No, that’s not a typo…..but it might be a slight exaggeration; they aren’t r-e-a-l-l-y my pets, at least not yet, but they are definitely WORMS!!
I had no idea that there was such a thing as a worm ‘farm’ (it’s actually a Rubbermaid bin 🙂 ) until our daughter, Stephanie, told me she wanted to start one. Not gonna lie, I thought she was joking UNTIL she started talking and sharing the wealth of information that she had been researching.
Around the same time, I had been listening to podcasts discussing microbiome importance, healthy gut and the role bacteria play, and I also was listening to the book by Dr. Josh Axe, Eat Dirt.
I’ve long felt that we have gone way overboard in our quest to eliminate germs. We have antibacterial laundry soap, hand wash, dish soap, cleaning liquids, hand sanitizer…..you can barely buy anything that doesn’t claim to have some protection against germs!!
But I began to wonder:
- “What if we put as much effort into strengthening our immune system as we do trying to avoid germs?”
- What affect does all this antibacterial stuff have on our systems?
- Are we now becoming more susceptible to the very things we are trying to avoid?
- Are we destroying the natural protection and immunity we were designed with by ingesting and absorbing all these antibacterial products?
I also want to increase the amount of food we produce ourselves. I’ve always been a skeptic when it comes to the modern food industry, but now I’m just plain paranoid!!! It used to be you m-a-y need to be concerned about meat and how it was handled or the animal having a disease, but now I’m afraid to even eat a salad!!!!!
So I bought worms!!!
I had NO clue what I was doing and relied heavily on Stephanie’s knowledge and assistance. Every time she visits, she teaches me something new about how to take care of them properly, and thanks to her, they are really starting to thrive!!! In fact, when she was here over the holidays, she sifted through my bin and I now have my first container of worm castings!!! In the world of gardening and growing, this is like powdered gold, nutrient-wise!!!
It doesn’t cost me anything to feed them, they simply consume much of the organic waste from my kitchen. They love fruit, with the exception of citrus like lemon, limes, oranges, grapefruit etc. The other exceptions from the scrap bucket are: potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. They love coffee grounds (we have lots of those!!), tea leaves, and crushed up eggshells that have been boiled or cooked. Since I make over a dozen hard-boiled eggs at a time in my Instant Pot, it’s a win-win for us both!!!
The only other thing I add is bedding. I shred junk mail in the paper shredder, tear up newspaper, old egg cartons, and paper bags, and in it goes to my bin!!! Again, more waste that would have just been disposed of.
Gut health and………………..worms?????
So what do worms have to do with gut health and microbiome? Well, an important component to gut health is probiotics. When we talk about probiotics, there are numerous and varied sources from which they are derived. One that we haven’t heard much about, until recently, are SBO’s – soil-based organisms.
Dr. Axe states….
Soil‐based organisms (SBOs) support gut health and immune response. Why, exactly? In the plant world, SBOs help plants grow. Without their protection, otherwise healthy plants become malnourished and are susceptible to disease or contamination by fungi, yeasts, molds and candida. Just as plants grow best in healthy soil teeming with highly active microorganisms, you, too, need these organisms to live a long, healthy life.
We now know that SBOs nourish cells in the colon and liver and actually create new compounds, such as B vitamins, vitamin K2, antioxidants and enzymes. SBOs can destroy or crowd out harmful pathogens, such as candida, fungi and parasites. They also kill off bad bacteria that can bind to or puncture the gut wall. They’ve been shown to bind to toxins and extract them from the body.
SBOs also help regulate the immune system and naturally reduce inflammation in the gut and throughout the entire body.https://draxe.com/nutrition/eating-dirt/
In generations past, you would not have had to put any intentional effort into ‘eating dirt’. Most families lived on a farm, or at least grew a garden. The gardens and farmland were fertilized organically using animal waste and composted kitchen scraps vs chemical fertilizers and pesticides that would destroy the naturally occurring microbes in the soil. Once harvested, vegetables were stored in earth cellars and only water rinsed before consumption…..not with all the chemical-based, germ-killing vegetable washes we use now.
Kids played outside from dawn til dark running through forests, rolling down hills, digging in the sandbox. We were barefoot more often than not!! Summer days were spent on beaches playing in the sand and swimming in the river!!! There was no chlorinated pool!!
Dirt was a natural part of every day life, in some form or another……and no one was horrified by it!!! Now we have sanitized everything to death!
Digging in the worm bin, using the castings in my garden, eating food I’ve grown myself (not nearly to the scale I want……..yet), these are all part of my quest to live and eat more whole and chemical free.
It’s not easy! You don’t realize how many foods, cleaners, ‘health’ care and beauty products contain ingredients I now want to avoid. You have to work HARD to replace these products that have become entrenched in our homes and our daily lives!!!
This little guy just might change my world….