May 8, 2013

We've got Worms!

    That's right we have worms and we're proud!  How often do you hear that sentiment?  First let me lay your worries to rest neither of the puppies have worms, they're healthy as always.  As far as I know chickens don't get worms, they do eat them but they don't get sick with worms.  Guess how many worms we have?
  How does 2,000 worms sound?  That's right we are the proud owners of 2,000 red crawler worms.  They just arrived yesterday and I'm so psyched.  Now I do have to admit that I, just like Indiana Jones, am an Ophidiophobic, so even the thought of worms wriggling everywhere does give me the hee-bee gee-bees.  So what would possess me to purchase 500 squirming creatures?  Why composting of course.
     If you'll recall a few months ago I shared my desire to compost as much of our household waste as possible.  Not only is it better for the environment it also has the added benefit of being a glorious addition to our gardens.  Since that time I've been doing a bit of research on composting and found quite a few different techniques that we're going to venture into, thus the need for hundreds of worms.
     First we're building worm towers. I found an incredible resource that I've been visiting a bit recently: I truly wished I lived closer to Nebraska as I would be attending their workshops.  Who knows maybe I'll convince hubby that a week at a permaculture camp is a vacation?  Anyway they are incredibly generous with sharing training information on their blog and that's where I first learned about worm towers.  Instead of me trying to explain it I thought using their info-graphic would be so much better.
     As usual being the cheapskate that I am I didn't want to spend the money on the PVC pipe, so I headed down the street to the Habitat restore and was able to get 6  2' pipes for $1; they really need a frequent shopper discount card cause I'd have that baby filled in no time.  Hubby took the pipes to work and made the holes.  We are placing them between the bales of hay with the thought that the worms will leave behind their happy casings for the corn growing in the hay.
    My second plan is something a bit off the beaten track.  Like many of you who are the proud parents of four legged offspring I hate cleaning up their outside messes, it is a huge pain.  Now I came across this interesting (though unverifiable) fact:  LIPA USA Reports, “3.6 billion pounds of dog waste/year is produced in the United States alone, equaling 800 football fields, one foot high.” I strive to be sure that anything I quote is verifiable and was hesitant to share this as I am unable to track down the original source despite it being shared numerous times on the Internet.  The only LIPA I could find was the Long Island Power Association and why they would be talking about this topic I have no clue. Whether true or not the number doesn't seem that off-base when you think about the amount of dogs there are in the US and I swear there are times my two are looking to contribute a daily world record. With all of that info stored away onto my plan.
     I found out that worms absolutely love dog poop.  So we have built ourselves a Dog Poo Wormery.  Now it is important to note that the fertilizer created in this wormery is NOT, I repeat NOT,  to be used in the vegetable garden but rather on flowers and grass and such.  There are a number of sites on the Internet willing to sell you a dog wormery.  There are also other designs which create a type of dog poo sewer, however I liked the simple stacking containers design (similar to the cartoon), again because it was so inexpensive and it is the same as we're using for the chicken poop wormery.
    Finally we will be adding some worms to our already existing composting bins and it never hurts to have lots of worms.  From my research I've learned that it can take up to three months for a worm "community" to become established, hopefully I'll have updates before then.
     Who knows maybe we'll use some worms and go fishing.... NAH but I do foresee some lovely chicken treats in the near future!
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