Top critical review
21 of 29 people found this helpful
Good, but not what the title suggests...
on December 30, 2010
I checked this book out at the library. It is full of good info and advice regarding species of worms and various ways to create and maintain a worm bin. Even worm anatomy and reproduction (fascinating) is given more in-depth treatment than what I was exposed to in high school - and I *love* biology and probably could recite you my textbooks! I have not read other worm bin or vermicomposting books, so please keep this in mind when considering my review.
Here is my beef, and it may or may not be of consequence to you so I'll be thorough. The title is "The Worm Book: The Complete Guide to Gardening and Composting with Worms". Really, less than half of this book was useful for someone who is an avid gardener, veggie grower, up and coming chicken raiser, etc., like me. My gardens, compost, and animals belong OUTSIDE where God created them to be. You could not pay me MONEY to have worms in my house, not to mention the questionable ethics, but I LOVE having the little squirmers outside. The title, by putting gardening before composting, implies that there is more info for the gardener than the composter (worm-bin user, to my mind). Only 4 of the 11 chapters were anything I needed to read. Because of the title, I dutifully read every page of every chapter. If the title was more concise, perhaps "Fantastic info on Worm Bins but Skip to the End if You Want Worms in Your Garden", I would have indeed skipped through a little more & felt like less of my time was wasted. There was info on sort of farming worms (windrows?) outside, but it was one of the smaller chapters toward the end.
My objectives for reading this book were to 1) learn how to attract & keep worms in my garden, 2) learn how not to repel them from the garden, and 3) learn how to call them up out of the ground (specifics, I had heard anecdotal advice from someone once...). All of these objectives were met, and again the biology and species info was very well-ordered and thorough. I just feel like I waded through a lot of stuff that was not germaine (for my situation). Also, if you have a similar gardening philosophy as me, you will be able to very easily memorize the pertinent info and will not need this book for the 'reference shelf' - definitely just one you can get away with picking up at the library.
You may take umbridge with my idea that worms belong outside or perhaps my reading style, but I hope that knowing why I gave three stars (maybe three and a half?) will help you make a good decision on whether to purchase or not. If you are a worm-bin person, this could definitely be worth the purchase - although I have not read other worm books so cannot give you a top-three rundown. :)
Also, there should be a WEIRD ALERT - An entire chapter is devoted to poetry and songs about worms, and another chapter is about cooking with worms. It was a like a car wreck and I had to read it, okay?! But I will not be able to touch a meatloaf or brownies with chewy parts in them or even stir-fry unless it is prepared by myself or a trusted friend for at least another month. DON'T READ THE COOKING CHAPTER. YOU WILL HAVE NIGHTMARES AND POSSIBLY VOMIT UNEXPECTEDLY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!!