Archive for March, 2012

Step by Step Instructions on how to build your very own Worm Composting Bin. This is a 5 minute project. I completed it in 3 minutes with a cold beer in one hand. You can buy worms locally or from several sources online. I purchased 2lbs of Red Wigglers online for $29.99.

Here’s all you need:
2 Rubbermaid  tubs (or cheap knock-off like these) or some old 5 gal buckets.
2 blocks (in this case a couple 2×4 pieces)
Shredded Paper (I find that worms like bill  collection letters the best)
Kitchen Scraps (no meat or dairy products just veggies)
Crushed egg shells (provide calcium)
Cheerios and coffee grounds (with filter)
Worms (Red Wigglers or Eisenia foetida, are the best compost worms)
Drill (2 bits 1/8″ and 1/4″)

Step 1: Drill 1/8″ holes in the top (for oxygen) and 1/4″ holes in the bottom for worm juices. In 1 tub.


Step 2: Place a couple of 2×4’s (as spaces) in the bottom of the nu-drilled tub. Place Drilled tub on to the spacers, fill drilled tub about a third with shredded paper.


Step 3: Add crushed egg shells (great source of slow release calcium and can also act as a buffer, essentially helping to prevent excessively acidic conditions from developing.) and Cheerios (Worms like Cheerios).


Step 4: Add kitchen scraps (no meat, nothing greasy, no citrus,) veggie scraps and worms.


Step 5: Add some water. Worms like it moist and dark. Drill holes in top and leave em alone. In 90 Days you’ll have the best organic fertilizer and your plants will love you for it.


Interesting Worm Facts:

  • There are over 4,000 species of earthworms.
  • There are only about 6 species that are used for vermicomposting.
  • Earthworms don’t have lungs, but instead breathe through their skin as long as it stays moist.
  • Red Wigglers can consume up to 50% of their body weight per day
  • Earthworms are hermaphrodites yet it still takes two worms to reproduce.
  • Worms don’t have eyes , but are sensitive to light.
  • Worms have no teeth for chewing food. They grind food in their gizzard by muscle action.
  • A worm’s mouth is in the first anterior segment. There is a small protruding lip just over the mouth, called prostomium. When the worm is foraging, this lip is stretching out. The prostomium is for sensing food.
  • You’ll be able to compost your kitchen scraps 10 times faster when compared to composting without them.
  • One pound (16 ounces) of worms equals about 1,000 worms
  • One pound of Red Wiggler worms can eat about half pound of organic matter every day.

Why should you start a Worm Farm?

  • Remove excess waste from landfills & reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Worms produce the best organic fertilizer
  • Worm castings are five times richer in nutrients than the best topsoil and worm castings are pH neutral.
  • Great treats for chickens and great for fishing.
  • Worms make great friends. They just listen to you all day and never interrupt.
  • If you’ve read this far, you’re crazy enough to do it.

What is Vermicomposting?
Worms and microorganisms convert organic materials to a beneficial soil amendment. The worms breakdown food scraps into nutrient rich compost.

Feed Worms:

  • Vegetable scraps
  • Fruit scraps and peels (mold/rot is fine)
  • Bread and grains
  • Coffee grounds (+ filters) and tea bags
  • Crushed egg shells
  • Napkins, paper towels

Don’t Feed Worms:

  • Citrus
  • Meats, fish
  • Greasy foods
  • Dairy products
  • Twigs and branches
  • Dog/cat feces, cat litter

You can leave the bin inside your house (there’s no smell) or you can build up a small army of worms and take over the world or just add them to your compost pile mid-summer. Or even better, start a Worm Farm (like Harry and Lloyd in ‘Dumb & Dumber‘) and call it I Got Worms.

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The garden is cleaned and ready for tilling. This warm weather is so great. We’ve got such a jump on the season, it’s crazy! How do you feel about tilling? I know a lot of people believe in ‘no-tilling’ What are your thoughts? It works for some smaller plots but is very difficult on larger areas.


Planted about 300 heirloom tomato seeds from http://www.tomatofest.com/ I found some Jiffy pellets greenhouse kits at Discount Drug Mart for $5ea. It was a steal. I couldn’t pass it up. Sure, I could have got some potting soil from the store and used some old yogurt containers but it was just simpler and more efficient to go this route…..


