Composting News Issue 24

A heatwave, at last – how wonderful it is … and what exciting prospects it brings us!

Gary will complete rat-proofing our boxes by the end of the month, give or take the odd week…anyway, we are ready for it.

Hot weather has  improved our composting, allowing contents of the last maturing box – No 4, to be bagged.

So :

  • No 1 is empty;
  • No 2 is ratproof and Active, about 2/3 full, and
  • Nos 3 and 4 are empty (the latter containing tools and gloves).

The compost is in 6 bags hidden in bushes by the kerbside for collection by any gardener or group – if you do collect, please return the bags for re-use.

It is good quality stuff, for the first time with well-digested avocado kernels and skins (which I first mistook for blue plastic to be removed by hand, but then I caught on).

It also contains a wonderful collection of worms of assorted sizes, some of which I recycled into active Box 2 to keep the business going.

I am reminded that the good people at the University of Texas have created an alcohol resistant strain of worms (as described below in their unofficial press release).

This development gives the term ‘legless’ an entirely new meaning.

It also encourages me to think that we might try to tweak our ‘dry composting’ scheme one day so as to favour alcohol-producing yeasts yielding an even happier colony.of worms, an intoxicating aroma when opened and eventually perhaps highly sociable rats amenable to persuasion to leave, thus obviating the need for more drastic measures for their control.

Well, it’s a thought…

In the meantime, dream on and enjoy yourselves…

AUSTIN, Texas — Neuroscientists at The University of Texas  have generated mutant worms that do not get intoxicated by alcohol, a result that could lead to new drugs to treat the symptoms of people going through alcohol withdrawal.

The scientists accomplished this feat by inserting a modified human alcohol target into the worms, as reported in The Journal of Neuroscience

A visual comparison of a sober and an intoxicated worm. Image courtesy of Jon Pierce-Shimomura.