The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Worms Eat My Garbage

Worms Eat My GarbageUsually, my non-fiction reading consists of whatever captures my fancy (and is available), but this summer, I've been focusing on books I'd been meaning to read for a while.  That focus has resulted in me mining a lot of "beginner" books in search of possible gaps in my knowledge.  I always find at least one or two tidbits in these basic texts, but some stand up better to being read by an intermediate audience, and I'm sad to say that Worms Eat My Garbage isn't one of the latter.

I suspect that when Mary Appelhof put out the first edition of this book in 1982, it contained earth-shattering information, but now vermicompost is old hat for many.  I've dabbled in worm bins for a few years (getting much of my introductory information from the internet and from Worm Cafe), and I found little to provoke thought in Appelhof's book.  I was also a bit turned off by the writing style --- it's very basic since the author comes from an education background and clearly wants teachers to be able to use it with school kids.  On the other hand, if you're just getting started with worms, this book probably is the one to read to learn all of the nuts and bolts that we figured out the hard way.

Despite being a bit disappointed in Worms Eat My Garbage, I did learn a few things:

My final analysis?  As a beginner book, Worms Eat My Garbage is worth a read, but there's still space out there for an in-depth text geared toward a popular audience.  Maybe you'll be the one to write it?

Our chicken waterer is the POOP-free alternative to filthy open water dishes.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Here in Japan, only about 10 people have heard about vermicomposting. And I taught 9 of them. Just kidding, but I have found Appelhof's book to be a wonderful resource in teaching my students about composting with worms. It is very much a beginner's book, and the 6th grade reading level is perfect for my students who are interested (not many are though).

I agree- if you have dabbled in it before, or researched online, it is a bit redundant. Probably most of the readers here have little need of it. But it is good to recommend to your friends who are just getting started in sustainable lifestyles.

Comment by Eric in Japan Sun Aug 19 10:02:29 2012
Eric --- Students do seem to be the target audience, so it sounds like you're using the book exactly as intended. I agree with you about giving it to complete beginner adults too. But we still need an intermediate worm book so you can push Japanese vermiculture even more! :-)
Comment by anna Sun Aug 19 19:12:08 2012
Check out the 35th Anniversary Edition- hope you like it
Comment by Anonymous Mon May 21 10:58:00 2018

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