Tag Archives: garden

Worm bin, sans worms

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Worm Compost Bin

Worm Compost Bin

The worm bin, sans worms. We followed these directions. I must admit, it took us a little longer than 3 minutes, even without a beer in one hand. Mainly, because hubby drilled about a zillion air holes for the worms. We decided to keep the bin in the garage for now, as we don’t have a good outdoor location that would be mainly out of the sun. It may need to be relocated or insulated in some way for the winter, though.

Also, our bin is a bit larger than the one in the example {approx 32″ x 16″ wide x 24″ deep}. I chose a plastic tote with a nice hinged lid that we were using for old toys. Rather than use a second bin, we’ve used the tray from a large unused dog crate to catch any drippings underneath—we’ll see how well that works. {I’ve already accidentally broken a corner of the tray, which is annoying, since it goes with a very expensive extra-large greyhound sized dog crate that we were storing in the garage, but will need again someday.} We do have another same-sized bin that we could use underneath later on.

The kids and I cleaned out some of the garage today too, and did some paper shredding. So we have almost too many shreds, but also a week’s worth of veggie trimmings in there as well as some other odds and ends like cardboard, dryer lint, etc.

I’m hoping to pick up some worms this week so they can start munching!

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Worms, Reading List, Goose Count

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On my reading list this week:

Also, I found a local source for worms for the compost bin. Now I just need to coordinate a time to pick them up and maybe I’ll actually put the bin together this weekend (although I was kind of hoping to have the kids help construct it, and they’ll be at their mom’s this weekend. I guess I could wait until Monday). I’ve been saving veggie scraps, tea bags, etc. for a week and the amount is surprising. I mean, we are vegan, and we do cook mostly at home, but still!

Tomorrow I’m getting up at the crack of dawn to help with a Canada Goose bird count. So, most unfortunately, I have to attempt a highly unnatural bed time. But I feel it’s important that I help on this one—put some action behind my words.

Meditative, dirty, and just what I needed

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It finally warmed up a bit today. And I took advantage of it by spending a few hours planting some carrot, pea, and bean seeds, weeding as I went. I wish I had planted them a month ago, but the weather has been uninspiring, to say the least. Hopefully we’ll get some harvest by September before it starts freezing again. I can still fill in with some starts as I find them. Most of the kale starts are hanging in there—they’re hardy—except I can see that somebody munched on a few (probably the lone young male deer that’s been hanging around lately). Many of the kale seeds have germinated as well. We’re probably going to have more kale than we know what to do with at some point.

I also assisted my step-son in clearing a weed pile from the middle of the front lawn {adjacent to the veggie beds} so he could mow the lawn weeds. We started a good compost / weed pile at the end of the raised beds, with the aim of killing more grass and eventually extending the beds into that area. I also finally gave in and turned the sprinklers on and tested them: They’ve survived another winter. I don’t feel like we can afford to water the lawns right now, so I’ll can keep it to a minimum and concentrate needed water on the veggie beds.

Planting and weeding today was meditative, dirty, and just what I needed. I also did quite a bit of leisure reading this weekend, which I haven’t made a lot of time for lately, so that felt good. I didn’t get to constructing the worm bin, but I did start collecting veggie scraps. I’m waiting to hear back on purchasing some local worms (I have worms in the raised beds, but not enough to borrow for the compost). Late this evening, I spent a few hours editing our news for the next show. Tomorrow will be crunch day for that, as we have a show coming out Tuesday.

This will be a busy week: Some consulting work, last day of school for the kids is Wednesday, and I have several lunches and user group events on Tuesday and Wednesday. Also juggling summer kid plans and trying to figure out driver’s ed / insurance for the about to be 16-year-old. Yikes.

Contemplating composting

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I’ve been so out of sorts this week. And fighting a cold—or is it allergies? That would explain a lot.

Two books that I’ve enjoyed this week:

I was recently inspired by the following post (from a visitor to this blog) and am determined to start a worm compost bin soon. I’ve always let composting intimidate me, but this makes it seem easy:

http://soulsbyfarm.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/lets-build-a-worm-farm/

And then, maybe I can work my way up to some of the other techniques in the Composting book.

It’s almost Farmer’s Market time in Central Oregon

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Looong day of online InfoPath training and 4 more days to go. But hopefully very worth it. Time to wind down and not stay up too late, since I’ll need to get up at the crack of dawn again.

I just realized that the Farmer’s Market here in Bend opens on June 6. That’s a week from Wednesday! And since pretty much all I’ve managed to plant so far is lots of kale… Did you know that many Farmer’s Markets allow you to spend SNAP benefits?—What a great idea!

Unless some miracle occurs soon, I’m not signing up for a ½ CSA share this year. I’ve only been able to afford it one year (last). It’s hard coming up with that $300-350 at once, even though that’s small change when you consider how much we spend on groceries, and considering that you get a basket every week all summer into fall. Hmm, I wonder if anybody still has anything available? Most of the valley CSA’s will have been full since spring. There may be a chance of going with a local one. Although if we go extremely local we get started a little later than the rest (because of our short growing season here in the high desert) and we get less variety (less berries, etc.) I liked the local CSA we did last year—until they started buying animals to raise for meat and talking more and more about it and pretty soon every newsletter was, “look at these cute pigs we’re growing to eat,” and buy our “natural” beef… It really started to bum me out. And I don’t want to support somebody with my dollars that is going in that direction, no matter how much I like them. It’s too bad. There’s a newer one closer to Bend that does mostly veggies and is not yet certified organic, but I think they’re working on it. Maybe they’ll still have room.

Regardless, you’ll find me most Wednesday afternoons this summer at our downtown market. Since that’s early release day for the kids, it will probably revolve around getting them and then getting veggies. Good exposure for them, for sure.

Too much

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Ugh! Too much time working on the show today. Too much computer time. Too much busting my ass to be under-appreciated. Sigh.

I wish it didn’t take me a couple of hours to wind down and go to sleep, even if I’m out late.

But in better news, new consulting work option is promising and I should firm some stuff up tomorrow with that. Tuesday’s show is all done except for the intro, and even though I had really wanted to get that finished tonight, I should be able to pop in to the studio tomorrow mid day and get it done and uploaded. Then a free and mellow kid-less weekend.

Plant a few seeds. That’s the only plan.

Lazy gardening in Central Oregon

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Lazy gardening:

Yesterday, I finally got the kids to help me weed the rest of the raised garden bed, which is really just a long dirt mound with ill-defined borders. (We did most of the weeding two weeks ago.) And we planted the dozen little kale starts that I bought the other day, and some kale seeds of different varieties. Judging from two years ago, kale will grow well here, and will grow far into Fall.

If it seems really late to you to start planting things in the garden, please note: this is Central Oregon. The tomato plant I bought the same day as the starts has already bit it—there was an unexpected (to me) freeze about the second night after I planted it. Poor thing, what a waste.

So, without a green-house or those little dome thingies, there’s not really much of a way to get anything in the ground early around here. I could have done starts in the house. But things were too crazy, or so I tell myself. One year, I did a ton of starts. And most of them outgrew their containers and died before I could get them in the ground—because I had to wait too long for the weather to warm up.

I have a bunch of other seeds to plant and need to get them in this week. Then we’ll have some late summer / early fall veggies at least. And the strawberries, oregano, and a few stalks of garlic are growing themselves.

Sigh. I so do not have a green thumb, can you tell?