Earthworms!!

I have to tell you that I was convinced that we didn’t have any earthworms in this country. Snails, of the really large variety, yes. Ants in more than abundance along with flies and mosquitoes there are aplenty. But earthworms….eh, no. I’ve been digging about in our garden for more than 9 months and nary a worm, of any variety, did I come across.

Yesterday, however, just a half-hour before the sounding of the Shabbat siren, I was out turning a couple square feet of soil I’ve been really augmenting with home-made compost over the last 6 or so months and trying to get the new weeds out, when…yo, what is that? It was a squiggly, wiggly earthworm. Then, another spadeful turned over another and yo, yes, there were three or four more. More turnings uncovered more squiggly wigglies. I’ve got a whole earthworm colony in about a 2×2 foot radius. I dug further afield into the less-augmented soil surrounding that area but nary a worm did I uncover.

Earthworms are a gardener’s delight. If you have earthworms, you will have food from what you plant in that spot.

I know where my next compost augmenting will occur. I’d planned to try to buff up the soil to a tiny degree in a newly excavated area but now, no way, it is going to go to expanding that earthworm territory.

19 responses to “Earthworms!!”

  1. Lynne says :

    Try tapping on the soil a few times rather hard with your trowel or shovel to alert the earthworms. I just hate it when I hurt one of them with my digging. Buddhist monks don’t use sharp implements in gardening, only very stiff brushes for that reason. I cannot make much progress in this Texas soil with brushes though. sigh.

  2. Mac says :

    That’s good news!

  3. israeliminx says :

    Ema, you don’t have to worry too much about hurting the earthworms — if you accidentally cut one in half it will heal up — on both ends! — and become two new wormies.

    Mac, it is indeed 🙂 And how about this …one of the hot pepper plants I planted last summer in June that simply got eaten down to nearly the root has not only sprouted lots of leaves but is flowering. Flowering in December!!! That absolutely turns all my garden knowledge on its head.

    • Lynne says :

      Yaeli, are you sure about your worm biology? Those worms in the past that have been cut into have not appeared happy about it.
      I’m sending you a package of seeds–Arugula which is used in salads. The Cajun culture has been very partial to it, calling it roquette, and in the UK I think it is often called “rocket”. It’s delicious with a peppery flavor, and it works best when mixed about half and half with other milder tasting greens/lettuce. I just planted mine today. It can be grown in cool weather and cold weather but not when the temperatures are high. It’s not a summer lettuce.

      • israeliminx says :

        Oh Ema awesome!!! I’ve looked for it here with no joy. Can you also get spinach or collard seeds there?

        Yep I am sure about the worms, though I am also sure they aren’t happy to be cut into. However, so long as there are 4 or more segments the worm will become two.

        • Lynne says :

          Spinach and greens will be bought and sent! 🙂

        • Larry007 says :

          I strongly suggest not to bring seeds from outside Israel. You can buy seeds locally that are adapted to the local climate and terrain. Or even little plants from green nurseries. You can buy roquette locally and it is pretty common in salad in Israel. I’m sure you can buy plants or seeds locally. If the custom duty officers find those seeds they can take them or have you explain what kind exactly those seeds are. Most of the seeds people send in packages are marijuana.

          • israeliminx says :

            Larry, the seeds you can get here in this area are very limited. At the big garden center in herzliya, for instance you can get exactly one kind of lettuce, two kinds of tomatoes (cherry and one slicer), no cabbage or brussel sprouts or spinach. And except for the organic seeds (which were more expensive and didn’t germinate), they were shipped in from the U.S. and had hebrew labels slapped over the english.

    • Mac says :

      Very cool!

  4. Larry007 says :

    Yael, I found this very cool site :
    http://www.organico.co.il/%D7%9E%D7%A9%D7%AA%D7%9C%D7%94-%D7%97%D7%91%D7%A8%D7%AA%D7%99%D7%AA

    Maybe you know it, maybe not. It’s like a social gardening community. I’m sure there are people there that can help you with seeds and plants and tips how to grow stuff. I would love to do a little bit of gardening myself but I have no time whatsoever.

    • Lynne says :

      Larry, I was thinking that the climate in Israel and in Texas are very similar so that maybe the seeds would work. Within the US there are so many different climate zones, each very different, so what grows in Texas might not grow well in North Louisiana, for example. The soils are quite different, too, and I am sure that the soils in Texas and in Israel are not the same. I think that roquette is fairly hardy though, so maybe it will be successful in Israel. I just love that stuff!
      Going to check out the site that you list above. It sounds interesting! And, if Yaeli could join a gardening group that would be helpful as well as fun, too!

