Our agronomy manager Ian Davidson headed over to his daughter’s first grade classroom to talk earthworms earlier this month. Keep reading to hear about his experience getting kids to love something so slimy…
Kids love earthworms! I recently visited Hāna Elementary School to share introduce the school’s first graders to the importance of earthworms at Hāna Ranch, and to help the class to set up their own worm bin.
It’s so important for children to understand where their food comes from and how soil health plays a big role in managing the success of our farm.
Soils are alive and the community of micro-life that lives in the soil requires stewardship. My job as agronomy manager at Hāna Ranch is to monitor the health of our soil. I explained that the Hāna Ranch “earthworm herd” plays a critical role in boosting soil health by transforming decomposing crop leftovers and livestock manures into a powerful fertilizer that feeds the crops. Did you know that our earthworm herd weighs more than our cattle herd if you measured them pound-for-pound?
The students were very curious about what they could feed the worms, and we discussed the various earthworm “food” they have access to ranging from shredded paper to leftovers from lunch.
The Hāna keiki (children) needed no convincing of the value of earthworms in the garden, and were eager to get down to business and set up their own earthworm farm in their classroom. The class explained to me that they are installing a classroom garden in the next few weeks and need the earthworm casting fertilizer as soon as possible. They plan to grow salad greens over the rainy season in their raised bed garden!