Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mom, we have 203 pets!

So said my eight-year-old daughter this evening, in reference to the fact that we now are the proud owners of our twenty-month old labradoodle, two domestic rats and now two-hundred red wriggler compost worms! Had you told me a few years ago that I would be a worm farmer, I'm not sure I would have believed you.  But alas, this evening my four year old and I embarked upon a new journey which involved creating a home for our kitchen food devouring new pets; which we hope will aid our little urban garden with some natural pesticide free compost in the upcoming months.

Of course a lot has changed besides just Henry and his health. As our family has been eating more fresh produce and organic foods, it has become blatantly obvious that healthy food is expensive. I've been slowly trying to figure out how to grow my own fresh produce, and I can tell you for certain that I do NOT have a naturally green thumb, it is closer to yellow, which has often been the color of my wilting house plants.

My efforts started with a curiosity about how amy neighbors on both sides of me seemly grew their flowers to robust proportions.  Somehow all this gardening I saw them doing became "catching."  In an effort to make my front yard a little more presentable (compaired to theirs)  I started adding little things at a time.  The more I practiced it, the better I've became, although I am still learning.   The more I garden, the more I enjoyed it and wondered how I had not known about this hobby years before?   It is so fun for the kids to watch something start as a seed and then bloom into a plant and then something that is actually edible.  I think I am actually more facinated than the kids. I watch in total amazement and school girl glee as I see that little sproutling pop up.  It's such a miracle to me! Also it is shear proof of God's existence that anything I plant actually grows into something wonderful!

My "green" journey and conviction to "conserve" and take care of the earth, began when my husband got laid off the same day that I found out I was pregnant with Henry.   It was then that I was forced to be more thoughtful simply because I was trying to conserve money.   In doing so, I became more thoughtful and convicted that God commands us to take care of the earth and its resources. In a desire to also be able to GIVE more, I tried to find realistic ways to save more.  I found switching to cloth diapers and no longer purchasing paper towels helped that effort.  I also tried to find more natural cleaning products or made them my own.

At the time, I wanted to start composting, but I didn't for two reasons.  One, I was overwhelmed with Henry's G-tube and couldn't really take the time to figure out the "how's" of composting.  Secondly, I live in a town house and wasn't sure that my neighbors would appreciate heaping piles of trash within feet from their home.   Yet, considering that they weren't picking up their own pets droppings, it's possible they may not have noticed the smell of rotting food that paled in comparison, but that is a different story entirely.

So now that we are in a place of healing, the G-tube is gone and life is a bit easier; it seems the proper time to purchase two-hundred worms and start a farm in my basement! All joking aside, I've been researching the worm composting idea for quite some time and it seems a great alternative to stinky compost pile on my small patio.  So here are some reasons to start your own bin and I'm sure we'll come up with more as I share the progress of our worm’s growth and development over the next few months.   Be sure to check back for some pictures!

Reasons to start your own worm compost bin

1. The healthiest known compost is vermicompost, filled with all kinds of nutrient rich soil and worm casings to help your plants thrive

2. Worms are cool and kids dig them, literally

3. Throw your kitchen scraps into a bin and watch them disappear, how cool is that?

4. Worm compost doesn't stink

5. You are reducing waste and doesn't that just make you feel great!

6. Free compost--yes, we love things that are free!

7. Worm composting is easy, the entire project took me about 20 minutes including purchasing the worms--more to come on how to get it set up!

8. You'll just want to peek in there and see what in the world they are doing? What? Eating a pound of kitchen waste a week--amazing!