Kids are out of school and summer is in full swing. It’s only been a few weeks, but we, including the flora and fauna are settled right into the rhythm of its abundant days and balmy nights. Our milkweed is finally growing well beyond it’s primary leaves, we have a resident owl in our front yard box, the daddy cardinals and mother woodpeckers are feeding and fledging their babes in our yard, our coreopsis and other wildflower varieties are maturing to seed… and I can finally find some time to write about it (and more in future posts).
In the interim, just a few days before school let out our caterpillar decided it was time to finish its bulking, drop its final load and find its roost.
Earlier on, my sick child helped me clean out the worm composter while she was home from school recovering from a fever. Very exciting business on her part – she’d been begging me for months. Beware of what might be just gross pictures to the average person below. But we think there’s another pretty amazing transformation going on in our funky buckets.
I picked up these crazy gang of annelids from a veterinarian friend who was growing an abundance in her own high level vermi-condo, but she started off with something like this bag of 1,200 from your Big Brother provider.
I use the cheap 5 gallon buckets to create my condos and keep them in a cool dry place. As long as you follow the recipe and researched guidelines, they do not smell and do not attract any pests. As long as you provide the appropriate proportion of dry bedding and chopped organic wet food (and of course a temperature regulated environment with good ventilation), it is a slow breakdown that you can literally forget about for several weeks at a time. My worm enabling friend uses this multilevel stacking system with a drain spoutas she prefers that ease of maintenance. I don’t mind putting my kids to work and getting our hands a little dirty with our humble setup. As for their classrooms, I wish every one of them kept something like this side-by-side viewer!
Every one of their peers should appreciate where their organic (and inorganic) garbage goes and its amazing potential. For an in-depth breakdown of how to vermicompost in the classroom (and at home!) from Cornell University, check out this article: http://compost.css.cornell.edu/worms/basics.html.