Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Adventures in Vermiculture

Suzanne Carter-Jackson/iStockphoto

Deciding on Worms

For our household, composting goes hand in hand with recycling.  We have a compost bin outside, and a pail on our counter for scraps.  

One day I opened the compost bin to find a nice fat rat staring me boldly in the face!  He was totally unabashed and never scat so I could toss in my scraps.  

I gathered pretty quick that I had some things to learn about composting.   

Worm Factory

Having always been interested in worms, I hesitated trying them here because the Texas climate is so hot and dry in the summer.  

There were so many questions...
Would they stink?
How do hundreds/thousands of worms not make any noise?
Would they escape?

Dad Takes Matters in Hand

Well, this past Christmas my dad got me WORMS!  

I think he just LOVES telling everyone that he got my sister and me worms for Christmas.

(My sister got him 3 garbage bags of freshly shoveled horse...droppings!)

Anyway...back to the worms.  Dad got the worms started in his greenhouse in December and soon after Christmas, my little darlings were home!

I was excited at first to welcome hundreds of worms into our home. 

Unfortunately, they weren't alone.

Fruit flys were EVERYWHERE!!!!!

Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

Here's how we conquered the alien invaders!

1.  All fruit and veg were put into the fridge.

2.  We mixed up fruit fly bait!

Mama Margaret's Not-So-Secret Fruit Fly Bait
apple cider vinegar
liquid dish soap
plastic wrap
Mix 1-2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar with a few drops of liquid dish soap.  
Cover with plastic wrap.
Poke a few holes in plastic wrap
Set on counter

The fruit fly bait drowned them, but the smell seemed to make the more ACTIVE and reproductive.  Maybe I missed a step?

3.  The worms were banished to the garage.

4.  Finally ordered refills for our fruit fly trap!

Fruit flys~ALL GONE!

Now that we haven't seen a pesky little fly in more than 2 weeks, we are prepared to welcome our worms into our home again!!

I'm almost ready to add the 2nd tray!

Details to come!

Dig a hole

Bury the food

Cover with Damp Newspaper

We've gotten to use a lot of compost tea to fertilize our plants!  So nutritious!  

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