Warm Castings


Spring is here and the urge to plant has arrived in full force. I don’t start my garden with seeds for one simple reason – they never grow.

Regardless of the time I take trying to arrange the seeds in a reasonable fashion, if a few do sprout, they look like awkward, malignant growths that seem to scream for surgical removal. I’ve resigned myself to purchasing baskets of flora, at exorbitant prices, because it is far less stressful and sometimes they even last the season.

Last summer, I passed a nursery that had the most stunning hanging flower baskets I’d ever seen. Beautifully lush, colorful and spectacular. As I passed these gorgeous plants, I could hear them screaming, “Yo, black thumb girl, look at us – we’re beautiful, we’re healthy, and we’re not in YOUR yard.”

Admittedly, my gardening attempts generally result in plants that have three semi-open blossoms and average looking stems. Accepting my shortcomings, I decided to stop and find out what kind of fertilizer this nursery would recommend.

Girding my profusely-sweating loins, I tucked my black, shriveled thumbs into my palms and made my way over to the head plant guy’s office. Realize he is speaking in a very southern drawl and I am listening with a Bronx ear.

Thumb Girl – What type of fertilizer do you recommend for hanging baskets?

SmirkelWarm castings.

Thumb Girl – Pardon?

SmirkelWarm excrement.

Thumb Girl – Warm what?

Smirkel – Worm excrement…

Thumb Girl – Worm …?

Smirkle – Poop – we use WORM POOP!

The blazing sun beating down on my head convinced me I had experienced heat stroke and all comprehension skills had fled for the shade.

Thumb Girl Worm Poop? Really? Where does one get worm poop?

SmirkelWe sell it out back.

Thumb GirlSell it? How do you get it? How many worms does it take to get a bag of poop? Who collects it?”

He stared at me and seeing the pompous smirk that covered his face, I knew he dismissed me as not ‘earth friendly.’ He probably assumed I was not concerned with global warming, I did not own a compost bucket and I probably wore two sets of gloves when I replanted flowers.

I wanted to shout: “Don’t get smug. I have issues with my hands – they don’t respond well to dirt, bugs, bacteria, daddy long-legged spiders, slugs, mud, grease” – okay, I could go on but you do get the picture.

My mind went to hyper-overload.

– How does one become a Worm Casting Technician Collector?

– Are their online courses?

– Are management positions available?

– Is this a job you might encourage your drug-selling nephew to try for a change of pace?

– Do you have to wash the worms when you finish?

– What tools are used in collecting?

The thought of grabbing a five-pound bag of worm poop, slinging it onto the backseat of my car and racing home to feed my plants was not part of my duties to the universe.

My skinny little buds will have to exist on the very expensive, chemical-laden, non-earth friendly crystals I buy from my local purveyor of “death and disease items for your home and garden.”

It was only 10:30am so single malt was not yet viable, but butter pecan ice cream became my vision quest. I got into the car on a desperate hunt for the cold gold that would take my mind off worm castings.

Really? People put this on their grocery list? Really?

…just my thoughts



2 thoughts on “Warm Castings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.