I have the vermicomposter for some weeks now. It seems like the worms are getting accustomed to their new home – I think (it’s a bit hard to connect, because each time I open the composter everybody is diving away ).
I have been feeding them small quantities of vegetable. But: how do worms eat? How small should the pieces I feed them be? Can I just give them chunks of carrot? I’m getting a little bit worried, because the leftovers from the carrots and other vegetable pieces are still clearly not eaten…… I even removed some of it after I read the worst thing you could do is to overfeed them.
I have been thinking a lot about Darwin lately. In his last book “The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms, with Observations on their Habits” he has written about his observations and experiments with worms. I haven’t finished the book, but I was really impressed by all his observations – and even more about his curiosity.
But – partly because the worms are so afraid of the light (and maybe me) – I have decided to not do any observations of their behaviour myself. So I had to search the internet…….
I found that the digestive system of worms consists of the mouth, pharynx, oesophagus, gizzard, intestine and the anus. Most of that sounds familiar as we also have them – even if they may look a bit different. The gizzard is a kind of stomach which contains some sand and grit. It has strong muscular walls and in there the food is ground as the worms have no teeth to chew their food.
So with no teeth they can’t take a bite of the carrot 🙂 Instead they have to wait until the food is a bit decomposed by bacteria or springtails or other small animals so they can suck it in.
Maybe I should just have some more patience. Maybe they are still eating the coconut core I put inside the vermicomposter as I started it. And next time I feed them, I’ll cut the vegetables in really tiny pieces.
So, you might have noticed that I’m a bit unsure about how to treat my new pets. If you have any experience with a vermicomposter I would be happy if you could give me some advice!!