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Talkback: Charles Darwin and worms

Oh goody Darwin Season. Did you know that a zoo-keeper once noticed that the orang-utan was reading two books - the Bible and Darwin's The Origin of Species. In surprise he asked the ape, "Why are you reading both those books"?
"Well," said the orang-utang, "I just wanted to know if I was my brother's keeper or my keeper's brother."


  • In this present garden I'm lucky enough to have lots of worms, but in my first garden, I was lucky if I saw two, and I'm not convinced it wasn't the same one twice!
  • When Captain John Smith took control of the settlement at Jamestown, Virginia and implemented his ethos of 'no work no food'. Then already european worms were beginning their equally successful career on the continent. So much so, that they are regarded as a pest on the west coast as they increase the fertility of the soil making it viable for weed species to take over from the indigenous plants!
  • I am lucky to be Malaysian, living in Petaling Jaya. I have worms thriving in my garden as I am into worm farming (composting to you). I use horse dung as the base and lots of fruit waste (mainly watermelon skin). Of course, worms grow naturally in my garden as I am always digging up the soil to loosen it, transplanting, burying dead fish from my aquarium, etc.

    Question: Do worms prefer soil mixed with horse dung or can they do with horse dung and fruit waste only in the worm farm? Or do they thrive better in the ground?
  • If you use soil it will make the worm bin very heavy. The worms need a 'base' like moist coconut fibre, then you can just add the fruit waste.
  • I keep 12 million compost workers at Millicent South Australia that make castings which we sell to vineyard owners and the worms cannot make enough even at 6000 cubic metres a year, so next tiem you sample a quality Australai shiraz, bare a thought for the humble worm and Charles Darwin.
  • That is an awful lot of wormcast! What,as a matter of interest , do you feed them?
  • Poor old worms having some one subjecting them to the revolting chewing tobbaco and vinegar + heat and cold most likley at far stronger tempratures than they would normally come across, I believe that along with Bee's worms are the most important friend to man.
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