Worms: A Love Affair


Tem-us-pbk-sm-1 copy

So several years ago, I wrote this book about worms.  There were no such books on worms at the time–in other words, there was no sort of narrative natural history that told the story of worms and earthworm science and the role that worms have played in ecology and agriculture and human civilization. 

So since I couldn't find that book, I wrote it myself.

That was 2004.  My publisher, Algonquin, being the wonderful publisher that it is, kept it in print all this time, and when the warehouse ran out of books a few months back, they decided to re-issue it with a cool new cover and a bit of updated information in the appendix. 

So here it is–the re-released Earth Moved, which you can win by posting any sort of earthworm-related comment.

There's something else, too:  Right around the time Algonquin was thinking about putting a new cover on the book, I heard from the people at Nature's Footprint, makers of a stacking worm bin called The Worm Factory.  They were fans of the book and wanted to include an excerpt in the manual they send out with their bins.

They also offered to give away some worm bins when the book re-launches.  And so we are gathered here today to give away not just a book, but also a bin, to some lucky winner.  Check out the bins here, and if you don't win one, they are giving GardenRant readers a 10% off coupon, so click through to get that, too.

I have had a stacking bin much like this one since I lived in Santa Cruz many years ago.  It's probably close Worm factory to 15 years old and it's still in great shape.  Mine wasn't a Worm Factory, but I have one of those too, now, and it's actually a bit better for life on the porch, patio, or garage, because it's a bit more compact.  Also–made in the USA. Recycled materials.  Very nice.

So!  Comment to win.  Gen is also doing a giveaway over at NorthCoastGardening, so you can go over there and have another shot at it.   The winner will get a choice of black, terra cotta, or green, but you don't need to specify that in your comments–I'll get all that from you if you win.

Have fun!  Oh, and here's Gen and I talking about the benefits of a stacking bin vs. the old-school plastic tub. With guest appearances from my chickens.



  1. Congratulations on the re-issue!

    Id like to promote to’Worms…’ on Lewisham Gardens (LewishamGardens.webs.com) would it be ok if I used the book image?

    Do you some more PR info? With maybe a few quotes, reviews and images.


  2. Totally understand the love story, and glad to hear about the rerelease!

    I’ve had worm bins for 8 years or so, in the basement through our New England winters. They eat the leavings of my husband’s cook-fests, delight my kids and their friends, and have made cameo appearances in all of my urban and small-space gardening workshops.

  3. One of the most interesting things I’ve learned about earthworms is that you can find them almost anywhere: in a pot filled with “sterile” soil-free mix on a balcony, in a leaf-filled rain gutter — amazing.

    My first worm-in-tub experience started fine but ended up badly. Would love to try again!

  4. I would love a worm composting system! I’ve been trying to convince my husband that this is a great idea (he’s not so fond of creepy-crawlies, but I’m working on it). Perhaps if I were to win one, that might help build my case…

  5. I have often wondered if a worm bin would work here in SE Texas…It gets so blasted hot and humid in the summer. Would this work?

  6. I’ve heard so much about worm composting, how great the compost is for the garden and how much fun it is to have one. Winters here are cold enough that they have to be kept indoors, so I think a system like the one offered here is the way to go. I would love to win one!

  7. I see you are following in famous footsteps. In 1881, twenty two years after his more famous “On the Origin of Species” Charles Darwin published his book “The formation of vegetable mould, through the action of worms”. It was a culmination of forty years of study. Darwin showed that, instead of being a pest, which was the common view at the time, worms were responsible for all of the arable land in Great Britain.

    I know you refer to Darwin and his book in yours. Darwin’s genius was to look at a common creature which everyone took for granted and discover it’s true nature. I think some current lawn chemical companies ought to read both books.

  8. Congrats on the book. Love the cover! Here is my true worm story. When we first got our community garden plot we decided to build raised beds. We have very heavy clay soil and had to dig out massive fennel herb roots that had infested the garden under the previous owner before we could make the beds. We ripped up and were carting out so much earth in the process of removing the fennel that I was afraid we were losing all our earthworms. So I started extracting every worm I could find in the outgoing mess and putting them back in the garden. My family thought I was crazy. But how is clay soil going to get better if you lose all your earthworms?! LOL.

  9. Oh jeepers, I would love to read this. Here is my earthworm related comment: on mornings after it has rained my 21-month-old son and I go on long walks and rescue any and all marooned earthworms we see.

  10. Congratulations on the reissue of your book! I would love to win it. I already have tons of earthworms outside so if I win, I will give that part of the prize to my neighbor who will surely use it. I am having a hard enough time finding room for my seeds that I am starting!

  11. Isn’t that a beautiful system! I’ve attended classes on vermiculture, but I’ve only recently moved to a place I could do it.

  12. Bravo to the ever-stalwart Algonquin for keeping The Earth Moved in print…so many amazing titles disappear (if they even reach print!)and Algonquin is one of the good guys for first publishing, and then maintaining excellent books – like yours. Kudos to Miss Amy, too, for persisting as well.

