The earth moved: on the remarkable achievements of earthworms.
Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 2004.
Octavo, dustwrapper, 223 pp.
The earthworm may be small, spineless, and blind, but its role in the ecosystem is profound. It tills the soil, destroys microscopic organisms that cause plant disease, breaks down toxins, and turns soil into rich compost, creating the most fertile areas on earth. In this witty and offbeat book, garden columnist Amy Stewart shows just how much depends on the humble worm. Charles Darwin devoted his last years to the meticulous study of these creatures, admiring their remarkable achievements. With that inspiration, Stewart investigates the worms' subterranean realm, talks to oligochaetologists—the unsung heroes of earthworm science—and observes the thousands of worms in her own garden. From the legendary giant Australian worm, which can stretch itself to ten feet in length, to the modest nightcrawler that inspired Darwin's last book, and the energetic red wigglers in Stewart's compost bin, this book finally gives worms their due.