My two girls didn’t like worms when Wednesday began.
By the end of the day, they were playing with some wigglers and eating others. Ah, the wonders of Earth Day.
I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of the “holiday.” It’s become pretty over-commercialized, like a green Christmas or something worse. But I took my two daughters, Isabela, 7, and Lily, 4, out on Wednesday evening for a daddy-daughter Earth Day trek.
We stopped by the greenhouse at Saginaw Valley State University, near Saginaw, Michigan.
It’s a wonderful place, tucked between two highways. There, they use worms (red wigglers) to make compost from shredded paper, coffee grounds and vegetable cuttings.
The compost and worm tea (water + droppings) is used to grow vegetables that are eaten by students in the campus cafeteria. Flowers grow there in the middle of the winter. They have a solar oven.
The kids were skeptical at first. Once they did some exploring, they started getting their green thumbs. Isabela, then Lily, dared to hold a worm, then a bunch of worms. Little did we know, there was a TV camera trained on them the whole time. They appeared on the 5 o’clock news.
Ed and Gretchen, who work some of the magic at the greenhouse, showed us around. The kids were especially fascinated by plants that grow in hydrated plastic pipes, sans soil. Isabela, then Lily, had a great time pulling plants out of their tubes to marvel at long, wet roots.
After worms and wigglers and other assorted wonderment, we headed over to a pole barn, for the big payoff: Cupcakes topped with worms. Oh, they had also some residential wind turbines on display.
Anyway, it was a good trip. And although it happened on Earth Day, it reminded me that any time is a good time to spend with your kids. Especially when they’re learning something important and having fun.
And don’t worry, the worms they ate were Gummis.