Hold off green judgement till my Earth Day rant coming up in just 35 days. My friend Hanna at This Garden is Illegal does a fantastic Earth Day rant and I liked it so much, I’m going to start it this year too. Thanks Hanna! Anyways, I digress….

We also spent the weekend cleaning up the chicken coop and preparing for our new arrivals in 2 weeks. We gave away our older hens to people in need and we’re getting a brand new flock of 10-12 week old Golden Comets on March 31st. We’ll miss our old girls but instead of killing them, we thought it was better to give them away to a good home.



Our weather in the Midwest is crazy warm, it was 76 degrees yesterday! Normally it snows every St. Paddy’s Day until Halloween in our neck of the woods.. so this is amazing.


Jake, Mindy and I were enjoying the warm weather Saturday by relaxing on the the deck with a few cocktails.

I did find time to hang up Z’s swing. She isn’t sure if she likes it or not yet but I’m sure a few more pushes and she won’t want to be let out of it. I had to move the bird-feeder but they didn’t seem to mind.

Ohh and great news! My friend Denise Ellsworth from Ohio State University Honey bee and native pollinator educator will be writing a ‘Guest Blog’ for us next month.

I’m so very excited. If you haven’t already, sign up for the OSU Entomology Mailing List Have a great Sunday everybody!

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Such a great post from our friends at Soilentgreens that I just had to share. This whole Monsanto situation is just getting more and more frightening each day. This article is packed with great info and great links.


A fellow blogger asked me to expound on the topic of heirloom/organic vs. hybrid/organic seeds. I’ve been putting it off because the subject is bigger than just seeds and begs a much more detailed account of what “sustainability” means to me and my partner. To answer the question simply though, Heirloom/organic = sustainable/healthy; Non-heirloom/non-organic = non-sustainable/potentially unhealthy. Heirloom seeds produce fruits and vegetables that in turn produce seeds that will make the same fruit and vegetable, over and over again, year after year. Non-heirloom, or hybrid or GMO seeds, do not. (That is not to say that all hybridized seeds are genetically modified. It is just a line that we’ve drawn in our personal sand about our purchases.)

First up, for those who are curious about the various types of seeds available out there, you have a ton of choices, and not all are created equal. They might each come…

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I want to hear all your thoughts. Please Leave comments. Happy Sunday everyone!

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According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20, 2012, at 1:14 A.M. Let the countdown begin! If you live in the Midwest region of the U.S. (like us) you better get your seeds started inside to get a jump on summer. Now is the time to start: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Leeks, Onions and most importantly  Peppers, Tomatoes. A lot of seeds can be sown directly into the earth but these guys need a head start.

Get your order into Baker Creek (my favorite seed company that only sells heirloom seeds and NO GMO’s) There is also a really cool site that you type in your zip code and it figures out when you should start what veggie. http://sproutrobot.com/ If you don’t know how to start seeds inside I have to quote the movie Tommy Boy by saying “I’d have to hit you in the back of the head with a tack hammer.” Cause it’s that easy…. Get some seeds, some dirt, a couple of lights and wait.

Soon, it’ll be planted and you’ll have fresh veggies on the horizon, like these cherry tomatoes. I plant cherry (or grape) tomatoes just to munch them fresh off the plant while I’m working in the garden. They’re so sweet and delicious.


Corn you sow directly into the ground and in 75 short days it looks like this. Nothing is better in the summer than hand picked (in the morning) sweet corn roasted on the grill.

Ahhh Spring flowers from last season. I always plant a lot of flowers around the garden to attract pollinators  and of course there’s the aesthetic reasons…



I miss our goats. They were a funny pair around the farm.


Also, one quick question for any soil experts out there. We’ve had an extremely mild winter in Ohio. Usually at this time of the year, the ground is frozen solid 30″ deep. This year, it’s been so warm the ground never froze. My question is; What effect on the soil does this mean? Since it never froze did the insects never die? Did the bacteria never break down?

Not all bugs are bad. My upcoming post will discuss beneficial insects for your garden. Like this praying mantis I snapped a picture of in the rear field. After that post I’ll be going over “Making Your own Worm Farm” with Red Wigglers.

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