Thursday, December 23, 2010

Project Restart: Not exactly sugarplums

At some point during the post-fire chaos, the cleaners dumped my worm towers (!), so now that's all [mostly] resolved, I've been trying to rebuild my herd. Or is it a horde? Whatever, Verne (red) and Cousin Clem (blue) were scattered from their containment some time during the past month, and I want them back!

Didn't have any cured bokashi--the cleaners again--but dried leaves a-plenty had fallen, so I filled a planter with those and poured in a bit of molasses water. Which is just what it sounds like, a teaspoon of blackstrap in a quart of tap. And having observed Verne's preferences for a while now -G-, I stuck that planter where the worm towers had been, with another planter full of rescued soil on top to hold in moisture and keep out possums and coons.

When I checked a few days later, there were worms in the planter. Not as many as had populated the towers, but enough to start again even if I hadn't had other colonies on other sites. My worm-ID'ing skills aren't all that well honed, and I did not take this chance to practice, so no real idea whether Verne or Clem showed up to the party first. Thinnish, reddish, photophobic and where I can reach him--whichever he is, I'm glad to see him.

I'll be plantering the usual mix of dried leaves and cured bokashi as soon as I have some bokashi cured, and maybe a few other tests--diluted kombucha with and without molasses; EM-1 ditto; maybe some soaked EM bokashi bran--but I think all those extra microbes might be necessary only where the carbon source isn't already so rich in diversity as fall sweepings. [Someone remind me to grab a bag of shredded paper from work!] But for now, I have a "recipe" that works for me, and it's a whole lot less labor than the apricot shortbread my family makes for Christmas.

Or gingerbread. Though if you were making that, you'd have the molasses right there...

Happy worming, and happy holidays,


[image from International]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to hear you and the Vernettes are back in business! /Jenny