Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin

On the event of Charles Darwin's 200th birthday, I am thinking about his fabulous book, The Formation of  Vegetable Mould, through the Action of Worms.  If you're going to read any book by Darwin, start with this one.   He did the most fascinating earthworm experiments and documented them in meticulous detail.  (And yes, I devoted a chapter and more to him in The Earth Moved.) So in his honor, I have...

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Those Naughty Non-Native Earthworms

Great stuff from Boostrap Analysis on the publication of some new data from the Minnesota research team I interviewed for The Earth Moved.  I devoted  a chapter to the time I spent there walking through the forest and talking with researchers Cindy Hale and Lee Frelich about their work.  It is true that non-native earthworms have moved into the forest thanks to our behaviour–using worms as fishing bait, laying acres of sod...

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Come On, Touch It!

The Chicago Sun-Times on worm composting: The process is odor-free and bug-free, but a certain yuck factor may nonetheless be keeping worm bins from really taking off. Pat Schwarze of the Building Owners Management Association of Suburban Chicago said members learned about vermiculture at a trade show last year, but nobody bit. "People are interested by it, fascinated by it, but they’re not sure they want to touch it," Schwarze...

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Sam James, Worm Hunter

Check out this story about Sam James, earthworm taxonomist who recently found an earthworm in Brazil that was believed to be extinct. Kansas City infoZine – KU Research Associate Helps Discover Worm Once Thought to be Extinct – USA

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More Praise for Earthworms

“Where there’s a healthy earthworm population, there will be 1000 miles of burrows per acre, she continues. “Fields with earthworm tunnels absorb water at a rate of 4-10 times that of fields without worm tunnels.” Worms also act as a biological filter, she maintains. “They line their burrows with mucus which absorbs any pollutants, such as nitrates and pesticides, which are in the water. “ Earthworms help...

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