  13. I run a garden club at the local elementary school and do environmental presentations all over the county. I would love to have a worm bin at home that I could sometimes transport with me to show kids how easy and not smelly worm composting is!

  14. I’ve been trying to convince a friend of mine who doesn’t have the space for a full compost bin that worms are for her and her pretty flower beds, but I’ve not succeeded yet! Maybe if I just showed up with a bin and starter kit one day it would convince her!

  15. Hot damn, this is great.(I really like the design of the antique-y ad/book title page.)Congratulations on your re-issue and I would LOVE to get in the drawing, book and/or bin! If I had a worm bin I would share the progeny with like-minded worm loving neighbors–and spread the squiggle.

  16. I’m definitely pro-worm. Although there are many books about the microcosmos in the soil these days, your writing is so great that I’ll have to check this out. Congrats Amy.

  17. Congratulations on the re-release. My husband is an elementary school science teacher and last year he prepared a lesson on earthworms for the first graders in his inner city school. When he walked into his second class, the children ran to meet him, quivering with excitement and fear. “Is it true? Is it? We heard at recess that we are going to touch worms today!” Even now, a year later, they come up to him in the hall exclaiming, “You let us touch worms!” I would love to win this and donate it to the school. They are installing a rain garden this year, so they could use the compost in that garden.

  18. Worms ARE cool. My sister and I used to ‘hunt’ night crawlers with a flashlight to see who could find the biggest one. I have been thinking about getting a worm bin, since I can’t keep squirrels out of my compost, and it amazes me how many people are horrified by the idea!

  19. That books looks great and I have always wanted a worm bin. There’s something inspirational about worms.

  20. I had a pet earthworm named Charlotte as a child. I was forever chastising her that she kept trying to make a break for the grass instead of the pot I thought made a better home. I know better now: Large raised beds are helping my sons keep their “pets” in check!

  21. Great book! It helped me make sense of my own gardening methods. I let the worms do all the digging. They’re better at it than me.

  22. Thank you for the enticing giveaway, and congratulations on the re-issue of your book!

    I’d love to be entered for the book/bin–the bin would save me a lot of work (as I currently have my worms in a sheetrock bucket below the sink), and I’m sure I could learn a lot from the book! Thanks again!

  23. My first (and thus far only) experience with worm farms was while I was having a bridesmaid’s dress tailored in New Zealand. The tailor’s husband decided that while I was literally pinned in place, he would entertain me with the benefits of worm farming. Since we lived in a shoebox apartment at the time, I was only mildly interested. Fast forward to now – we have a garden! We have no worms! Well, maybe one or two, but definitely not a full family.

    I’d love the book and bin so I can finally see what that tailor’s husband was really talking about. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

  24. want the bin very much. am introducing my 5yr old greatgrandaughter to gardening. Have been composting for a long time and teach it with our extension office. Have the book and have read it from cover to cover but would love the new one. would donate the other one

  25. We are vegans and overrun with vegetable scraps. We have a worm bin in the basement but need something more efficient and much less likely to build up moisture. Help! (We also need something our dog doesn’t find so interesting!)

  26. I am excited to check out your book! I have been researching raising my own worms for a while now. We live in arid Colorado, so I am not sure how well they would survive outside lol. I think I might have to do something indoors to be able to get those great worm castings!

  27. I used to love to play with worms when I was a kid! I have recently bought a house abd we have been working the post couple weekend to get our veggie garden going. This would be a great asset to our garden!

  28. So that’s the story of how I was able to recently find a pristine copy of The Earth Moved! I had heard of it but never seen it and -Lo and behold!- found a small stack of them at the recent Davidson Hort Symposium! Bought it there but would love to be in the drawing for the worm bin.

    Be well!

  29. I’ll have to read your re release, i have read Darwin’s book or at least parts of it, marveled at the illustrations and would love to see what has changed in earthworm natural history since then. Always amazes me how they seem to appear everywhere and especially since they aren’t even native to he Americas.

  30. I love worms. My farm lives in our basement, and has gone through many iterations, from a big ol’ bin to a 4 story factory. Recently my mother-in-law has expressed interest, so she is on my list for a worm farm and a handful of worms. I look forward to reading your book whether I win it or not! Thanks for the nice giveaway.

  31. I read The Earth Moved many years ago. I think it’s time to read again. I would love to have a worm bin to get started.

  32. I have your book and have read it cover to cover a couple of times. It resides in my kitchen, within arm’s reach of my computer. Just yesterday, I used it to answer a question posed to me by a friend. Reading your book inspired me to read Darwin’s great (and last) book “The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms With Observations of their Habits.” Darwin’s book was good, but yours was better. Congrats on the well-deserved reissue!

