Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I've got worms.

I've always been interesting in Vermicomposting, also known as worm farming, or worm composting. I do have a traditional compost bin outside, but I thought it would be fun to try this out as well. So, I thought it might make for a fun science experiment with the kids. Gracie really gets into the composting with me, and both my kids know what should go in our compost crock on the kitchen counter and who's turn it is to take it out to the big bin,. However, yesterday the kids had "outdoor-playtime-with-their-friends" on the brain, and I was left to create my new worm condo on my own.

Step 1: Find yourself a suitable container for your new best friends. (Recycle!). An old Rubbermaid storage tote will work just fine. Just dump your husband's stuff out of it and head on your merry way...ummm..I mean..look around for an unused tote and repurpose it. Then, find an oh-so-cute kid who wants to help you drill some holes before she ditches you for the neighbor kids. Like this one:
 Step 2: add strips of newspaper, shredded eggshell cartons, cardboard bits and a bit of finished compost or aged manure into your worm bin. Throw in a handful of crushed eggshells too. This will help your little buddies with any digestion issues. Also, they don't have teeth so the eggshells help them "grind" their food.
 Using a squirt bottle, completely moisten the contents of your bin. Those worms must stay hydrated! While you're at it, mix yourself up a margarita, errr, glass of water as well!
 Step 3: get your little friends settled into their new digs. Unfortunately, those wonderful guys at White Elephant only had a few red wigglers, and I wiped them out, so I am about 928 worms short. That's right, you need 1000 of these guys to start out your bin. That's about a pound. I started with what I had and a friend of mine hooked me up with a "worm guy" so I can get my fellas some roommates.

Step 4: give them a little food. The books say to wait a few days until they get settled in, but I've never been known for my patience. I got my worm cuisine from here:
This is our crock that we put all our appropriate compostable food scraps into. There's all sorts of things to choose from. Just ask my son Cole, who has been known to dig his Dad's banana peels out of the garbage and put them in their rightful place!

I fed my worms some coffee grounds, chopped apples and banana peels. I only need to feed them a couple times a week, and keep things dark and moist. They do all the work!
 Finally, I soaked a piece of cardboard and put it over the top, and then put the lid back on the tote. Then, I set this tote inside another one, so I can catch all the ooey-gooey liquid and stuff that will seep out the bottom. That stuff is GOLD, I tell ya! Amazing for your houseplants and flowers.
What's my next step? Well, these little red wigglers are voracious eaters and will turn all my kitchen scraps into beautiful, wonderful smelling, totally amazing...POOP! The official word is worm castings, but lets call it like it is. It's poo. They will turn all of those nutrient rich vegetable and fruit scraps into nutrient rich compost, which will greatly benefit my fruit and veggie garden, along with my plants and flowers. At the same time, they will grow nice and fat, and double in population within about 90 days. This means that some of my favorite friends may be getting themselves some big fat fishing worms! 

So, that's what I've been upto. A little weird? Some people think so, but I just think it's plain fun!  

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Today's agenda

Hmmm...what to do on this (finally!) beautiful sunshine-y day?

  • enjoy some morning coffee and kid time
  • whip up some chocolate chip pancakes
  • ask the kids to do their chores
  • take the kids to open new savings accounts
  • pick up a book at the library
  • help Gracie write her birthday thank you notes
  • visit our church's parking lot garage!
  • remind the kids to do their chores
  • agonize over what to make for dinner
  • go to the Y and burn off Paco's amazing spaghetti dinner..YUM.
  • text my friends with random messages...just cause its fun
  • threaten the kids about what will happen if their don't do their chores
Happy Saturday!