Since I was feeling so clever after amending my neglected compost bin, I decided to tackle the worm bin because it has been hanging around the house 6 years, and during that time, I haven't harvested the casings once. My regular routine was to use the compost tea as a fertilizer for houseplants and the garden, but recently the worm bin's spigot has clogged, so I couldn't even do that.
I was ignoring the worm bin because I am easily grossed out, and because our bin is plastic, it retains a lot of moisture, which results in worm casing sludge. Being easily grossed out is not a good trait for a gardener. I swear, in the past two months I have had to slaughter so many slugs, snails, leaf miner larvae, and caterpillars that you'd think I'd just chill out and become one with the nature, but my acclimation to all things slimy and disgusting is slow. The boy almost fell over backwards off the garden's retaining wall because I startled him when I began yelling and flapping my hands when I went to grab a bean and instead came into contact with a baby snail. Why do I flap my hands? Do I think I can fly away? Thankfully, I have not encountered any Zombie Bees, because I think I would totally lose it if that happened.
Before lifting each tier of the worm bin, I steeled myself. Tier 1: so far, so good. Tier 2: a little slug action that had to be dealt with, but still good. Tier 3: Ack! (Hand flapping!) Ack! Ack! Ack! Two salamanders (newts? I've been told before what these things are, but I push it out of my brain each time) looked up at me and tried to slip into the sludge. I had to walk away from the bin to stop myself from screaming, and I gave myself a little pep talk. Ok, I can do this. All I need to do is to shovel the sludge into another container to dry it out. These things are more scared of me than I am of them, and it is illogical for me to freak out. This is such a first world problem, suck it up! Breathe!
I shoveled the sludge onto a cardboard box, restored the worm bin with the creepy things securely in place, and the sludge is now drying in the sunniest part of the yard. Surprisingly, the sludge does not smell like it looks. It smells like wet earth, and nothing more. I should probably let the boy know that I've done this so he doesn't step in it on his way into the house since it's not in an obvious place, especially if one is walking up the side of the house to throw away a full dog poop bag at night.
I have to remind myself that I'm doing this for the radishes and the carrots, because I want to grow my own food, and because I'm curious how much work it takes to grow said food. In conjunction with growing veggies, I've joined the Full Belly Farm CSA, the only CSA I've found that can work into our schedule.
I'll offer up the next two photos as palate cleanser for those of you who just endured pictures of worm poop and newts or salamanders and continued to read on. Above is a pissed off Fifty, pissed for obvious reasons, and below is a nectarine cake (inspired by the Tipsy Baker) that looked much better than it tasted due to my substitution of whole wheat flour in place of white flour and over baking it. I've had one slice, and I would've tossed it, but the boy is tackling that thing one slice at a time since he insists that its edible. I think he's trying to use positive reinforcement in order to convince me to bake cake more often.