  33. This just brought back the stinky memory of a pet worm my sister and I had. It was a big, fat night crawler that we found at my parents’ rental house. We put it in a container with dirt and then gave it lots of water.

    No one told us that worms have to breath!

    Poor wormy died a miserable death from drowning. The whole thing smelled bad. I cried.

    I’m 28 now and I still pick up worms off the pavement or out of puddles and put them back on the grass or nearby soil.

  34. My husband had a worm bin in our kitchen, right under the parrot’s cage. He was also raising mushrooms in our (unused) fireplace and hanging polyphemus moth cocoons from the ceiling. I have happy memories of him and our toddler separating worms from soil on the kitchen floor. Also happy are the memories of watching him mop the floor while I had a g&t.

  35. I love worms! I think its amazing that these creatures eat rot and turn it into something full of nutrients. They are the completion (or part of) the life cycle! How can we not love them!

  36. I had a worm factory and LOVED IT! My garden loved it even more. Sadly it repeatedly got invaded by carpenter ants. I emptied and washed it carefully too many times and finally had to let it go to a gardening friend who did not have the same pest.

    If anyone can tell me how to keep the ants out (they are evil and they bite) I would buy a Worm Factory again in a minute

  37. I read _The Earth Moved_ shortly after it was published and thoroughly enjoyed it. Ever since I’ve wanted to get started in vermiculture, at least on the small scale to help support our vegetable and ornamental gardens.

  38. Read your book last year and loved it! And yes, living in Oregon I keep my eye out for those giant earthworms that are supposedly extinct ๐Ÿ˜›

    My wormbox is a hand-built wooden box that has seen better days and need some TLC, but otherwise works pretty well. My biggest tip is that, whatever you put in, put it under a layer of compost, an inch or so beneath the top. Any time I’ve had problems with flies or ants, it’s when I got lazy and just threw scraps on top.

    I would love to try the Worm Factory system!

  39. I’ve been reading a lot about worms composting recently, but have yet to give it a try. Since the topsoil where we live is thin and covers what is mostly clay, composting would be a great way to provide my garden with some nutrient-rich soil. Congrats on the re-release of your book! Thanks for the chance to win both the book and the ability to begin composting with worms!

  40. My “old-school” bin and I make regular visits to kindergarten classes at a local green charter school. The kids love to look for worms and eggs in the bin and to discuss the merits of pets that live on garbage and never have to be walked. Kids most often ask if I name the worms (answer: No); adults want to know if I use them for fishing (also no).

  41. I was moving a raised bed yesterday (from the way too shady backyard to the much sunnier front yard) and was overjoyed at the sheer number of worms we found in the soil. Little red wrigglers everywhere! And, of course, the blackest, richest, most wonderful smelling dirt you’ve ever had the pleasure to play with. mmm…

    I’d really love to get my hands on such a great reference book, and the kit? Hello gorgeous!

  42. Started a compost pile a few years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed watching the bugs and worms devour our fresh food scraps. My husband even contemplated being a worm farmer – I am still not sure if he was serious or not.

  43. I love worms. I also love it that Darwin played the piano to his worms to see if they would react.
    I have a worm bin and have for years. I just discovered the diluted leachate does wonders for my seedlings. Always new stuff to learn….

  44. Been wanting to establish a worm farm since we moved into our new house and how a yard of our own! I do have to say that the complete lack of work by the previous owners in the yard has created a great habitat for worms. Anytime that I plant something new, I find dozens of worms!

    Plus, I am an avid reader and can never refuse another book …

  45. Aaak ! I just received my new-cover copy yesterday ! Had I known there was going to be a giveaway … well, I’d have bought it anyway. Need more info on earthworms & their relatives to educate the Junior Gardeners at my kids’ elementary school. No matter what I’ve taught myself thus far, they always come up with a question I can’t answer. Hopefully your book will help me out.

    On the (very) off-chance I win, the book & the bin will go to my favorite elementary school’s science and lunch programs. We’ve been trying to start a worm-composting operation in the cafeteria for a year or so, but the financial winds have not been blowing in our favor at all.

  46. I’m a garden volunteer at a elementary/middle school. Our worm composter is a huge hit with students. A simple and beautiful illustration of waste/resource management. If only the teachers were less squeemish. Maybe this book would help. BTW, congratulations.

  47. I wan’t the book and the bin! Worms have taken over my compost bin, but I worry it may get too hot for them and they will run away. Thanks for the book ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. My compost bin is my “worm bin”, because I’m too lazy to hot compost, but I feel like I’ve developed a good working relationship w/the worm population — they’ve expanded enough to take down all the food scraps a family of four can throw at them. And the bin never fills up! The downside is harvesting the finished compost. I spend half a day with kids attempting to separate worms from compost. Silly, I know. I want to try a real bin! And I want to read the book, thanks for keeping it out there!

  49. Worms are amazing
    In the dark ground
    Doing all their creating

    I like to look
    But not to touch
    Is that in your book?

