To celebrate International Compost Awareness Week last week, our local composting champions, York Rotters, staged a Worm Charming Competition in Rowntree Park, preceded by some lusty compost bin drumming!
I was commissioned to write some very special poems for the occasion. I opened the competition with a poem in praise of worms, which began:
We come in celebration
Of the wonderful world of worms …
I also wrote 16 worm charms, magic rhyming spells to entice worms to the surface. One of the charms was in worm-speak (also known as Mumbly-Jumbly), in case worms don’t understand English very well.
Each Worm Charming competitor had a 2m x 2m square in which to find worms, and in each square was one of my worm charms for them to recite. The competitors weren’t allowed to dig any worms up – they had to encourage them to the surface in any way they could. Some innovative teams thought up using the vibrations of their mobile phone to lure the worms.
Unfortunately, after 30 minutes of intensive worm charming, only one worm was found – and that disappeared straight back into the ground before it could be popped into a waiting tub. At the event last year, teams found up to 12 worms! So, I don’t know where all the worms had gone this year. Maybe they were all scared away by the very loud (but great fun!) Rotters compost bin drumming!