The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms by Amy Stewart


This nonfiction book is about the humble earthworm, and their mostly beneficial effects on the environment. I found it a fascinating read, and very much enjoyed reading this book.

The author of this work is not an oligochaetologist (a scientist dedicated to the study of earthworms) but a gardener in Humboldt, California, who keeps a worm bin on her back porch. She tells us of the evolution of earthworms, of Charles Darwin’s last book (The Formation of Vegetable Mould, Through the Action of Worms, With Observations on Their Habits, published in 1881), of the life cycle and physiology of earthworms, and how earthworms are benificial to gardens and waste management facilities, and how they are a problem for Northern hardwood forests (which, after the last Ice Age, evolved without earthworms).

The last parts of the book contains information on setting up a worm bin (which, using vegetable non-acidic kitchen scraps, produces worm castings for the garden), and resources for those wishing to keep earthworms.

While, since I do not do gardening, I have no use for a worm bin (besides, I doubt a worm bin would agree with the climate in Sourhwestcentral Louisiana), I found this book to be a very enjoyable read.

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