August 29, 2013

From Bark Box to Worm Wigwam!

As much as I love worms, I love my dogs even more!

If you haven't already, meet Benjamin and Franklin. Ben and Frank try to be as green as possible.
Bark Box
You may have heard stories about people vermicomposting their pet waste- and that is definitely not where this story is headed- no worries!

The boys tend to get bored easily, and we are always on the lookout for new toys and treats- which is how I found a snappy little service called Bark Box.

Every month, Bark Box delivers a package of snacks and fun straight to our doorstep:
Bark Box
All we had to do was tell them what size dogs we had (small & cute/just right/big & bold) and how long of a subscription we wanted (monthly/3 month/6 month).

Then, on the 15th of every month- voila! Instant canine happiness! Typically, the box includes 3-5 different types of treats, a toy, and one "thing that makes you go hmmmm".

The treats are natural/organic, the toys have proven to be quite durable (none destroyed yet!), and the "thing that makes you go hmmmm" has ranged from dog beer to dog smoothies.

As an added bonus, they share plenty of opportunities for you to earn extra months or share a discount with others. (PS- If you order one using my secret code E813867031, you'll get $5 off and Ben & Frank get an extra month added!)

So how, you ask, did the Bark Box eventually benefit the worm wigwam?

You might remember that the worms LOVE corrugated cardboard bedding. After the Bark Box was delivered, this happened:
cardboard worm bin bedding
And after some quick soaking in rain water, that Bark Box went straight to the worms!
worm wigwam
Bark Box has all the pets in our house- four-legged and no-legged - waiting for the middle of the month!


August 21, 2013

OG2013 Keeps Going & Going...Thanks to the Worms!

The Worm Wigwam continues to provide a sturdy, safe place for my worms to turn our kitchen and paper scraps into fluffy, organic garden superfood, AKA vermicompost.

And OG2013 (Organic Garden 2013 for you newbies!) is still going strong thankfully- the lettuce is unstoppable; cucumbers are plentiful; blackberries keep blooming; even the tomatoes are finally living up to their potential.

A few weeks ago, I took you on a quick journey back through my life and times with the Wigwam, but now it's time for a current worm bin update!

Recent summer scrap-portunities using my family worm bowls have been pretty berry/banana/lettuce heavy, with the exception of one minor incident where my dad included pizza crust (whaaaa? I said ORGANIC SCRAPS!). 

Here's one that's almost ready for feeding: 
worm food
Worm Central, AKA the corner of my basement, has really grown over the past few years. I have table space to put the display, cotton bags for shipping worms or vermicompost, and the rest of my organic garden tools and seeds:
worm wigwam and vermicomposting station
 Once the lid is lifted, things have been looking pretty normal- including some random seed sprouts:
worm wigwam vermicomposting
Being the curious worm farmer that I am, I can never resist pulling back the top layer and admiring the worm herd!
worm wigwam vermicompost
And what does all this amount to, you ask?

Amazing organic fertilizer!

For the flowers around my house, I mixed it into the dirt before planting (about a 1 part vermicompost to 3 parts soil), and have added a few tablespoons to the base of each plant twice this summer:
In OG2013, I added a heavy dose of vermicompost mixed in with the soil over the winter, and again when I planted the seedlings. I did one other application of a few teaspoons to the base of each plant one other time this summer, and I still have blackberries for my cereal and more cucumbers than you can...well, shake a cucumber at!
I'll admit, the last vermicompost application was not sifted...and had a few seeds floating around.  The result? These ROGUE PUMPKINS:
organic pumpkin

organic pumpkin plant
So I say:
organic lettuce
LETTUCE be thankful for WORMS!

August 7, 2013

The Best of the Bin: A Collection of the Squirmiest Worm Posts

Since I originally started this site to chronicle my adventures with a worm bin, I thought I'd return to my roots (ha ha! worm humor!) and revisit my favorite posts.

Wiggle on, friends!

My first post ever was on July 27, 2007! The worms arrived, shockingly to me at the time, via US Postal Service, and into the bin they went. After all the anticipation, I was immediately bored.
worm bin
Within a year, the herd had multiplied and they were looking for a housing upgrade.

Enter the Wigwam and moving day!
worm wigwam
Some crazy things have happened in the worm wigwam:

-An egg saving mission

- Amazing feedings with boxes of scraps, including these strawberry tops

- Some peachy food and a watermelon ring of honor

- The puzzling pumpkin shells

- A tomato growing fiasco

I even got the opportunity to teach others about vermicomposting with a snappy display and poster at a sustainability fair in my area.

I took my best worm picture ever during the worms most favorite time of the year: Halloween (even though the pic actually appeared in the next post about my trash pickup)!
I started my first (and second!) organic garden using the vermicompost my small herd produced....with great (and delicious!) results!

What's up next? More environmentally friendly adventures, of course!