As a frustrated city-dwelling gardener who can only dream of having a compost pile, I happily devoured the Atlantic’s article on Jack Chambers. He’s a former airline pilot who, as a preparation for retirement, bought a worm farm.
A crash course in all things worm quickly followed, including a carefully scheduled layover in Vigo, Spain, to attend the World Worm Conference, and conversations with vermiculture pioneer and Ohio State University professor, Clive Edwards. Trial and error also played a role, with Chambers reminiscing about the “worm volcano” he accidentally created by experimenting with cornmeal as a feed — 50,000 disgusted worms all crawled over the sides of the bin at once, in a scene worthy of a horror movie. “Now, if I’m trying something new,” explained Chambers, “I only add it to quarter of the bin, to leave room for escape.”
I had to pause after reading that, just to properly savor it. What an image! I laughed, closed my eyes to better imagine it, and laughed again.
Alas, the reporter neglected to ask the obvious follow-up question: “How did you recapture 50,000 disgusted worms?” Because that’s another image I’d love to spend time with.