    Oh, such a sad sad poem, but my first in 3 decades so give me a break. I am always astouded by the creativity of some of the writers here.

  50. Back when California had rainy winter nights, then the fog would burn off in the morning, I lived in a place where there was lots of hardscape in the huge backyard. So I’d walk along the brick paths and patios, rescuing worms before the sun reached them and dried them out. Sometimes I was too late or missed one, but it was not there long — one of the dogs savored desiccated worms.

  51. I just started reading up on worm farms and now, as if by fate, this opportunity appears. Even if I don’t win, I can’t wait to read the book!

  52. I would rather have a worm bin than pay for castings in a bag.If I had the book and the bin I would be well on the way to sustainability!

  53. Sunday my husband and I were building a fence and we had to rest one of the posts. My job was to hold the post and ensure it was level while he poured the concrete. I looked down and saw a massive nightcrawler and was so distracted that I dropped the post, it bonked his head and we spilled the the concrete. But the worm was safely deposited in the composter. We luv our worms.

  54. My worms exist on a diet of coffee grounds, rose petals, veggie trimmings and leaves.
    This winter I have so many more salamanders all near the worm bin. Do they smell lunch?

    I am quite certain I need Amy’s book again as all my copies slithered their way into other people’s homes.

  55. I just dug up a planting strip outside of my fence and the worms went “running” away. If only I had that many worms in my actual garden…

  56. About three years ago, I had read an article about how you can determine the quality of your soil by the number of earthworms you can find in one square foot. I spent an hour sifting through my soild sample, separating out the earthworms, to only find four! Since that day, I have been working hard to enrich our soil. Recently, I dug deep to plant seed potatoes, and found THE BIGGEST WORM! I proudly waved my find around, and yelled for my husband to see. Unfortunately, it was my elderly neighbor and not my husband who was coming up the steps. He looked at me was if I was crazy, and hasn’t said ‘hello’ to me since.

  57. My comment about worms is that I’m sure it smells like them after an early spring rain even though I don’t think I ever specifically smelled a worm. Yea! I win!!

  58. I get to work with kids in an urban garden teaching them about worms- it’s probably their favorite lesson. I would really love to set up a bin at home for myself too!

  59. OK , I’m begging! A book on worms AND a worm bin? I love worms as does my whole family. My kids fight over the worms from the compost bin ( not a worm bin, just colonized by them) for their garden plots. My Mom has been talking about a worm bin for years so I might have to arm wrestle her for this one if I win…

  60. We have just started a community garden in the complex here and we have a traditional compost pile, but a worm bed would be fantastic! The garden area is a former parking lot and the soil is a mess. Putting some worms to work would allow us to feed all the residents, and maybe a lot more. There are children who would love to tend the worms! Thanks for the chance!

  61. w00t! we’d love a place to house some of our wormy invaders. maybe one day we’ll be able to hook others up with them – we have more than I’d ever imagined possible! thanks!

  62. When I first read The Earth Moved some years ago I was amazed at how fascinating worms are…who knew?? I, too, have always wanted to get going on the worm composting and now that I have a decent big compost bin I am ready to focus on a little one!

  63. My mom actually sent me a brand new Can ‘o Worms worm bin when she shipped me a load of furniture and out of all the items in the van, that was the one thing that was stolen! Hard to be too mad at a thief who values a worm bin more than the other stuff. Would love to win to replace it.

  64. I read recently that imported Lumbricus have changed the depth of duff in eastern hardwood forests, through fast nutrient cycling, reducing habitat for understory flora adapted to a thicker duff layer.

  65. I am glad I listened to the video clip. I have a DYI bin, and it NEEDS to be harvested. The worms are really going crazy in there, but I have no more room. Mine doesn’t have a drain hole in the bottom, I add dry newspaper into the moist area when I add food. Sometimes I siphon out some of the liquid. I have used my bin for Master Gardener presentations on vermicomposting. I can talk a good game in harvesting the castings, but think the different leveled ‘hotel’ would be far easier!
    Think an official worm bin would be better. I hope to be the winner.

  66. A worm farm would be great to set outside our back door and it would cut down the distance I have to go to take the compost out! Plus, books are always welcome in our house.

  67. Need to start up again. Had great success with worms in a recycled Styrofoam cooler…until the chickens started eating the Styrofoam. What’s the half-life on that crap?

  68. Ok, so I know you probably pick at random but if it helps, I totally “airlifted” a few stranded worms in my grocery store parking lot to nearby dirt a week ago after a rainstorm. ๐Ÿ™‚ I promise I didn’t touch any produce after.

  69. I would also love to have a worm bin! I’ve had to dial back my “traditional” composting due to a back injury, so a worm bin would be just right.

  70. I would love to start worm composting! I was just talking to my 4 year old about worms today when we were planting seeds. I’ll be taking a Master Composter course in a few weeks and had been wanting to get into worms, so this would be great!

