Category Archives: Composting

PAUL — my hopes for 2015

It has been a few week since I have had any quiet times alone, without Madigan, or a holiday, or a dinner or an event, where I could just reflect.  In that spirit, I have some ideas for 2015.

** Produce.  Produce more food on our own.  Bigger garden, more flowers, maybe try to raise a few meat birds, can more. We do 90% of our own cooking, using very little prepackaged food.  I want to try my hand at making some breads for Madigan and I.  Maybe learn how to make pasta.  Lower the number of boxes or bags of pre-made stuff.

** Appreciate. I would like to take more time to reflect, soak in, appreciate where we are, even in times of struggle.  Be more thankful for things we have accomplished, how far we have come and what we have done right.  We are fortunate in so many ways, and sometimes we forget how much we do have because we get sucked into others view of success, wealth or riches.

** Unafraid. This is all me, I am afraid of things I know nothing about.  Maybe it is because I was single so long and the buck stopped with me.  Since I do not consider myself handy, and would rather pay someone to fix something than try and do it myself.   My fear is the problem when it comes to changing out the mailbox or replacing a flapper in the toilet.  Boomer literally has to do these thing when I am out of the house because I am a super worrier NUT.  It’s not that I don’t think he can do it, it’s that I know *I* can’t.

** Learn.  Continue to learn. Read more books.  Talk with people who do stuff we want to do.  Try more things.

In addition to all that, get back to pod casting, keep a tidier home, get rid of junk we don’t need. Stay off our smart phones and away from TV.

 

Compost bin from pallets

We finally got a compost bin. We used some of the wood pallets we got earlier this year.

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We used zip ties and screws to put three sides together.
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We are just gonna drop the front pallet down and mix the compost and then put it back into position and bungee it closed. It will work for now!

What did you do this weekend?

We spent the weekend sorting the worms from the castings.

What we have learned this last year, don’t put seeds and egg shells in the bin.

This container of worm castings went into the pots outside, half eaten seeds and all.

Baby worm

When we feed the worms, we are seeing more and more of these little guys. Nice to know that the bin is doing it’s job, taking our food scraps and turning it into compost and the worms are multiplying.

Veggies for the worms

When I am chopping and cleaning our veggies, I have two stages. Stage one, getting the food ready for us.

Stage two is chopping and sorting for the worms. Their food looks just a good as ours.

Worms

This is what the worm bin looks before or after we feed the worms.

Nothing gross or off putting about this. Madigan loves the worms always want to play with them. We let her hold one every now and again.

And we are seeing more of these smaller skinnier worms, we are thinking this might be the new worms.

I want to point out Boomer wears gloves cause he is putting his hand in the bin, and the bin has a whole system of decomposition that involves microorganisms and little bugs and mites. Nothing terrible, but still you want to protect yourself.

Worm castings

Remember our worms? Well those guys have been working on processing our food scraps and turning it into fertilizer. We pulled the bin off the base and got all the castings out of the base. We got about 3 cups. Not bad for just feeding them once (maybe twice) a week. We do have to set up the feeding, making Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday feeding nights. That should work out with the raw, fresh foods we have to feed them. With CSA bag coming on Tuesday, we can give them anything left over from the last bag. Thursday night, a night off for me, and a night I like to cook. And Sunday being the end of the weekend of me cooking. Should work out. I think the bin is still a bit dry, but the worms look good and seem to be eating well.

Sprouts in the worm bin

Before we got the worm bid we did a lot of research about composting. Most of our meal are homemade, and whenever possible we get the fresh vegetables so we generate a good amount of scraps. Even with only putting out three good meals a week I can still fill two 5 cup containers. Last week we gave the worms a bunch of cantaloupe rinds and the guts from the middle. A few of the seeds sprouted on the left side.

The sprouts are a good sign. Consensus on line is the moisture, temperature and Ph levels are optimal, proof that the bin is doing well. We did give them a good amount of food last week since the poor things had to eat carrots for two weeks straight. All of the recognizable rinds were gone, but there were seeds left, and I know the worms go for the easy stuff first. Boomer likes to get one of the worms to make sure they look good, and this one did.

I am always worried the bin will have too much fluid in the base, but when I lifted up the worm bin from the base it looks like we have some compost. I am sure most of it is just the coconut shell core that came with package to put in the bedding, but the stuff in the back looks darker, more like dirt and that is what want.

They got more cantaloupe rinds, a few mushrooms and some artichoke leaves. Let’s see how they do with that.

Retraction….worms will eat carrots

We have been being patient with the worms, knowing it take a bit of time to get them comfortable with their new home, get the balance of moisture and temperature, bedding vs food. I had some cucumber scraps to feed them, and when we pushed back the bedding, the carrots were gone. This is a good sign that the environment is right. We will start adding food more often, still only a handfull or two every couple of days. I am also avoiding anything that would be stinky or anything sweet that would attract fruit flies.