Putting it by

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>
George
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George Shirley wrote: ...

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 place.
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 better. :)
songbird
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On 3/24/2016 9:05 AM, songbird wrote:

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 with lightning.

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.
George
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George Shirley wrote:

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 been?

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 going.

:)
songbird
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On 3/24/2016 5:09 PM, songbird wrote:

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 worm house.

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>
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George Shirley wrote:

huh... :)

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? :)
songbird
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On 3/24/2016 10:02 PM, songbird wrote:

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.
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George Shirley wrote:
...

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.

:) have fun!
songbird
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