Vermicomposting, or WTF

Hot Compost 1   Hot Compost 2   Hot Compost 3

Ok, so I have a very active colony of soldier grubs hanging out in my compost. I first discovered them a week ago and I gotta say, they freaked me out. At first glance, it seemed like my compost may have an infestation and be unusable. And while it’s definitely overrun, apparently the creepy crawlies are enriching the pile.

Isn’t he so cute?

During the week I buried a whole rotted cabbage, an entire watermelon rind, a pineapple rind, and various other scraps. Want to see what’s left of all of that? (And I did a thorough turning today, so this is certainly ALL that is left:)

Pretty cool, right? Well now it’s time to get really grossed out. I didn’t have my camera with me when I first surprised the baby soldiers, so it’s a crappy phone pic, but I think you’ll get the gist.

Holy WTF

I really wished I had some nice big fat hens to toss these guys to. But at least I did fetch my husband some bait. I could hear them crawling around in the container.  Heebie jeebies!!!

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Today in the Garden

This morning brought the best harvest so far. A couple of big pink brandywines, two zucchinis, a few small peppers and several golden sunbursts.

Still covered with a bit of dirt and dew

This was our first zucchini and although I initially intended on simmering it with the tomatoes and peppers to go along with our chicken parm this evening, Gordon requested zucchini bread. I couldn’t refuse, since zucchini bread was the reason I grew it at all. Each of my boys made a special request in the garden, and the zucchini was his.  The bread turned out pretty yummy!

This morning also brought news of another lost tomato plant.  Same death as my djeena’s golden girl. Droopy with a rotted stem. I blamed the wobbliness of my supports along with too much moisture. Well, the moisture is right. We’ve gotten a lot of rain. But after doing some reading, I think it’s southern blight.

And I have no idea what this potato-leafed beauty was, since he never produced a tomato. The tallest, most beautiful plant with lots of flowers and no fruit. I began interfering with pollination, but nothing seemed to take.

I wonder if I used djeena’s bamboo stake in this plant’s bag. I really hope so. If not, there is at least one more casualty coming, because I used it somewhere…..

I put him in the burn barrel and am attempting (feebly?) to use solar heat to kill the fungus so I can safely add the soil back to the compost.

And speaking of compost, I have a nice hot pile in process right now. It’s bigger than it looks. (Hehe)

But when opening the pile to rotate and add to it, I unearthed about infinity of these little maggoty dudes. My lighting was too low to get a good shot of the madness. So all I have is a picture of a couple in my gloved hand. What the fuck are they? Are they vermicomposting or are they infesting? Next mystery to solve, I guess.

A Big Old Steaming Pile of Crap: Compost part 3

Hot Compost 1   Hot Compost 2   Vermicomposting

It was getting dark out and I wasn’t wearing my glasses, but I’m pretty sure my compost pile is already looking more dirt like. This is after I pulled all of the cooler external stuff away to prepare for the turning:

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Don’t mind the fresh grass clippings. They are getting their own pile that will probably be a quick stinky experiment, unless I can get some browns mixed in. But eh, I’ve already got one baby to look after and I’m sure we aren’t burning up those brush piles or picking up more leaves any time soon. I refuse to buy compost materials. Maybe I’ll rip up some cardboard. Or maybe I’ll just add some kitchen waste and watch the whole thing turn into a smelly nitrogen-charged raccoon fest until it spontaneously combusts.

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(R.I.P. friend)

Ok, so then I dug into the center and started pulling the hot stuff open, creating a space for the cooler stuff to be rotated in.  Look at it in all its steamy goodness:

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I found quite a bit of white powdery crap that I think means my temp is too high? Not sure and too lazy to look it up. But anyway, the pile doesn’t stink. It smells a bit nice, actually. Or I’m just effed up.

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Lying in my warm pile of rotting junk post turn. This is a good look for me. Gravity is my friend. Oh yeah, this pile is full of piss. Awesome. Oh well, we’re family. It’s nowhere as bad as sitting on a public toilet after some hovercraft of a lady has not been neat or wiped the seat. Of course that lady probably didn’t drop a million centipedes and spiders out of her crotch either.

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Smokin’ Stuff: part 2

Hot Compost 1   Hot Compost 3   Vermicomposting

We used to have a pool. Now we have color coded sturdy lidded buckets. Guess which bucket has the piss in it?  The other two buckets contained my “water supply” (air quotes) and some kitchen scraps.  I thought that since we’d gotten a bit of rain today that I’d end up with a beautifully soaked pile of compost material after a couple of trips back to the hose, which is incredibly far away.  Like stupidly so.  Oh yeah, and look at that “rake”. Ok, so it is an actual rake, but was in no way a proper tool for the job.  Basically I got to my compost site, tossed a five gallon drop of water onto a dry sponge, moved twelve blades of grass with my flimsy plastic rake, and realized that I was way out of my league. The pile laughed at my pitiful attempt. Continue reading “Smokin’ Stuff: part 2”

Smokin’ Hot Garbage-y Fun

Hot Compost 2   Hot Compost 3   Vermicomposting

OK — So it’s time to set the foundation of all of our endeavors.  And where better to begin than the plan for our waste?  Everything we do produces a by-product.  And it was never more evident than moving out of one place and into another.  (Mountains of crap.)  So in order to make us more efficient participants of life, I’m going to try my hand at hot-composting.  Eeek.  But I like ratios and trying to perfect formulas.  This should be fun.  So Gordon drove around picking up a bunch of leaves (trying to find our driveway and grass in the front yard) while I made a base of twigs taken from one of the many, many, many brush piles blocking off the more dense part of the woods.  Then we made this:

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Continue reading “Smokin’ Hot Garbage-y Fun”