Worm Botana, Anyone?

Can you find the reason why I want to get a chicken in every single one of these pictures?

Sometimes the best place to hide is in plain view.

These are my bougainvilleas, and they are being decimated by worms.

Like picking at skin looking for blackheads, there is an oddly grotesque pleasure in hunting down the worms in my garden after my morning tea and chocolate.  But what to do with them once they are found?  I have difficulty killing anything knowingly —especially if it is solely for the sake of killing.  It isn’t like I am going to eat the worms once I find them (although I have eaten grasshoppers and ant eggs during my travels).

I pluck the worms gently without squashing them, because smooshing them makes my hackles rise.  I then set the worms in the middle of the patio floor for a while hoping that some finches will come by and eat them, but they never do.  By the by, I will go and gingerly pick them up again with tissues.  Resigned and muttering about the absence of birds, I usually then carry the worms to the bathroom and flush them down the toilet.  Somehow flushing them seems to absolve me slightly of the guilt of killing.  They were alive when I saw them disappear!

If I have the time, and I am dressed in enough attire to present myself to my street, I might go out of my apartment under the auspices of going to my car.  While I go on this small stroll, I am letting worms drop, like breadcrumbs from the crumpled tissues I carry, onto the sidewalk and parking lot.  Both me and the worms seem to find their way back to my patio.

I mentioned to a friend my dilemma of killing the worms.  He suggested getting a chicken!  I really like this idea, but I haven’t the faintest clue if this is even feasible on the 35 x 11 enclosed patio of my small apartment building in this sleepy SoCal beach town.  I REALLY like the idea of feeding a chicken scraps of leftovers and having fresh eggs.  I expressed concern to my friend about its poop.  Can you potty train a chicken?  He said, you will want them to poop everywhere—it makes great fertilizer!

If anyone out there knows of a solution to my problem of killing the worms, I would love to hear it!  Perhaps you know something about raising chickens in very small spaces, or you know whether the worm pictured here is edible.  If they are edible, do you know of a recipe to sauté them?   I’m only half joking.

Worm botana, anyone?

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