  71. Congrats on your re-release, Amy! Can’t have enough worms around for the soil and a few extra for the chickens (or robins or fill-in-the-blank songbird)!A worm bin that size would make a great teaching tool at our environmental center where I help out.
    Thanks for doing the giveaway and good luck to all!

  72. This may be the only blog in the world where I’m willing to admit how much I love worms. How I pick them up and admire them in the garden. How I call them ‘honey.’ I’m going to stop there. Whether I win or not I’m sure I’m going to read your book.

  73. Congrats on the re-release! I am totally looking forward to this.

    And these giveaways couldn’t have come at a better time. I was just about to go out and buy materials to build my own bin. I’d much rather have it ready made. ๐Ÿ™‚

  74. I would love to start worm composting. I’ll need your book though to answer all my questions! Like should I worry about whether the type of worms for composting are native to SoCal? What happens if they get loose? And do you use them in the regular com poster for yard waste ?

  75. I need more worms in my patch of clay, and I could seriously use such an amazing upgrade to my compost pile!

  76. What fun! I would love to win this wonderful book and a worm composting bin. I’ve been interested in worm composting for a couple years now, but I’ve never been able to convince my family to give it a try. In a house full of boys, I, the one female, would be the one who loves worms. Go figure.

  77. my hubby still laughs about the time my neighbor stopped by with her mother, before they left the mother went home with “worms” from my basement worm farm…….LOL

  78. Would love to try worm bins for my garden boxes!
    Worm story – my daughter used to collect worms and name them. She also loved to fish, so we had to go find “un-named” worms for bait!

  79. I would love to read your book! I enjoyed wicked plants and got it at the local library, and if I don’t win here, I’m going to have to suggest that they buy this one, too! Thanks for such a great blog!

  80. I can’t wait to pick up this book! My wife and I are in the process I of learning compost with worms. Maybe even picking up a batch this weekend. We have been eyeing the tiered worm comparer for some time now.

  81. My family and I just moved to the twin cities from new York and finally have a garden. I did a little solstice ritual of planting seeds with my son and would love to encourage his green fingers with worms, what better for a 2 year old.

  82. Living in Southern California now, I’m dismayed at the LACK of worms. We have some, mostly in the compost, but in general the soil here is so depleted I guess they don’t find it appealing. So I’d be keen to get some free-range worms at this point.
    On a professional note, Algonquin does a great job. I love their books.

  83. Worm castings are incredible! The first year that we made “tea” and sprayed the garden once a week was a year I will never forget. Fantastic yields for everything…

    Would love to have my own worm bin! What a great give-away. And I would like to read your book! Hey, we could supply our neighbors with worm castings!

  84. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the book – great title! So glad it is re-issued. Congrats on that! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the magic of worms and what they do for our planet. Bravo!

  85. I have been thinking about vermicomposting for quite a while- but haven’t pulled the trigger. Would LOVE to win!

  86. Ironically, I just purchased my Worm Factory two weeks ago! My worms are doing well on my kitchen scraps and I’m a happy camper because I’ve always wanted them! I’ve got to go look for that book to add to my library!

  87. My own love affair with worms began after reading The Earth Moved. I started a worm bin, and it seemed like it took forever to get going. And then a couple of years ago we moved, and DH talked me in to selling my beloved worm bin to a customer who coveted it. However, I managed to smuggle a handful of worms to our new location inside the compost tumbler. And now, sooooo many worms! I definitely need a new worm bin, and would love to own the book so I can share it with the grandkids. Good luck, everybody!

  88. That’s wonderful news, Amy! I already have a copy, which I’ve read many times, but I’ll definitely buy this new one too. I want you to know that I read “The Earth Moved” on a trip to Chicago a few summers back, fell in love with it, and worms, and have been telling everyone I can about you, the book and worms, ever since.

    I finally got my first worm bin started about a month ago – a big plastic tub like the one in the video you posted. We had a worm escape attempt a few days back, which I wrote about on my blog. But everyone made it out and into new bedding okay, whew! The tub is fine, but I’m definitely going to order a bin with trays soon. Thanks so much for telling the world about the remarkable achievements of worms.

  89. I’m totally obsessed with worms. I am excited to read this book and learn more about all the great things worms do.

  90. After a good rain, when the soil is saturated, if you go outside and stand still and inhale deeply, you can smell the deep musky odor of worms.

  91. Would love to have the book and worm bin as a demo for our Composting classes we give as Master Gardeners in Guadalupe County, Texas.

  92. I would love to WIN the BIN! I am in Canada so I’m not sure if I am eligible for the giveaway ๐Ÿ™ It would be excellent if I am!!!

  93. Want a worm bin and book. Worm is a great word. I came across a beauty yesterday in the garden, half inch around!

  94. I’m thinking about introducing a worm farm to my students. There was talk about a composting program but for some reason it never got off the ground. This might be a better alternative, especially for the science program.

