Saturday, April 30, 2011

Worm Tunnel

We made a worm tunnel!
I have wanted to compost forever but was just too lazy or confused, (or is that dazed and confused?) as how to start and how to keep the dogs out.  Then, I saw this YouTube video:

and besides wanting to move next door to this woman, yes in Australia, I thought that this looked doable!  So, follow along to see the evolution of our "chateaux des wormies"!

First, get a Godfather that, when you say, "Hey, I was thinking of making a composting worm tunnel." replies, "I have some PVC tubing and a drill.  Let's do it."

We drilled about 15 holes all around the bottom 2/3 of the PVC pipe.

Then, find a beautiful spot in your garden and dig a hole
that is deep enough to cover all of those worm holes.

I forgot the other important part of the Godfather requirement; 
make sure he has some good manure laying around.

Howard the Steer was our manure producer. 
He did a superb job.  So, PVC tube is in the ground, manure goes in the tube:

Photo credits: Dominic Zappia.  So, manure, then Hey!  Hay!  Sorry...

The kids were more than happy to help with the hay, the manure?  Not so much.

After the hay is the best part of all...

My Godfather said not to waste our money on "compost worms" because they are really 
the same this as red leaf worms.  Our local bait shop had both "red" and "leaf" worms, so 
 I went with the "leaf".  Aren't they beautiful?

Manure, hay, we threw in a bit of dirt, then the WORMS!

Happy worms.  

Now, something that we have been cooking up for our dream worms on our counter...compost!  
My patient husband was a bit grossed out, but this compost was nice and warm on its own!  
When we threw it in, it was steaming!

Yummy!  Well, at least the worms thought so.

Some dry leaves and stems for good measure...hay after that.

And then the question of how to cover it so air can get in, but Jerry and other critters can not.  
For now, Sophia came up with the idea of plastic wrap so we can see what's happening:

Eventually, we are going to get a mesh and a pot to cover up the whole thing, just like my Australian friend recommended.

So there it is!  Our worm tunnel is in the tomato plant section of our garden, so we are hoping for extra juicy tomatoes, fertilized by our wormy buddies. 

One great result of the tunnel thus far is that the kids are eating even more fruits and veggies so that they can run out and feed the peels to the worms! 

We will keep you posted as to how everything turns out.

Oh!  And if you want the deluxe, super-duper worm garden, you have to go back to the Godfather again and ask for a totem animal/night watchman. 

No one messes with our attack bunny!

Happy Spring!

Jessica and Family

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stuck in the Middle, With You!

So, after my last post, it's so good to know that I am not alone!  Many of us are feeling stuck right now.  I have a few blogs that I read religiously, and even one of those is hosting a book club about bringing more Simplicity into one's life. ( 
We can feel consumed by our stuff, see my previous post:
or we can feel stuck within ourselves, just to name a few ways from personal experience.

I know one of the ways for me to feel good down to my toes, is to run away, literally.  I started training for a half marathon last year, probably too early now that I look back.  But there, perfect example-I am stuck in my own thoughts regarding this challenge!  I threw in some negativity for ya.  :/

I find that when I just shut up and run, I feel exhilarated!  Given the space and time to doubt myself though, (say when I have to work and don't have time to go) I am filling that void with negative self-talk.

I am going to pick up a great book I found awhile back and start reading it again-Working Out, Working Within.  Jerry Lynch helps to break down the negative demons that we conjure up for ourselves.

It kinda comes back to the law of attraction: "I can't make it up this hill", then you can't.  Or, in life, "Life is hard.  I am tired."  It is, and you are. 

A friend of mine just ran the Boston Marathon.  Upon reflection of her race, Amy put it in perspective.  She kept her family and friends that are fighting cancer in her thoughts as she climbed the hills of Boston.  She drew from their strength in a battle for Life, makes running a race feel easier, and it reminds us all that many of our battles are ones of our choosing, if we are lucky.

So, with a renewed sense of determination, I am lessening the battles (that I am lucky enough to even call "battles") raging within my own mind and I am going to hit the pavement for a good run today, even if it is through the snow in April.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Lately, I feel Stuck.

With a capital 'S'.

I can blame the April snow, or the hectic nighttime schedule, Tony and I high-fiving each other as he comes home from work, and I go to work.  I can blame lack of sleep, a busy weekend; I don't need to list all of my excuses or I will just live in the 'Stuck' even longer.  (though our newspaper landing in snow dusted dog poop is a good excuse)

I have to get out of the rut.  It's that time of year where everyone is going somewhere but you.   Everyone is saving children in Nepal or curing world hunger but you.  You feel stagnant.  See?  I am projecting it on you!

Okay, thinking positive.  Easter is this Sunday, and that is a new beginning.  It's supposed to hit a balmy 50 degrees some time this week. 

I think I need to feel the Stuck for one more cup of coffee this morning, and then 
get over it.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011



Every Spring I do this.  I look around and scream inside my head, "Where did all of this stuff come from?"  
This same stuff that I defended to my husband all winter long now makes me feel claustrophobic.

Sadly, I did not set up this lovely still life; it is found art, just like this.

I wrestle with myself.  Part of me just wants to load up everything that is not useful and run it over to Goodwill RIGHT NOW.  But the rational part of me knows that we will have a rummage sale again this summer, and our stuff is another person's treasure.  Yada yada yada... 
I do have kiddos that can help, theoretically, with a rummage this summer.  There are so many lessons for them, and me, to learn from a rummage sale.  We sell cookies and lemonade, Dominic is especially good at hawking his wares which he usually gives away in the end because he is such a sweetheart.  That whole process is worth something right?

I can guarantee that these lovelies will not be for sale.  Henry, on the other hand...nah, we will keep him too.   For today, we will just part the Red Sea of stuff in our house.  It's a rainy day and we have a date with the symphony.