I received an intriguing email recently from Janet Walker, who is a member of the Earthworm Interest Group of Southern Africa (a group I am now actually an ‘international member’ of), and a vermicomposting professional in South Africa. I asked if I could share what she wrote, and she happily obliged.
One of my worm clients recently came to see me at our Organic Market to tell me that she had gone on holiday having fed her worms well to make sure they did not starve. She was away for ten days, and on her return she did not find any worms in her system. On asking what she had fed to her worms, we have now discovered that leaving a WHOLE pineapple, cut in half, is a worm digester. I did not know that pineapple contains one of nature’s best digestive enzymes, as does papaya and the poor worms got completely digested.
This is really interesting, and not something I was familiar with. I know that pineapple is extremely acidic and have always basically considered it in the same category as citrus as far as adding it to worm bins goes (ie only in moderation). I have never heard of it completely wiping out a population of worms however, nor was I aware of the fact that it contains digestive enzymes. I have heard that Papaya can be good to eat with meats for this reason, but again haven’t really thought too much about the potential dangers of adding it to your worm bin – it definitely does make sense though!
Anyway, I will be curious to see if anyone else has experience with these two potentially-dangerous worm foods.
Thanks again to Janet for sharing this info with us!