    Congrats on the reissue. It’s satisfying to know that worm farming is maintaining its popularity. Looking forward to reading it!

  95. I had a worm bin for years and worked wonerfully. Then my boyfriend moved in with me and the worms all died. Now we are married, maybe it is time to try again.

  96. I’m definitely “old school”. And I end up having allergic reactions to my worm compost bins. Just can’t get the right amount of air/food/moisture content down. Sounds like this is the right fix. Thanks for offering both products! Looking forward to reading your book.

  97. I have been enjoying your “Rant.” Congrats on the new printing of your book! It is obvious that many people are re-discovering the “old ways,” making new ways! I live, garden and raise chickens in a suburban setting and have been interested in starting a worm bin for a while. How I would love to win one!

  98. I love worms, my dad had a worm farm in the 70’s, son raises red wigglers. I’d love to see your book! I tried to copy and paste a photo of my I Love Worms T-shirt here, but it wouldn’t let me do it.

  99. I’ve just ordered “The Earth Moved” along with Darwin’s “On the formation of vegetable mould through the action of worms, with observations on their habits”. We compost leaves and grass in chicken-wire enclosures, which produce some epic annelids. I love the idea of these humble, seldom-seen workers supporting entire ecosystems.

  100. Oh my I love earthworms. We have an annual “migration” of the worms where I work. Every Spring they decide to cross the asphalt parking lot. Why? I don’t know, maybe they think the dirt is browner on the other side? For whatever reason they try and they die. I have been late for work trying to rescue the ones that are still wriggling when I get there. I would adore the worm bin or the book. The thought of raising my own worms up and setting them on their way in the world warms (worms Ha) my heart.

  101. I would love this book. It could help convince my husband for us to give it another go. I had a worm bin a few years ago. I knew that it’d have to be in the kitchen over the winter but I never mentioned it to my husband until it was time to move it in. One night a bunch of the wigglers got out and it happened to be the night he wandered into the kitchen barefoot looking for a midnight snack. They had to move after that.

  102. As a book cover production manager, I can appreciate the new cover on several levels; as a new homeowner with the space for my own vegetable garden (FINALLY), I can appreciate the topic of worms even more! My fingers are crossed for a big win here!

  103. I would love to win the book and the bins! Because regular composting… I’ve tried lots of methods and haven’t had a great outcome. Too many kitchen scraps to keep up with, ya know?

  104. A non garden worm story. My cats hunt worms, they even dig for them. Every spring I have to watch where I walk in the house because they will bring the worms inside, and I hate the feel of worm between my toes. If I win I shall read the book out loud to my cats so they will respect the little wrigglers, and the bin would make a nice safe cat-free place for the worms to live.

  105. I have never farmed worms, but do love seeing them in the garden, turning my veggie scraps into something better for my sandy soil!

  106. We are fortunate to have LOTS of worms in the garden. I’ve been working on my soil for years and I’m beginning to see the results. I love the new cover or your book, by the way. Beautiful.

  107. Worm composting can be done successfully in a water-tight bin without holes so can easily be kept in the kitchen. I use a 5 gallon bucket, fill the bottom quarter with dry carbon material (leaves, straw, shredded newspaper, etc.). This absorbs the liquid that would otherwise turn the bucket into a stinky mess. Nearly fill the bucket with moist carbon material and introduce the red wriggler worms with some nice kitchen scraps. A loose covering of cardboard or newspaper is all that’s needed on top. No smells or escaping worms.

    Since I have the luxury of an outdoor composting system, I feed my indoor worms only fine-textured scraps like coffee grounds and tea leaves. This way I can dig into the bucket for a few scoops of castings any time my indoor plants beg for it.

    If a few worms end up in the plant pots, so be it. It can only benefit the plants. A little mulch on the surface of the soil will help the worms in plant pots survive for as long as possible.

    I’m curious to find out if the Worm Factory could really be so much better than my simple and space saving DYI system!

  108. I loved that worm book! Kept a whole herd of worms in my zone 4 outside compost pile – those guys reduced it to the best, finest brown stuff ever, and in record time too. There were always a few that made it through the winter and would repopulate the bin in the spring/summer.
    Now that we’re renting for awhile, no compost pile to call my own, but I’d love the bin to do some composting on the side. It’s a difficult thing to quit!

  109. I’ve had two colonies of pet worms for years, one in a plastic bin and one in my semi-compost pile. Sometimes they get too wet or something else plagues them. I’d love to try a better designed system to keep my crawly pets happier.

  110. I’ve Made a few stacking Tupperware worm bins, but none have ever worked. I don’t know if the problem was what I put in them, the weather, or what, but I’d really like to see one in action.

    My garden does, however, seem to be a very nice home for worms, because we have tons in the beds.

    Cool book cover, by the way!

  111. This is something I’ve been looking into for a couple years but haven’t actually acted on it because I’m not sure if our really cold winters would be too much to deal with. Maybe I should do some more research.

