Food

Sustainability

Once upon a time there was a colony of worms living within the Utopia of Compost Box M. Compost Box M was a happy place where nourishment was bountiful. The worms ate to their little hearts content, and had a lot of worm sex too, multiplying happily.

Compost Box M was a spacious place and only occasionally did excessive crowding occur. There was that one time, during the Great Lettuce Wasting of 2009, where a sizable portion of rotting leafy greens appeared one day. The worms consumed and feasted on the leaves for days on end, not resting until it was all gone. After the glut, there was a huge worm orgy which led to a noticeable population boom. However, everyone was able to coexist and the environment within Compost Box M remained sustainable. These were happy times.

Then one day, word came that a new colony would be founded in Compost Box N. This meant that some residents of Compost Box M would be chosen for recolonization.

Everyone wriggled and squirmed, clamoring for a chance to embark on this great adventure and soon enough, a select few were traveling in high style across municipalities, via Zip Lock Bag, to their destination.red wriggler compost worms

And what a destination it was! Compost Box N was immense and devoid of other creatures. They would be the new colonists. The ones to tame this land and fill it to the brim with castings. They would be the new pioneers.

The worms settled in fast and vegetable scraps fell in great heaps from above. Life was decadent as the supply of nourishment was seemingly endless. Lettuce, avocado, radish, tomato. They ate it all. They even ate wet carbon-rich newspaper, never pausing once to read it. The population flourished and there was plenty of space to grow.

Day in, day out, they ate and reproduced. No one questioned where the food was coming from, being more than content to just consume their own weight in food each and every day. In fact, no one noticed when the deliveries tapered off and ceased altogether. It was when the food piles began to disappear that the alarm was raised.

But it was too late.

Food became a commodity and became an increasingly rare sight. Some wriggled for days, searching for a scrap to nibble on. Others fought over the remains of a rotting bell pepper. Some withered away in far flung corners of Compost Box N, too weak to travel and too far from any real source of nourishment.

Where any food scraps still remained, great clumps of worms could be seen crowding around it, desperately vying for some sustenance.

A few weeks later, the population was decimated. Those that could, managed to crawl out of the casting-rich earth and lay on the ground praying that food would come. But the lid of Compost Box N hadn’t been raised in weeks. Possibly months. Before long, the last of the new colonists perished, becoming nothing more than dessicated  husks of what they once were.

So yeah, this summer I’ll be remembering Vermicide 2010 before I start a certain someone off on their next worm composting box.

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