Friday, June 23, 2006

Worming My Way to a New Blog

Well, I have reached that point in every blogger's life when it is finally time to make the move from Blogger to TypePad. I'm also rolling all three of my blogs (Dirt, Humboldt Hens, and Worms of Endearment) into one, and in addition to writing about the garden, the chickens, and the worms, I'll also be writing about the book tour and lots of other topics related to my new book, Flower Confidential. My new blog home is here:

and I promise there will be plenty of good worm stuff there, in addition to all the Worms of Endearment archives.

And last, but certainly not least, you'll find me over at GardenRant a few times a week. We're having a lot of fun, so come join us.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Garden Rant Takes Over the World

A few months ago, I started talking with Susan Harris of Takoma Gardener and Michele Owens of Sign of the Shovel about a modest little idea we had to stage a horticultural revolt. We were tired of what the mainstream gardening media has to offer--warmed-over garden tips, repurposed press releases about the ten thousandth new coleus on the market, dull little essays about the wonders of spring--and we were convinced that bloggers could overthrow the gardening establishment in the way that they are transforming coverage of politics and current affairs. (Witness the success of the YearlyKos convention. Not that I want to be the DailyKos of gardening. I'd much rather be the Gawker of gardening. But one thing at a time.)

Like all good revolutionaries, we began by writing a manifesto. You can read the whole thing on our site, but I'll touch on a few of my favorite points here:

--We are convinced that gardening MATTERS. Get us out of the Lifestyle section and as far away from home decorating as possible. We're talking about how we interact with the plant kingdom, not how to choose a throw pillow. This shit is important!

--We are flabbergasted at the idea of "no maintenance" gardens. If I have to read one more magazine article about Easy Container Gardens in 10 Minutes or Less, I may actually go bury MYSELF in the perennial border. Gardening is something you DO. It's not something you buy and arrange around the exterior of your home in between fluffing the aforementioned throw pillows.

--We are delighted by people with a passion for plants. Show some excitement! Have an opinion! Fall in love! Get mad! If you're bored, put your pen down and go outside. Just don't bore us, too.

Are you with me? All right, then. Follow me over to Garden Rant, where I'll be blogging a couple times a week. Some of my favorite new features include:
  • Ask Dr. Bleedingheart--horticultural advice for the lovelorn. Send in your melodramas today.
  • I Don't Have a Garden, But I Watch One On TV--reviews of garden television and Internet garden videos. (We'll cover podcasts and radio too, so if it's good, send it our way.)
  • Taking Your Gardening Dollar--product reviews, rip-offs, and vicarious horticultural shopping experiences.
  • You! We're looking for guest bloggers, so if you have something brilliant to say, we hope you'll consider saying it on Garden Rant first. Come rant with us!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sunday New York Times

Check out my op-ed piece in today's New York Times. You'll be hearing more from me in the months to come about my new book, Flower Confidential, but this will give you a preview.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Oddly Fascinating Animated Video...

shows a worm digesting its food. I love the little cartoon poop left behind at the end. Check it out here:


Saturday, May 06, 2006

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

Friday, May 05, 2006

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 prevent erosion

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Earthbound Farms Loves Earthworms

"'Here, you dig the earth and there are earthworms,' says Kodet. 'In my 22 years working for a conventional grower, I never saw an earthworm.' "

THE FACES OF ORGANIC / EARTHBOUND FARM: Backyard farmers emerge as top organic produce brand

Monday, April 03, 2006

Honey, what's for dinner?

Worms, of course!

"They taste like cockles, earthy and a bit bitter," he said, describing the blanched worms he ate, having heard that earthworm was used to cure fever in Indonesia.

New Straits Times - Malaysia News Online

Be Good to Your Worms

The Salt Lake Tribune reminds us that "bumpy lawns can drive some homeowners crazy. Even while acknowledging that worms are beneficial in the long run, many people ask how they can kill this lawn 'pest.' "

Boy, does that drive me crazy. People, a lawn with a good earthworm population is a healthy lawn! Be happy! Celebrate!

Seriously, if you've got time to worry about little tiny piles of earthworm castings in your grass, you have way too much time on your hands. Go volunteer somewhere. Spend more time with your grandchildren. Write a novel. Or even better--rip out part of that lawn and plant a nice time-consuming vegetable garden.

Actually, once piece of practical advice: set the blade on your mower a little higher. The taller grass will hide worm castings, conserve water, crowd out weeds, reduce thatch, and create a healthier lawn overall.

Salt Lake Tribune - Food:

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Invite a Worm to Dinner

In honor of Earth Day, Organic Valley Family of Farms would like you to hold an Earth Dinner to celebrate the planet's bounty.

"Make it simple or make it splendid! From a potluck dinner to a masterful multi-course presentation--any style works for an Earth Dinner. The key is to know the origins of what's being served-how it was grown, where it came from, who grew it, its nutritional value. Each dish brought to the table provides an opportunity for us to talk about its origins and its connections to our personal histories through the activity cards provided in this package."

Yes, there are activity cards to spark your earthy discussion, including one that"makes players think creatively -- e.g., pretend you're an earthworm running for public office!"

I'll give you a little while to think that over.

Earth Dinner Plan Your Dinner