Picked about six large clumps of Swiss chard this afternoon. Stripped
the leaves off and into bite sizes after shaking most of the raised bed
mix off the roots. These things had leaves over two feet long and at
least six inches wide and were still tender.
Rinsed the leaf bits several times through a strainer, then brought the
big pot to a rolling boil and dipped them in for three minutes. Drained
the insert strainer, then put the chopped leaves into an ice bath for
another three minutes, then put them back into the strainer to drip dry.
I was thinking this was going to be a BIG batch. Turned out I got enough
for sides for four different meals. Turned the greens into patties for
two people to have a serving each at a meal. The chard patties are in
the freezer for 20 minutes and then will be vacuum bagged and tagged.
Next step will be tomorrow, if it doesn't rain very hard as expected.
Pull the last of them up and do it all over again. Already pulled the
sweet green pea vines, and the sweet pea (flower) vines along the fence
will go then too. All that stuff will be chopped with the machete and
into the compost barrel along with the weekly accumulation of
compostable stuff from the kitchen.
Checked the worm house today, didn't see nary a worm. Will check again
tomorrow and then probably buy worms from someone other than the local
guy. Followed all the rules that came with the worm house and did due
diligence so wondering what happened in there, Maybe a worm war? Naw, I
think they're peaceniks. <G>
i dunno George, without being there and seeing the setup
as to what may be going on.
they are pretty tolerant of most things other than being
too hot or being too cold.
might be hiding down in the middle or lower depths some
too wet is usually not a problem as they will survive up
until 100% saturation.
what do you have in there, what are they in, what conditions,
what have you been feeding them? etc. the more details the
So far the worm house is running between 50 and 70 degrees. Book says ok
between 40 and 80 so that can't be it. The contents are moist but not
wet. Combination of browns and greens is about equal. Ground pumice
sprinkled occasionally, crushed egg shells on a regular basis.
I poked around every where but didn't see a wriggler, will look again,
we had a little cold snap early this morning plus three inches of rain
It's a store bought worm house 360, plastic, with four trays, only one
tray in operation at the moment. We freeze raw vegetable scraps in
plastic bags, then let them thaw for two days and then feed the worms.
They get tea bags, coffee grounds with filters, anything but citrus,
meat, etc. all the stuff worms don't need. They get shredded paper and
cardboard as needed according to the green/brown set up. It's currently
in the garage, which is normally at ambient temperature. Probably have
to bring it in the house once we get above 80F or they would cook.
Only reason we have the worm house is the property sits on five feet of
gumbo clay, although we did see a couple of earth worms in one of the
heavily amended flower beds the other day.
We will work it out eventually.
yes, the only thing that strikes me as odd for red
wrigglers is the pumice. wrigglers are organic eaters.
might be too hard on their gums! :)
how many worms did you start with and how long has it
cold will drive them down too.
how large is it? it could probably be a little wetter
than moist. do you have worm tea coming out the bottom
(if you have a drain hole)? i use a completely different
setup, but i know the ropes for red wrigglers. it is good
to have some wet carbon material for them (shredded cardboard
soaked in water and then squeezed a little to get the water
out) and then put the edibles on top of that. do not put
shredded white paper or newspaper in this layer. that
should be in small amounts until you get a larger population
Well, me too, but the book calls for ground pumice occasionally, would
have to go look at it and see why. Container of pumice came with the
Supposed to be one pound, looked like about a double handful of actual
worms. The ones I'm going to order is 1,500 worms total. I wonder who
invented a worm counter machine?
Not yet, but there's a spigot for it and a container under the worm house.
i use a completely different
We put in shredded cardboard that was damp, not dripping. There is white
paper in there, came with the kit, mostly shredded newsprint. I shred
lots of paper, mostly stuff that has financial info or such, most goes
to recycling though.
I will take them out for a shot at a little sunlight so my old eyes can
see better. Started them with half a block of coir, ie coconut husk
processed. If I don't find any worms I will just start over and keep a
closer eye on them. First few days I was finding tiny worms on the
concrete, not anymore. I guess they were trying to go home. <G>
you should not need to order more if you can find any
in there that are still alive.
is it open? or if you open it does anything come
out of it?
i would hold off on the white paper and newsprint until you
see your population growing and active. not that they cannot
do it, but to get started you need a bacterial population to
build up and white paper is the hardest paper for bacteria.
they may have been George! :) they should not have been
able to get out at all, small or big...
coir is a very harsh and unforgiving medium. i would not
use it in a worm bin in high quantities, especially to get a
worm bin started. was that supplied with the worm bins or
recommended? might be ok to use coir as a thin layer in
between other materials if you were trying to filter the
liquid from the rest of it. i would expect it to be among
the last things that will break down in there.
also, even though you are not using earthworms, instead of
using pumice (which has very little bacteria or nutrition) i
would use crushed eggshells and just a very small amount of
dirt. worms are eaters of organic matter, but they need a
healthy bacterial population going too and if for some reason
they don't have that they're effectively going to be starving
until one gets going. so by adding a little dirt you would
be innoculating the bin with bacteria. after it gets going
the eggshells should be enough grit.
once you have a population going then they will self-
innoculate any of the following materials you put in there.
you may find some worms in there, small ones, don't worry
they'll get bigger fast enough once you get them some proper
bacteria and organic matter to munch on. i'd not spend more
money on worms as you can find red wrigglers in your flower
beds that will work just fine. add them along with your
others if you don't think there are enough. they will also
help innoculate the bedding for the other worms.
does this make sense? :)
It has been fairly cool the last two or three days.
I check it daily, no liquid as yet.
Yup, will give it a try. I just don't understand why the worms would
escape, evidently there is a small escape hatch somewhere.
Off to celebrate Easter with our get around noon. Dear wife is making a
lemon meringue pie and I baked a nice loaf of zucchini bread yesterday.
With a family as big as ours with many good cooks in it there should be
a feast today. Only day everyone can get together.
if you're putting thawed veggies in they have
some liquid in them, so you should be getting
some drips out the bottom. sounds too dry in
there to me.
worms will crawl around at night (why i keep all my
buckets and the larger bin covered with fine mesh fabric --
the air can get in, but no bugs or worms get in or out)
for one they usually mate on the surface.
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