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Showing posts from September, 2010

The Next Step with the Wormy Culture: Make the Bed & Spritz

This was probably the easiest part of the task... finding enough newspapers to strip up and put into the bin as 'bedding' for the wee wormies.  I filled the bin to the top and then spritzed with plain water just to slight dampness, just mixing a bit as one would do with a big old salad.  Then I went out into the yard (in the rain, I might add) and dug around in the compost (this time I wore gloves lol) for the cantaloupe that was buried there three days ago, like a cup, to attract the worms.  And there it was, and there they were, I think.... I was nervous about exposing them to light because I hear that they 'paralyze' in light, and so I quickly transferred them in the upended cantaloupe 'cup' to a little icecream pail with a lid and rushed them into the house.  Sort of like the story I heard from a pediatrician I worked with years ago... she had to go along on a plane trip to pick up an donor organ for a child and quickly, ever so quickly, pack it in ice and b

Putting the Bokashi and Worm Compost Equipment Together

--> As I mentioned in my last post, I am putting together composting equipment for this winter -- a set of bokashi pails for the kitchen and a worm composting (aka vermi-culture) bin for the side room off the kitchen. Bokashi involves culturing kitchen scraps with a sort of probiotic that one sprinkles on the waste each time it is put in the pail. It is an anaerobic method of composting (meaning there is no air involved-- more like making traditional sauerkraut) and I intend to take the probiotic scraps and bury them in an 18" deep trench in my backyard and cover the probiotic with soil.  In 2-10 weeks (depending where you live), the bokashi will be unrecognizable as kitchen scraps.  It will even digest meat, bone, and avocado pits.  I have been reassured that there is no nasty odor involved in making bokashi. The kit for making my bokashi includes 3 5-gallon pails and 2 tight fitting lids for the pails.  Today I drilled 3 small holes dead center in the bottom of 2

The Vermiculture Starts in my Compost Bin

So, this is something I learned last week at the Vermi- culture workshop at the Comox Valley Regional Compost Education Centre : If you have a regular composting bin you don't have to buy your red wigglers!  They live in your backyard! Years ago I bought a pound of red wigglers, a squiggling ball of them in an ice cream pail, from the local Oxfam group in Saskatoon, just around the corner from my then-workplace.  I think it cost $5.  The profits went into programming for youth in the community, one program of which was actually learning to operate a worm farm and to do other forms of composting. I thought that the worms I bought were different from the worms in my garden, a more exotic variety perhaps. Turns out they are the same critter.  And if you want to start your worm colony you only need three things: *the worms *the plastic bin with holes drilled in it and a lid on top *a bed of newspaper and food Use newspaper with vegetable ink print and not the chemical ink

Organic Harvest Score Card 2010

Friend Generous Mike's lush organic kale crop This year our older grand- daughter started kinder- garten. After her first day in the system (an hour in a Montes- sori classroom) she announced, "Kinder- garten is fine, Lola. I made lots and lots of friends". And I watch other kids returning to school in their new duds or new post-summer identities, all looking hopeful, with their new backpacks slung over their shoulders. All this hopefulness and optimism for the coming year reminds me of my gardening persona in about May. Any May. I have sprouted new plants, tilled and amended new garden patches, read new advice in books and online. By mid-July (any mid-July) I have pretty much slacked off on the daily 10-minute check for weeds, the necessary watering, the pruning of roses, the pinching off of bolted Cilantro, etc. We travel here and there doing fun summer things. I spend a lot of time on the Internet doing fun writing projects (or just maintaining my su