Worm love in the victory garden | The Enterprise
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Worm love in the victory garden

Posted on May 31, 2021

ColumnsLocal news

DeeAnn Rivera

DeeAnn Rivera

My children tell me that I’m becoming like my parents. Thankfully, it’s in a good way. I’m told I’m getting hard to buy for. To make gift-giving easier, I try to come up with ideas that are practical.

A perfect example is a brilliant idea I had for Mother’s Day. For Mother’s Day last year, I asked my husband to make me a DIY worm composter out of a 5-gallon bucket. After several YouTube videos, drilling and gluing, I received a very sturdy (not pretty) worm composter home.

I happily filled my worms’ new home with cardboard, shredded paper and food scraps I had collected for a week (a little smelly and slimy). I added a little dirt and some leaves and presto — DIY worm home! It was an absolutely amazing gift.

The buckets were a glorious worm workplace. We dumped in four containers of fishing worms and I was ready to wait for the magic of composting to occur. My intent was to keep it in the kitchen so I could watch the composting process.

A few days prior to this particular Mother’s Day, I also convinced my husband that we should put our house on the market. That same glorious Mother’s Day Sunday, we were notified that we had our first showing on Monday — the very next day! I panicked and put the bucket of worms and compost outside.

I pride myself in the fact that I’m a problem-solver. The lid was really tight, so I left it a little lifted so I could easily add more food scraps. I am not going to let a house showing stop me from composting in a bucket full of beautiful food scraps and worms!

The house showing went well, but I forgot I had left the worms outside overnight. Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon. I went outside to retrieve my big bucket of worms. Much to my surprise, and dismay, the worms were not working. In fact, the worms were gone. Every last worm had fled its work.

Unfortunately, I sometimes enroll in the school of hard knocks. If you are wanting a worm composter and the instructions say, “make sure the lid fits tight,” I think they mean it. Another lesson learned, after the fact, is that fishing worms are not the proper worms to use in a vermicompost unit (vermicompost is a fancy word for composting by worms).

Red wigglers would be what you’d want to put in your vermicompost. I’ve also heard this type of composting called cold composting since the internal temperature won’t be as high as a compost pile that you work outside.

For those of you who are now wishing you could get your hands in a bucket of worms, I have a treat for you. A worm dig is coming to a venue near you!

The Spring Hope Garden Club is putting on a Fourth of July Festival this year. The children’s parade will be held July 3. We need kids to decorate their rides — bikes, strollers, golf carts, tractors. Show us your patriotic spirit!

The festival will follow the parade. Come and enjoy food trucks, vendors, crafts and the garden club’s worm dig! (It’s a catch-and-release thing, so you won’t have to take home a wiggly friend unless you want to.)

If you need more information about the parade and festival, email me. If you want to join the Spring Hope Garden Club, also email me! If you want to help or be a vendor in the festival, (you guessed it) email me!

To add more worms to your life, this is the perfect summer treat — “worm dirt.” You won’t mind getting your hands dirty with this yummy, kid-friendly dessert.

Happy planting!

DeeAnn Rivera is a Spring Hope resident who blogs at VictoryGardenGal.com. Email her at VictoryGardenGal@gmail.com.

Worm Dirt Dessert


2 cups milk

1 package of chocolate pudding, 4 serving size

8 oz. of frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 ½ cups of crushed sandwich cookies (you can get creative here — there are a ton of colors and flavors to choose from); about 16 cookies

20 gummy worms or sour gummy worms


Mix pudding with milk and let stand a few minutes to thicken. Stir in thawed whipped topping and ½ cup of crushed cookies. Spoon this mixture into individual serving cups. Put in the gummy worms on top of the serving cups and cover with the remaining cookie crumbs (dirt). Let the worms stick out of the “dirt.” Refrigerate until ready to serve. It’s best to make this the day you will be serving because the cookies will get soggy if left overnight. I can’t say that soggy cookies have ever stopped worm dirt dessert from being eaten — just sayin’.

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