This post is about my failure as a person.
Yeah. So on a previous Balanced Bites Podcast I waxed all peaceful about my new homesteading journey.
More on that when we are OFFICIALLY installed and done with all the furniture-moving, non-toxic paint choosing, and passive-aggressive-stressed-comment-making by a certain spouse. (And by “spouse,” I mean me.)
Seriously, though. We are SO happy and excited about this new chapter, and I’m SO excited to share it with you!
Back to my rose-colored homesteading glasses.
So in preparation for our move, and our head-first dive into total Ron-Swanson-dom, I decided I’d jump right in to composting. I’m sick of throwing away scraps, I’m planning my gardening
failures exploits, and come May, I’ll have lots of room to compost.
Of course, The Google affords a wealth of information on all things compost-related.
Wait, did I say wealth? I meant giant sludgy pool of incomprehensibly varied information from which there is no escape. It’s the Death Star Trash Compactor: Compost Version. Or something.
What I thought was as simple as make a pile of natural stuff has turned into a vortex of kitchen pre-composters, outdoor homemade composters, and you-can’t-use-compost-for-a-year internet posters. Gah!
I’m easily overwhelmed.
Because it sounded awesome and squirmy, I decided just to roll the dice and go with a vermicomposter. A Worm Factory 360, if you will, ordered along with an Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm.
(Apparently you don’t have to order worms over the internet; you can find them locally. Well, clearly you can find worms locally. I meant you can find worm farms locally.)
This contraption is actually incredibly awesome. (Image from Amazon.) It’s a multi-level bin-type contraption that allows worms to migrate UP as new compostables come in, clearing the “finished” compost of worms so you can use it without having to comb through and pick out your creepy-crawlies.
It came with extremely detailed print instructions, plus a DVD, from someone who clearly appreciates worms. The instructions couldn’t have been better, clearer, or more helpful. (It’s the person receiving the instructions that’s a problem).
Anyway. Go with this one if you follow in my (pathetic) footsteps.
Here’s what (little) I know: these worms produce their body weight in nutrient-rich castings again and again. They break down your food scraps much faster than an outdoor pile. What they’re creating in there is called humus. (Not the kind you eat.) From the Worm Factory 360, I can also get “compost tea.” (Not the kind you drink.)
It’s all quite amazing for plants. It’s like fermented cod liver oil for your soil. (This is also fermented cod liver oil for your soil.)
All sounds awesome, right?
It is. Until you perpetrate some negligence and the worms escape.
Yes. THE WORMS ESCAPED.
Piece of advice: when you have to meet your family for brunch after introducing yourself to your worms as their “new mommy” but before you set up the composter, PLEASE. Please. Please don’t under-estimate the worms’ drive to find food after 4 days in Peat Moss.
If you don’t close the bag reeealll tight, they will escape. And you will come home to this:
(Note that one of the first instructions in the booklet was to have your composter ready for your worms when they arrive. Whoops.)
Coming home to a bunch of hungry, squirmy worms on the floor was my first introduction to the delightful journey I’m about to take on. And I went wimp. (Not limp. Wimp.)
Check it out. And listen to my Cave Momma and Cave Husband making fun of me. Mercilessly.
Also, realize that upon watching these videos, you probably won’t like me any more. If you ever did, that is.
I honestly think that had I been ready for a bare-handed worm sesh I would have handled it less…annoyingly. But I got all squiggly, and then it just snowballed and suddenly I was acting like a total ninny-squiggler. I promise, my future homesteading videos will be more…composed. Maybe. Don’t hold me to that. Yeah, definitely don’t hold me to that.
So once we dealt with the Great Escape, we had a minute to ponder nature. And my failures.
So that’s all for now. This “fake Cave Girl” is off to practice some bare-knuckle worm touching.
What do you know about compost? Vermicompost? Worm ownership? Please – help me in the comments!