The worms and I

You know what’s better than two pairs of Danskos? Two boxes of vermicompost!

I just finished harvesting the worm castings from my two worm bins. It’s the first time I’ve had to do that since starting the bins in mid-February. It took me a loooong time because of that whole learning curve thing. Fortunately, the second bin went more quickly. Still, I made a very big mess.

But now I have a whole bunch of this potent stuff:

Those two roundish objects in the center of the photo above are cocoons that I missed. Cocoons are future worms, and I’ll get those out and put them in the worm bins before putting the vermicompost in my houseplants.

My whole afternoon was devoted to this process, but I’m feeling prettty damned good about what the worms and I accomplished.

Welcome, Emma

Zippy and I adopted another dog today.
emma

Can’t really tell from the above photo, but Emma is a whole lot of Corgi. And you know what that means…

looong body and short legs!
emma-again

Okay, that’s still not a great representation (she’s hard to photograph because she likes to be on the move). But trust me, she’s got an unusual build. Despite her looks, she’s very strong and fast.

Zippy took this next one with his phone which means not-so-great quality. However, even that old phone can’t prevent Zoey’s happiness from shining through.
20170211_140434

We’re happy to restore the household balance back to 2 humans, 2 cats, and 2 dogs. (Not to mention the approximately 2k worms in the basement.) As for the name “Emma,” it’s growing on me. She’s answered to that name for at least the last year so we’re loathe to confuse her with another. We temporarily floated “Gemma” but Zebu immediately responded to that text with “She’s adorable, but you’re gonna have to change that name.” Wildebeest said “Gemma” reminds him of some psycho female character on Sons of Anarchy.

Emma is starting to sound better and better.

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Vermiculture or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Worms

These days there isn’t even the option of pretending not to see the bad things being done to the planet and its inhabitants. Agent Orange and the Billionaires’ Club are taking what was formerly done on the down-low, cranking it up a couple hundred notches, and shoving it in our faces. Anger, anxiety, and despair (just to mention a few) are running high. I’ve made tons of phone calls and sent emails, and while those are important tasks, I’m not feeling overly swell about my influence on Washington, D.C.

Enter the worms.

Back in mid-December, I blogged about nabbing some free wooden drawers off Craigslist. I wanted them for worm bins. And now, after lots of reading and research, I’m pleased to say Zippy and I have converted some of those drawers into worm bins.

bins-with-lids

Zippy did all the construction. He drilled holes in the bottoms of the bins and ventilation holes on both sides. Then he lined the bins with shade cloth.

ventilation-holes  bin-interior

I prepared the bedding using newspaper, phone book, egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, and an ancient newsprint drawing pad that I must’ve brought with me from North Hollywood (via Santa Rosa, Bakersfield, and Anchorage). Yes, I sometimes lean “hoarder.” But hey, isn’t it cool that the worms are benefitting from my issues?!

bedding-supplies

Bedding supplies

bedding-preparation

Shred, shred, shred some more!

On Saturday, we went to pick up our two pounds of worms from a worm farmer in the Denver area. Unfortunately, I don’t have photographic documentation of our worms’ homecoming because I was focused on getting them out of the cloth sack and into their prepared bins. But here’s a fair representation of what those worms looked like when I released them from the sack:

compostwoms

And here’s a quick and slightly blurry overview of the bin in use (didn’t want to dawdle since worms are light-sensitive):

bin-in-use

The worms are working away in the damp shredded paper, etc., beneath a damp “blanket” of newspaper. They’re eating our kitchen scraps and their bedding. They’re helping me feel less horrified about my footprint on this planet.

Today the Senate voted to confirm a wealthy, unqualified, anti-public school fundamentalist to head the Department of Education. I had no influence over that vote. I do, however, have control over my worms’ well-being and my household contribution to landfills.

 

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Free drawers!

wooden-drawers

I just got back from picking up these free wooden drawers that were listed on Craigslist. I’m hoping to start a new sustainability project in my basement. Not sure of all the details, but wanted to document my start.

Needless to say, Zippy is thrilled.

 

 

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