August 27, 2010

Updates So Good, You Could Eat Them

Here's an update on some of the vermicompost projects from this past season at my house:
  • Despite a freeze out in February, one of my tropical plants that was planted in 1/4 of worm casting lived through the catastrophe and is now residing happily on my deck during these tropical-like conditions in Pittsburgh- I haven't read any studies about castings providing additional protection during frosts, but you never know!
  • My cherry tomato and regular tomato plants planted in 1/3 worm castings had a great showing- probably about 20 little cherry tomatoes and so far about 10 regular tomatoes (4 more still green)- research shows that castings cause plants to have higher yields.
  • The other shrubs around my house got a dose of castings and have almost made it through their hottest summer yet...don't forget, the castings are able to retain more water than regular soil!
Delicious delicacies I've included the harvest in:
  • Spanish rice (DO NOT confuse green chilies with jalapenos! BIG MISTAKE!)
  • Chicken fajitas
  • Breakfast wraps (scrambled egg, cheese, and tomatoes)
  • Tomato sauce and marinara sauce
  • Grilled chicken and steak salads
  • Tomato and cucumber salad
Also, side note- a friend of mine's parents had a huge crop of cucumbers, and they introduced me to the easiest cucumber salad EVER: slice up the cucumbers in a big bowl, add some finely chopped onions, sea salt, and drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette.  Let it refrigerate over night, and get ready for the taste explosion!

Happy harvesting!

July 21, 2010

Paddle at the Point Timelapse


I had to throw in one last wormy post about the tomato plants I have growing on my deck guessed it...worm castings!

A great neighbor gave me three tomato and four cherry tomato plants, and I re-potted them in castings and (clay-like) dirt from under my steps.

They are doing magnificently with a million little tomatoes everywhere, and any day now I will be mixing up some delish tomato & mozzarella salad.

Worms are doing well and have been getting fed like crazy with the scraps from the great selection of fresh produce around this time of year. I have stepped up my culinary endeavors by making fruit salad, pasta salad, wraps, dips, and even some souped up sauces.

How did I know the tomatoes would flourish in the worm poo? Remember this pic from the past:
Here's the corresponding post in case you forgot or are a new reader.

Oh, and one more update from the Paddle at the Point- here is a great time lapse of the record breaking attempt that shows the whole event in a minute or so. Pay special attention when the monsoon arrives, about :35 seconds in...

June 6, 2010

Record Breakers on the Water

Mission Accomplished!

Even though it will take a few weeks to be 'OFFICIAL', it seems Pittsburgh was able to break the record for most kayaks and canoes in a flotilla at one time.

The estimate was 1800, but a helicopter photo will have to confirm.

Above was the line to get into the water. Here was the view from my kayak before the downpour:One last photo before the pod broke up and paddled back to shore in a complete monsoon:Just another record-breaking day in the 'Burgh!

May 31, 2010

Paddle at the Point

In the first of my not-necessarily-wormy topics, Paddle at the Point is June 5!

Did you ever pour over the Guinness Book of World Records to see which one you and your friends had the best chance of breaking, only to be let down when none of you could stand on one leg for 76 hours and 40 minutes?

If you live in Pittsburgh and have a canoe or kayak, you have the chance to redeem your childhood dream and get your name on the record roll call this Saturday at Point State Park, when the 'burgh tries to join over 1,200 canoes and kayaks in the world's longest flotilla.

Have a canoe or kayak? Click here to go to the Registration Page. It's f-r-double-e.

Just a landlubber who wants to get a look at what 1,200 canoes and kayaks will look like floating around the three rivers? Great views can be had from Point State Park, Station Square, or North Shore Riverfront Park.

Has anyone seen the weather for Saturday? Having just completed the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in an absolute monsoon, I have much higher hopes for the Paddle...

Also, it wouldn't hurt if the weather is above, say, 75 degrees and sunny, since myself and [insert lucky person's name here!] will be pulling this off in ocean kayaks, sitting majestically on top of the water and not-so-majestically in a little bit of the river (given the holes in the bottom).

The next time I blog, I will be a Guinness World Record holder!

May 19, 2010

Lilliworm or Lilliworld?

So my wormy blogs are getting fewer and farther between. It's not that the worms aren't alive and well- because they are- and it's not that they aren't producing loads of castings- because they are- it's just that now that I have the hang of this and they do just fine with little intervention from me, I'm kinda...well...bored!

I know, I know! I bred these little critters up from one small pound, worked tirelessly on a business plan and website, had a great logo designed, and planned an entire worm empire! I bought special bags and little worm tea bags and wrote brochures and postcards! I have a huge worm colony and work area in my basement! I know!

Maybe there is more to learn, but I think I know enough to know I'm kinda wormed out. My real job takes up so much time right now that worms are starting to seem like work, too.

So, Lilliworm is at a crossroad. My first idea was to change the blog name to Lilliworld so I can talk about other interesting organic-y and healthy topics, yet still include some wormy updates.

What to do, what to do?

March 27, 2010

Sharing the Worm Love!

This morning, I attended a small craft and garden show and distributed some free Lilliworm vermicompost to the guests and residents at Arrowwood.

Packaging the samples went quickly- I lined the small cotton bags with a wax paper bag and dumped about one and half cups of castings in each. I could fit about twenty bags into a medium size box, and I gave out about thirty-five to forty samples.

It was a great day, and I think I said the word "compost" about a million times! I hope everyone liked their samples and it makes their plants grow like weeds!

With my real job taking up so much of my time, I have been feeding the worms less often but with more per feeding. Whereas I used to feed them maybe once a week with one bowl, I have dropped back to maybe once every two weeks with two bowls and whatever else works that's going bad in the fridge.

I turned the crank on the bin a bunch more times and have a lot of vermicompost drying out in the bottom- which is good- 'tis the season for planting!

February 15, 2010


Our area has been in a deep freeze, and we had a power outage here at worm central for 3 days. When we returned, the thermometer said 41 degrees- INSIDE THE HOUSE! did the worms fare?

I went down for a feeding today fearing the worst- a bin full of wormsicles. I mean, if it was 41 degrees upstairs, it probably went below 40 downstairs.

I opened the bin and stuck in my gloved hand, and guess what?


Although they did seem a little sparser than usual, there were worms squirming around and they sure looked happy to see the funky scraps headed their way.

I have read different articles and sites saying that their environment should not go below 50 degrees. That might be true for the masses, but I have some serious SURVIVOR WORMS!

YAY to the hardy wormies for surviving snowmegeddon, snowpocolypse, blizzard extrordinaire of 2010!