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Red wigglers

Worm farming with the misses
Lead Summary
Brenda Winter, columnist

So, my dad has a worm farm.
He’s currently runnin’ a few thousand head of red wigglers.
It’s not 80 acres or anything like that. It’s just a galvanized stock tank in the farmhouse basement sitting under the old canning counter. 
The purpose of the worms is to produce castings (worm poop) to amend the soil in my parents’ organic, raised-bed gardens.
Dad uses an Instant Pot to cook home-grown butternut squash especially for the worms. Mom presses the buttons on the Instant Pot and says, “He can run a combine, but he can’t run an Instant Pot."
Mom says cooking for the worms sort of defeats the purpose of using worms to compost kitchen scraps.
Dad pays no attention as he mashes the cooked squash and adds a little water. He says worms like cooked squash better than raw. He says they don’t like onions either. 
Mom says the worms are spoiled.
They might be. When I was a kid, I don’t recall any dietary accommodations regarding who preferred what. I think it went something like, “Just be thankful you have something to eat.”
Apparently, the red wigglers are held to a different standard. 
The moisture levels at the worm farm also require a bit of attention. One day last week Dad placed a fan to blow across the tank to lower the moisture content. He then decided the worms actually prefer their surroundings a little on the moist side and scrapped the fan idea. He added a few layers of newspaper instead. 
Dad says the worms like regular newspaper better than the shiny stuff. 
Mom says there is probably too high a ratio of “cast” to soil in the tank and maybe a little should be removed and be put in the garden.
Dad says the worms like it just the way it is.
Mom and Dad have been farming together for 62 years. I’m pretty sure their partnership isn’t going to be undone by a few thousand red wigglers.

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