Saturday, April 7, 2007

Long overdue

My recent spate of Do It Yourself projects has been fun, educational, uplifting and fulfilling. One project seems to flow into another, which then leads to a third, until I am barely able to finish one thing before I come up with another.

Yeah, I haven't told you about the worms yet.

Instead, I've been planting, watering, covering with plastic and praying that weather doesn't screw everything up, and then there's was a day trip last weekend to see the endangered Red Cockaded Woodpecker (success!), and it's also time for migration plus that pesky job that's financing all of these projects takes up SO much time, oh but I need to visit Maria and Emily and don't forget to hang out with other friends tomorrow and then I want to go roller skating tomorrow night, but then I find out that there's kind of a "see and be seen" vibe, and I have nothing cute to wear because I have changed size, but that's ok because at least I'm still not smoking, and besides don't you think that things will change a bit this summer with me being so active and anyway I'm sure I can find something that will work and let me skate without drowning in my own sweat, but OOOhhhhh, I can make a new t-shirt that says something cool, and do you think they still make those iron-on letters that are psuedo-velour in the Cooper typeface family*?


Here's a very, very truncated overblown version of making the worm bin, gathering the worms and feeding them.

I bought 3 storage tubs from the drugstore, and brought them home. I drilled areation holes all over two of them, and only on the upper sides for the third. It actually was a lot harder than I expected it to be, because the drill kept cracking the plastic when it would punch through . My friend Ryan called midway through the project, and I invited him over. He took over the drilling job for a bit, but got annoyed/frustrated/worried/concerned/notreallysure about the cracking, and I finished it up.

See Ryan drill. Drill Ryan, drill!

That was on a Friday. On Sunday I went to visit JeniQ. That was the first I realized that I had bought the wrong kind of bin. They should have been opaque rather than translucent. Worms like it dark. Duh.

JeniQ gave me a small box full of about a pound of worms, which rode home in my trunk. I lined one bin with a sheet of newspaper, as Jeni told me to, so that the worms wouldn't just fall down through the holes. I stacked that bin into the one with no holes on the bottom. The third bin went into the shed for later use.** I tore up newspaper into shreds and covered the worms with it, and misted the whole thing with water. I closed the box up, put it away and went in to sleep off my yuck tummy.

The next morning I checked on the worms, and it looked like they had tried to commit suicide by drowning. You need to maintain a moist but not drippy level of humidity in the bin, and I guess I had overdone the water. The bottom bin had collected some puddles, and in the puddles were a couple of biggish clumps of worms. I think they must have crawled through some of the holes in the sides of the bin to get down there, because the bottom layer of paper was intact. I added more paper to make it less wet, and gave them some food to see if it would mollify the wormies. It did.

The worms are alive and well, so far. They live under my house in a crawl space, which I hope will shield them from temperature extremes. It's dark and confined, so I think they'll be good.

*I'll let you know what my t-shirts will look like when I finish them. I'm really hoping that they turn out well. I bought three t-shirts, some iron-on letters and some glittery fabric glue. I have plans for two of the shirts, but am VERY open to suggestions for the third!

**The third bin will come into play when I want to "harvest" the worm poop, a.k.a. castings. I'll line that bin with a layer of paper on the bottom like I did with the first one. I'll stack the full-of-worms bin into the new one and put them both into the bottom bin. Worms move to where the food is, so I'll put food in the new bed, and the worms will scooch down to the lower bin. That will leave their poop in the top bin, ready to spread all over the garden.

UPDATE: JeniQ told me that "the wood" is roller-skater slang for the rink. I was going to make a t-shirt that said "I [heart] wood" (Jeni's joke, not mine, but I'm the one silly enough to wear it). Somehow when I made my test shirt though, I neglected to realize I'd be using up the only W in my pack. So now I have to come up with TWO t-shirt designs. Here's the first: