As you know we are farming on land that hasn’t been farmed in over thirty years. It definitely has its challenges but one amazing aspect is watching and helping to create an ecosystem teeming with life of all sizes and functions. This means watching the good as well as the bad. We battle pests like the flea and cucumber beetle and the damage they bring but we also have “good” critters like the earthworm.
As we weed, till and dig into the earth at the farm we have seen hundreds of worms. The worms are working along side us, slowly doing the job of the plough, changing the earth and breathing life into it. With less compaction than mechanical tools earthworms burrow into the soil creating pores, which increases the soil’s available nutrients and water holding capacity. Their casts or feces are said to be “the champagne of poop” meaning they are a very balanced amendment.
Towards the end of his life Charles Darwin became obsessed with earthworms and dedicated his last years to studying them. He wrote, “The plough is one of the most ancient and most valuable of man’s inventions; but long before he existed the land was in fact regularly ploughed, and still continues to be thus ploughed by earthworms.”
Watching earthworms slowly till helps me begin to fathom my smallness in the world and the intricate web and mystery of the earth beneath us. So for every flea or cucumber beetle that nullifies some of our work, it is balanced by a worm’s work, day and night, helping to lighten our load.
For more on worms check out The Earth Moved by Amy Stewart or Worms Eat My Garbage: How to setup & maintain a vermicomposting system by Mary Appelhof
IN THIS WEEK'S BOUQUET:
- Snap Dragons
IN THIS WEEK'S BOX:
- Red Russian Kale
- Collard Greens
- Bilko Cabbage
- Silky Salad Mix
- Nero Tondo Radishes
- Summer Squash