Better Luck This Year?

The other night, my dear husband and I hopped off to the hardware store to get supplies for starting out seedlings indoors. Last year was so dreadful. Cold, wet, windy, nothing grew. We had to BUY seedlings. After PLANTING seeds. It was horrible. All that work. ILLINOIS HATED ME LAST YEAR. We had a terrible crop, I got, maybe 5 tomatoes, about 3 peppers and my body weight in zucchini, because ya can’t upset those apparently. Ridiculous. We didn’t even recoup our loss in paying for everything. Well, we were awful busy last year as well. But STILL. I refuse defeat!

This year, A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN WILL BE MINE! Starting with grow lights!

We already had a bench and light fixtures, we just needed the bulbs and to redneck rig something up. Okay, fine, it wasn’t a true redneck rig job as we did PURCHASE a few things.

wpid-20150225_181911.jpg

a little of this

wpid-20150225_181923.jpg

a little of that

wpid-20150225_181904.jpg

LET THERE BE LIGHT!

Crisis 1 averted, now I took my afternoon off to plant the little seedlings. Funny story. I am excellent at hiding things from myself. Could not, for the life of me, find them. Where are they? Probably the last place I look. Obviously. That, I am not even kidding, took me an hour. I’m really good at Easter Egg hiding. *bang head here*

I scooped out some great compost from my worm bin and made mud pies. Because who doesn’t like making mud pies? Packed that into pots and planted three tiny seeds in each. In alphabetical order. Labeling them proved to be useless. I used masking tape and it just bled right off. So I’ll be singing the alphabet.

wpid-20150227_145028.jpg

this is for my future referrance

wpid-20150227_144100.jpg

found a worm egg, the brown spot towards the center

Lastly, lest you dream of me living in a winter wonderland, for those of you who maybe do not have to deal with 16″ of snow, enjoy how not pretty it is:

wpid-20150226_172003.jpg

pictured: not pretty.

It’s not all bad. Have some pretty pictures too:

wpid-20150204_121328.jpg

outside of cortland, il

wpid-20150202_082337.jpg

outside of where I work.

 wpid-20150202_075739.jpgTHIS IS WHAT IT IS LIKE TO DRIVE THROUGH. I was (obviously) the passenger. 

Is it spring yet? And, who’s starting a garden!?!

Advertisements

So, What to Do With the Worms?

Whelp, I’m in a pickle. Not just because I meant to post this yesterday. The siren song of “sit down and drink a hard cider after work” over came the desire to post about my worms. I’m in a pickle because I’m not sure how I am going to harvest this beast of a worm bin without leaving my dear wormies behind.

wpid-20140606_090443.jpgyou could put a body in there!

wpid-20140606_090518.jpgfinally they started eating those pants.

Last year, I dug all the compost out, did the pyramid thing, which, um, sounds fun until you realize you have like, three more hours to go. Basically, you dump your bin onto a tarp on a sunny day. Shape the compost into a pyramid, the worms dive to the middle, scrape off the sides for worm free compost, repeat until sunburn. It’s fun for like the first hour.

Sooooo, my next plan of attack was to collect the compost that seeps out of the bottom of the bin, like it did last year. Which for whatever reason is not happening this year. Damn.

Ok, now what? We used last year’s compost on the garden and this will be for the fall/houseplants/next year. So I’ve got some time to noodle something out. Thankfully, Red Worm Composting exists and it might be the most amazing worm site ever. The guy who does it is funny, interesting and very nice. Also, I think he knows everything.

For the moment, I decided to split my worm bin. One half would be completed compost, the other, fresh bedding and food. Delicious food scraps stolen from the mouth of the garbage. I freeze my scraps so they break down faster.

wpid-20140606_091007.jpgyummo!

As you can see, the compost section is pretty much ready to go, if I can just get the worms out of there.

wpid-20140606_091309.jpgputting the worms to bed

I just really don’t want to do the pyramid thing again. I burned my butt last time. No joke. I was wearing a hoodie and pants and apparently the pants did not meet up with the hoodie and unbeknownst to me, my butt got sunburned and the aloe vera spared me a leaf. Just an FYI, aloe vera does work on sunburns. You take the fattest leaf on the bottom, split it open down the middle and scoop the goop (completely unrelated but funny link). You can save either a portion of the leaf or the goop in the fridge. So what to do this time? I might eventually give in and get a real worm house, put that on the wedding registry! But until then, I’m going to do some heavy duty reading at Red Worm Composting. There’s probably 10000000000000000000000000000000000000 better ideas there than I would ever have on my own!

That all might have to wait for another day, today we’re going out to lunch with the future Grandma In Law, which should be pretty fun. I personally love talking to older people. They are funnier than you are, dirtier than you are, they’ve done it all before and they know a whole hell of a lot more than you. Plus, sometimes you get really good cookies out of the deal. Win-win!

Have a great weekend, everyone! 😀

Playing in the Worm Bin

Just went down stairs to check on them and feed them. Took some pictures for you to enjoy!

wpid-20140205_111221.jpgnot much going on with the pair of jeans. kind of disappointed.

wpid-20140205_111128.jpgwas a pineapple.

wpid-20140205_111629.jpgsomething trying to grow

wpid-20140205_111137.jpggarlic trying to grow

wpid-20140205_111709.jpgbaby worm!

wpid-20140205_111544.jpgit’s not ripe anymore.

wpid-20140205_111302.jpgmess o worms

wpid-20140205_111343.jpgwe like pineapple!

wpid-20140205_111442.jpgand eggshells!

wpid-20140205_111903.jpgworm egg

wpid-20140205_111246.jpgit’s a party

wpid-20140205_111400.jpgnow back to work! eat my garbage!!!

Regrow romaine? Take One!

So I keep seeing among my craftier friends Facebook posts how to “re-grow” your romaine from the butt end of a store bought one. Out of all the things I’ve seen grow in my worm bin (garlic, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, et cetera) I have never once seen romaine try to grow. However, since I freeze my clippings first, I decided to give this a swing and try to eat it myself, instead of the worms.

Day one:

wpid-20140124_101657.jpgmakin’ a salad. a huge salad, apparently.

wpid-20140124_101745.jpgI SAY GROW NOW, DARN YOU!

wpid-20140124_101804.jpgdo you think anyone will notice it among the plant hoard? oh, look, there is a greyhound sized tennis ball hiding with the plants too.

So that’s basically it. Now we wait to see what happens!

feeding the worm herd

As my freezer was overflowing with kitchen scraps, I had to feed the worms today and took some pictures so everyone can enjoy!

wpid-20140116_084046.jpgthe top of the worm bin. i know, it’s very full. please note the old pair of jeans. they’ll get eaten eventually. it’s a 50 gallon bin, i believe

wpid-20140116_083931.jpgfor breakfast, we have coffee grounds, the remainder of a pineapple, some celery, romaine and butt ends of peppers.

wpid-20140116_084102.jpg

to the right, you’ll see the remainder of a basil plant that was left outside this winter. in the center are some egg shells.

wpid-20140116_084137.jpg

the middle is/was a carrot and there is a red onion skinwpid-20140116_084218.jpg

hungry little worms!wpid-20140116_084300.jpgi’ve read that you’re not supposed to feed worms pineapple, but they seem to like it, it’s hard to tell, but that is the last pineapple. not much left. also i have a large bin and a large population.

So that’s the tour! Hope you enjoyed! When I have more time, I’ll dig around a bit and give you a real tour, but I didn’t feel like digging around today.