  112. thank you for this give-a-way…i have just been learning about worms in the garden, worm towers etc…i would love a copy of your book, or a worm bin!!!

  113. If I don’t win the book I’ll definitely buy it…I love my worm bin! They love it too apparently because the just keep multiplying! I need to add on to keep them all fed and happy!

  114. Wow, a book and the bins — so generous. I don’t have much of a worm story other than the worms in my garden are part of my two favorite things, gardening and memories of time spent fishing with my dad.

  115. What great timing! Love worms, always have. My dog, Ruby & I watched 2 newts that appeared to be attached at the mouth at the beginning of our run today. On the way back they were still there struggling, so I touched one’s tail. It moved slightly, revealing part of a worm beneath it, going into it’s mouth. The other newt had eaten the same worm from the other end! I kept poking them gently until they bit through the worm and went their separate ways.

  116. I have close encounters with worms every time I open my fridge – my husband buys a cup of them when he goes fishing. After a couple of months, I put the remnants into my garden.

  117. I tried worm composting a few years ago and would love to try it again, especially with help from your book!

  118. When my brother and I were kids our dad ran his one-man photography business out of our home. This often included my mom making phone calls to customers from an old roll-top desk in our hallway. One day, while she was on the phone, my brother and I ran in to the house having a big argument. We were fighting about who “owned” the contents of our mutually cupped hands. David claimed the item was his, while I was adamant that I had seen it first and it was mine. My poor mom, trying to appear businesslike, put her hand over the phone and whispered, “Just give it to me right now!” So… she got a big fat worm and had to deal with her squeamishness in addition to two squabbling kids.

  119. I bought a worm factory at the OC Fair last year. My worms are still alive, but not really thriving. I would love to win this book to learn about how I can help my worms thrive.

  120. I too have rescued worms who are trying to cross pavement.
    Before worms started becoming popular, I had to buy bait worms at a sporting goods store, and they never had large quantities.

    My first attempt at composting was more work than benefit, but I would love to have this worm bin at this point (along with Amy’s book, since hers are always engrossing reads), as I have been feeling bad about all the food scraps I could be composting instead of sending to the grinder in the sink.

    My next gardener (have to fire the current one) will be more versed in the use of compost and mulch, in addition to organic and water-saving gardening.

    I always thought of earthworms, bees, and ladybugs as my personal garden assistants. I think I also want to provide a space for mason bees in the same area I’m likely to keep the compost stack.

  121. Have terrible sandy soil. After six years of modest composting and using a mulching mower, I am seeing some progress. A few worms have appeared, but need MORE. I am now retired and plan to garden in earnest this year. Please pick me!

  122. This sounds like a great project. Worms are amazing creatures and my garden can use all of the help it can get.

  123. I have wanted to start a worm bin for too long-thanks for reminding me! I look forward to reading the book.

  124. I would love to have worm castings for my plants…I am sure my chickens would love them too. I would love to win a copy of the book and worm bin. Thanks

  125. I try to save worms when I can. When I walk in the morning, sometimes I see worms on the sidewalk that have washed up from the lawns being watered. I find a leaf or stick to save them and put them back on the lawn.

  126. Would love the book and worm bin. The grand kids would get a kick out of it, as would my garden, which has become a community garden. Amazing how a garden can bring neighbors together!!! Across the alley even asked me if they can plant some Romanesco, if they can get some seeds. I had to look it up. Pretty funky cousin of Broccoli.

  127. Looking forward to learning more about worms. I have young grandsons and they are fascinated by bugs and worms, etc.

  128. Wow, what a nice prize. I’ve not had luck with my homemade bin. Got too soggy and fruit flies. Would love to know more about worms. I need more in my garden to help combat my clay soil.

  129. I love this book and would donate another one to my school where we learn all about worms every semester.

  130. I have always wanted to try worm composting. Your book sure looks like the place to start! Thank you for hosting such a great giveaway!

  131. I try to save every worm I see. Early in the morning after a rain I walk certain streets in my neighborhood where numerous worms get stranded in the street gutters. A credit card-like plastic piece helps in picking them up. Last rainstorm I got a 16 oz. container 3/4 full. They get a nice home in my compost pile where they multiply like crazy. I really appreciate the work they do and regret the tons of them that must get washed miles to the ocean. Help yourself folks.

  132. Awesome! I just got my worm bin this week. I’m obsessed with checking on my little wormy friends. They are still getting settled, but they have stopped trying to escape. In fact, I’m so excited about worms that I’m taking on a project with worms at a food bank farm where I just got an internship. So I’ll definitely have to check out your book.

  133. Ciao from Sicily, Italy! I have always dreamed about having our very own worm bin. Being a military family, we move every three years and tend to alternate life overseas with life back in the States…not a very conducive lifestyle for worms, but I have been fortunate to start up several school gardens and have loved getting worm bins going at each of those the schools. Can’t wait to get my hands on the book (congrats on the re-issue) and crossing my fingers and hoping I win that worm factory since we just found out we are moving back to the States for an extended period of time! Sad to leave Italy, but eager to learn all about gardening in DC!

