Botanicals

Spy Kitten--producer, performer, worm farmer?

10:04:00 AM

I came back to Colorado for the summer to visit family and friends. When I knew I would be in Colorado for the summer, I made a pact with myself to learn as many new things as possible. Burlesque and my nerdy interests in the sciences have led me down many paths of learning for leisure and I finally realized I have been ever-so-slightly nursing an interest in urban homesteading.

I believe it's really important to know how to do as many things as possible for oneself. I want to know how to fix machines, grow food, make clothing and generally be able to survive throughout the zombie apocalypse.

A recent and successful attempt to trellis my late grandmother's rose bush gave me the final push I needed to jump into a project. I started off by reaching out to my friend Tara at Tara Rae Designs. Tara gave me a tour of her urban homestead that was designed using permaculture design techniques. I felt my interest growing with each new thing she was sharing with me and decided to engage in some low maintenance projects to see if this was a commitment I wanted to take on and the direction I wanted to head. And learning just the small amount I did about permaculture from Tara, I realized that it is a philosophy that seems to be in alignment with my interests, needs and the values I hold dear.

Tara sent me home with a bunch of worms so I could start my own worm farm. She also loaded me up with two tomato plants, a chocolate mint plant and some Egyptian walking onions.


I went to a local thrift-store to find containers for planting and for the worms. I didn't have any luck so it was off to the hardware store. I picked up two small totes, a 50 lb. bag of organic compost, and four containers for the plants all for around $40.


Then I drilled several holes in the top (air circulation) and bottom (drainage) of one tote. The tote with holes will sit inside of the other tote and the top for the other tote will be put to the side for use in some other project. 


I then lined the bottom of the tote that has holes with wet newspaper.


Tara had told me that there will be lots of little bugs that will move in and create a tiny eco system in my worm farm but, I hadn't even finished with the newspaper before this spider with a fluorescent green ass moved in. 


Next was to shred up a bunch of wet newspaper so that the worms would have something to burrow and nest into. 


After all the wet newspaper was shredded, I placed the worms in a corner so I could monitor their progress and how fast they were eating over the next several days. 


The last thing to do before putting the lid on was to feed the worms their first meal in their new home. I tossed in some strawberry trimmings and a peach pit to see how fast they devoured the food. I covered them and let nature take its course. I started off with about 100 worms.


I potted the tomato plants and the chocolate mint plant. I also potted a few of the Egyptian walking onions and then I stuck a couple of the onions in the ground next to an aspen tree to see how they do there.  I'm also sprouting some basil, avocado and pineapple plants indoors.



So, as my nephew, Duncan, would say--"There ya have it." Hopefully, I will be able to invite you all over for caprese salad and chocolate mint mojitos before the end of the summer. 


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