  5. WipeOutHamasOnceAndForAll says :

    On another subject, a not so surprising discovery for the Israeli politicians is that Hamas wants to “fight to free Palestine from the Zionist occupier.” And what is Palestine for Hamas? Guess what, Palestine for Hamas in ALL Israel that is Tel Aviv, Haifa, you name it!!
    I could say “I told you so!!” but I am pretty sure that most Israelis now have opened their eyes to the ugly and harsh reality of what Hamas, Abbas, you name it are, just a bunch of terrorists!!
    Read “PM: Hamas has shown its true colors – again” at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4317392,00.html

    Now the question that 99% of the Israeli politicians do not want to ask is: What’s next for Israel considering that Israel knows perfectly well the goals of Hamas, Abbas, and company?!!!
    And the answer to this question is quite simple and I have mentioned it many times on this blog, it is the complete expulsion of ALL the inhabitants of Gaza AND especially also of ALL the Muslims living in Israel and in the West Bank!!

    You know what, Israel will be forced, no matter when (in several decades or earlier), Israel will indeed be forced to take this action. Shocking?? NO, as if you remember well, the Arab countries DID expulse ALL their Jews at the creation of the State of Israel.

  6. Sylvia says :

    I think I told you that the earthworms would come. And they have. Bless them!

    Just think: you are bringing more life to your tiny little corner of eretz Israel. Some love and attention, care and feeding, and see how it is responding! Wait till spring comes and you get butterflies and bees and other beneficial insects, too. Look up what native Israeli plants are best for them (the native butterflies and bees) and plant a few of those. A beekeeper somewhere within flying distance will bless you when his bees come home with honey.

    Don’t get too anxious about weeds. Google up Aussie farmer Peter Andrews and ‘Natural Sequence Farming’ and see what *he* has to say about ‘weeds’. The thing about weeds is that they are usually deep-rooted, which means they dig down into subsoil and pull up trace elements and other nutrients, which they incorporate into their stems and leaves. So if you let them grow for awhile, especially anywhere you’re not using immediately, then slash them and put them in compost or let them rot, those nutrients then become available to other plants.

    Here in Australia there is the ‘Seed Savers Network’ and ‘Eden Seeds’ and ‘The Diggers Club’. I don’t know whether they sell internationally, but you could look them up. Australian gardeners are big on plants that can cope with extreme heat, dryness, and variable climate, and in our south and southwest we have a large area that has a Mediterranean climate just like Israel’s (wet cold winters, hot dry summers) so we have gardeners growing vegies and fruits that would do well in Israel.

    • Lynne says :

      Sylvia, I did not know that about weeds. Good to know! There is no shortage of weeds here in Texas, but now I know how to better handle them. Right now in Texas, we are continuing to have a drought that began about two years ago. The temperatures are mild right now, but there is no rain here in Central Texas. The summers here are scorching hot and very dry as a rule. Makes gardening a challenge.

  7. Sylvia says :

    Oh, and – Happy Hanukkah! Chag Chanukah Sameach!

  8. 300yrs in America says :

    Minx i have a packet of collard seeds right here.if you want them email me and we will send them.speaking of worms the ones i have are HUGE around 8-10″ long and around 1/4″ thick.i thought they were snakes the 1st time it rained here.i grew delicious collards @ our old place.you have to plant alot and then thin them out.if they grew @ our old place in that dry red clay they should grow anywhere.oh yes Happy Channuka. it seems HaShem has given you a gift for Dedication.let us know about the collards.i made a hot sauce from the little thai peppers and vinegar put it on those greens and YUM!

    • Lynne says :

      300 Years in America, would love your recipe for the hot sauce. I usually manage to grow peppers even here in gardening-challenged Austin, Texas. Would love to have a good recipe for hot sauce.

  9. 300yrs in America says :

    @ wipe out. I read a great article by Elder of Zeyon that YidwithLid linked to. Very very interesting.its an in depth study about the psychology of the enemy.check it out.

  10. israeliminx says :

    300 — many thanks for the offer but Ema emailed me that she’s already bought and is sending a packet of collards along with spinach and some other fun and lovely seed packets. I think one packet will do us nicely for the next year! I very much appreciate the offer!!!! Now, I seriously want your hot pepper sauce recipe, please share 🙂

    Wipe, interesting link indeed!

    Sylvia — you did say so but I didn’t dare to believe. You were so right and I’m simply thrilled with those little worms moving in! I love that I’m making some prime real estate for them, heh 🙂

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