On Saturday we spent some time in the yard and set up our Worm Factory 360 with 250 red wigglers; a bedding full of coconut fiber, shred newspaper, crumbled pumice, and garden soil; and the first of many food scraps which will become the first of our monthly super rich garden compost harvests - starting in about 90 days. I'm so excited to finally have our worms and the "fancy" system all set up and on our back porch. At first, I had placed it behind the house, but as I read the (unexpectedly long and also unexpectedly interesting) "how-to" book that came with the composter, I realized the back of the house gets too much sun and the shady porch is the place for our worms to get their grub on.
Adventures in worm keeping has been thrilling so far. Even though I know they probably don't love it, I can't stop checking on them every day, raking back the top layers of food scraps and bedding to make sure they're happily wiggling away below the surface. This is how I found out that they love melon rinds more than carrots or edamame shells. The system will eventually get stacked pretty tall, you add a box at a time as the feeding boxes fill with scraps. Eventually the box on the bottom is compost, ready to harvest, then that box gets emptied and moved to the top and the cycle continues indefinitely.
As the composting continues I'm excited to see if it's as easy as it sounds to maintain. Keeping the moisture and temperature levels in the right range and making sure the worms have a steady food supply seem to be all there is to it. In a temperate climate like Oregon, I think that's going to be super manageable.
Last night after dinner Rob threw away the leftover avocado and I like yelled at him, "Rob! Worms!" I looked at him all exasperated and he looked at me like the woman I have become, ha... An awesome lady with cool interests, obviously.
I'm looking forward to getting more serious about gardening and really putting some time and muscle into the back yard. We started 3 types of heirloom tomato from seed and will transplant the first set of starts into the garden probably this weekend. The kids are happy as clams outside and able to help out a bit, run around a bit, and just be dirty and sweaty the way kids should be. It's therapeutic to spend time out there, doing physical work and getting a little Vitamin D, wearing yourself out physically and calming your mind while you get hands on with the earth.