When we decided to leave the forests of North Florida for the parks of South Carolina, there were decisions to be made about what we could take with us.
Our debates on the issue bordered on contentious.
I had, for instance, an lovely assortment of potted plants. When you raise a plant for three years, and move it from a one gallon container to a three gallon, and then to a seven gallon, it becomes part of your life, kind of a stationary pet. I had a lot of these pets. Every week the DH would ask, "How are you coming along with the plants?" His way of saying "They're still here. Why haven't they found a new home yet?" As if they could follow someone home. And I hedged, and evaded, and avoided, but eventually I foisted them (most of them) on friends and customers who are now scared to death to let them die.
We also had too many boats. Way too many. More than we use, more than we could lug up to the mountains. If I had to let go of plants, DH had to let go of boats. And he did. (He got a lot of money for his boats. My plants... not so much.)
We came to an impasse at my worm and compost bins. He said they had to go. I said no.
A few weeks passed. He said, again, they had to go. I said no.
He finally asked just how I intended to take a full Can-o-worms and a full compost bin with us. Roll them into teeny-tiny home? Errr, no. Not even I would risk a house full of half rotted food and worm poop. Put them in the VW, the Suburban, or the truck? Hmm, no. No room, for one thing. I stubbornly refused to discuss leaving them behind. Our departure date grew near.
At last, we reached a compromise. I agreed to sell my precious Can-o-worms to a friend and customer who had not so secretly coveted them since one day, a year past, when I had jubilantly dug into the castings and shown him my wiggly friends.
I got to keep the composter. By that time, the contents had done their thing and returned to the state of earth. Bucketful by bucketful, I emptied the container and fed the compost to my customer's garden plants. Roses at the farm, the perennial bed out at the plantation, and the veggies at Damayan's garden all got a generous share. And with them went a plethora of worms.
Because the worms, it turns out, don't all stay where they are supposed to. Not with a big tub of good garbage stuff right next door. There were nearly as many worms in the composter as there were in the worm bin.
So, I cheated. I emptied that bin, almost, but I left one little shovelful of compost, with worms, in the bottom. They would become... The New Generation.
For nine months (the time it takes to have a baby, btw) I have been raising more worms even as I spin our egg shells, tea bags, veggie and fruit scraps, lint, floor sweepings, paper towels and old newspapers into compost.
Ta da! Here it is - a container full of rich dark healthy compost - and worm castings - and worms.
The container is full, the compost is ready.
My back up container, a 15 gal. nursery pot where I save scraps while the bin is working, is completely full.
But when I empty this, I'LL LOSE MY WORMS!
Of course, I could just pick some of the worms out, and throw them in with the new stuff. Right.
I mean, there are a LOT of worms in here. Millions, maybe.
Enough to give everyone I work for a good start on their own worm farm.
After all, a new mess of scraps awaits.