  134. I had a worm bin growing up and had a great time learning about soil and the way worms worked along with the basics of composting. I can’t wait to read that book!

  135. I’ve thought about getting a worm bin for a couple of years now but the thought of worms getting out and crawling all over my deck has stopped me. It looks like this new bin has solved those problems and the book would certainly add much needed information

  136. Hello – I’d love to be able to win the worm bin. I have been looking to do more with vermicomposting and find it very interesting. It grosses people out at first – which I always find funny. Good luck with your book.

  137. The Sunday rainstorm stranded lots of earthworms in the street gutters and I collected a full 16 oz. cottage cheese container of them Monday morning. I’ve added them to the compost pile where they will have lots to eat.

  138. I am in the early stages of developing a non-profit of cultivating low-income and/or at-risk youth thru “hands on” urban farming. This book and bin would be greatly appreciated as it will teach the youth another aspect of farming.

  139. Wow, worms are everywhere. I decided to order some last week after a few years of regular composting. Then I see this post, and the Garden Rockstar posts. Must be the warm weather! Bought the book and love it so far. Also, I made a DIY version of the stacked worm towers, just shallow rubbermaid containers with holes poked through the lids. Works great!

  140. Here in the Twin Cities, the early spring means that we started seeing worm casings in early March, about 3 (or maybe 4) weeks earlier than in years past, though I don’t have records for last year, which was also an early spring.

  141. Hi! First time to comment here, and first time to hear about Worm Bins! What a wonderful idea!
    I would love to enter the draw.
    My backyard soil is quite sandy and poor, and I’ve been working on it for last 5 years. This will be a wonderful way to increase worm population! I’m crossing my fingers ๐Ÿ™‚

  142. We left the care and keeping of the first worm bin to our 8-year-old son, which didn’t go so well for the worms. He may be better at it this year as a 10 year old, and the book and bin would be terrific inspiration!

  143. This is only my second year garden, but I am completely in love with it. Figuring out a way to build a worm bin has been on my to-do list for the past few months. One of these would be exactly what I need.

    Congrats on the re-release!

  144. Hopefully there’s a mention of the line “I got worms” which is of course the name of the worm farm in the blockbuster hit “Dumb and Dumber”.

    Also the hit video games “Worms Armageddon” and “Earthworm Jim” have launched worms into the spotlight in millions of homes. Not to mention Rockwell’s famous novel “How to eat fried Worms”. In short, what is our obsession with worms!? http://mixmakegrow.wordpress.com/

  145. I haven’t looked through your book (which I must say is exciting to know there’s one out there and thank you), but I am a bit concerned about the lack of information provided by you about earthworms vs. red wigglers in terms of worm bins. The two worms are quite different in that each has a distinctly different environment. Earthworms are burrowers into SOIL whereas red wigglers are found on top of the soil, under piles of manure or leaf/garden debris. A worm bin is best suited for red wigglers. A worm bin tends to be just a bit too moist (because of the scraps in it) to be comfortable for earthworms. Both types of worms are great at composting, but each have their own very different environments.

  146. Your book sounds fascinating!

    On worms, compost, and chickens: The fallen leaves that we put in the chicken run this past fall have been turned into a rich, composty, soil-like material and we raked out 3 wheel-barrows full last weekend and spread them over the garden beds. This required raking up the fallen leaves that had been covering the beds, which we then dumped into the chicken run to make more compost. (We’re so clever!!) The leaves had lots of nice worms in them that were gobbled up in a frenzy. I offered one giant worm (fatter than a pencil, and just as long) to Cornelia, who is our smallest, but bravest, chicken. She hesitated at first, lunging her body forward and back like someone working up the courage to leap over a stream. Then it was BAM! BAM! and the worm was gone.

  147. I took a local course and became a Master Composter and Recycler. As part of my civic contribution I had a traveling worm show in a file box that I took into classrooms and let the kids feed the worms with apple cores or fruit peels. They gently dug around with a garden claw, looking for worms and eggs. It was fun to see the reactions and the questions were always hilarious. They thought it was particularly funny when I would tell them that worm poop was considered black gold by gardeners.

  148. I have always picked up the worms that are wandering around on the sidewalk after a rain and try to place them out of the slop but back on soil so that they dont dry out. I did not know that there was a book on worms. I will probably go ahead and buy it if I dont win it. I was thinking about an area in my kitchen that would be just perfect for one of those bins. ๐Ÿ™‚

  149. I have a wonderful worm factory in my yard, which was originally inspired by living with a Swiss family in the 70’s. These folks showed me quite new concepts: Make fresh food daily and compost! Of course, they also have extensive conservation and careful cultivation too. These are lessons that Americans largely, still need to learn.

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