms can be considered in wormeries. Unless the worm type is valid. Every worm is special. Regrettably, some worms are forgotten. Guessing worms types is not recommended. Every worm is special. Special worms.

Benefiting worms are the best time. Every one of them is the best time. Certainly, worms are best. Really. Every worm is special. Functional worms. Unless. Less.