Compost Troubles, I Think

HELP HELP HELP!!!

A few days ago I decided to turn the compost pile.  It is moving along very nicely considering it is winter.  I saw some of my beloved worms and some great soil at the bottom of the pile.  I also saw 2 mice that had made their home in my soon-to-be black gold.  I jumped as I do every time I see a mouse, envisioning them scurrying  up my leg.  I was disgusted, thinking of those gross rodents living in my pristine pile.

What to do:

1) Nothing, they don’t hurt a thing.

2) Get the out of the compost.

My questions about them being there:

1) Will they eat my worms?

2) Is their urine/feces harming my pile/worms?

I think I will find a way to get them OUT of my pile.  But before I do that, I really want to hear from you about what you think I should do and what kind of  damage they might cause.

Thank You

2 Comments

Filed under QUESTIONS???

Spring is calling my name

Spring is calling my name…and this is how I know

winter 009

Addi Kay and I took a trip to the back yard.  I looked for new growth and she went to her sand box and “planted seeds”.

winter 012

Succulents are making a comeback in my yard.

winter 015

The Pussy Willow Tree is beginning to bloom

winter 010

And…all of the bulbs have emerged

*sigh and smile*

Leave a comment

Filed under It WILL Grow, Uncategorized

Reducing Lunch Waste

This year my husband and I have been very good at packing our son a lunch for school.  Of course there is more than one benefit for doing this.  School lunches tend to scare me all together (we will save that for a different time).  Our main reason was to make a conscious change in what we put the food in.

It occurred to me last summer that we would go through quite a few seal-able plastic bags in a week.  I had everything I needed to pack his lunch in a more reusable way, I just had to do it.  I really did wonder if this was going to be one of those great ideas that took off  and later old habits took back over.  Not this one!  We always use reusable containers for lunches now.  I have even cut out all of the box/pouch drinks and switched to a cool camouflage thermos.  That alone made me very excited.  Not only do I get to more closely monitor the sugar going into the growing 6th grader, but I also have NO waste.

You can do this too.  Here are some ideas of things I think might get you started.

http://www.etsy.com

If you haven’t visited Etsy yet, do.  This is a website for people to buy and sell handmade goods.  You can even shop by location to support you local community.  At this website, you should check out “reusable bags”

http://www.builtny.com/

This is a cool company called Built out of New York, making lunch bags fun.  Be sure and check out their many other products.

2 Comments

Filed under By the Way...

Great Insight…check it out

Since my last pity party about how I hate everything winter, I decided to read a book.  I figured if I couldn’t DO anything, I could at least educate myself more while I wait for warm weather.

So, I went to the library and picked up a book .  Now,  I have never been a “reader”.  I just couldn’t seem to get through a book, until this one.  So for me, finishing this book meant more than just what I got from it.  It was quite an accomplishment for me, plus I liked the book.  I tend to be drawn more to the tried and true stories than the instruction manuals.  Don’t get me wrong, I use them too, but I really think that knowing this story had been lived made me want to turn the page.  The book…

Farewell, My Subaru

best described as “One man tries to kick oil, live locally and keep his goats out of the rose bushes” Check this one out if you haven’t already.

A couple of months ago I watched a movie that I can honestly say changed the way I thought about my food.  I realized that I didn’t know half as much as I thought about my food (call me naive).  I grew up raising my own pork, chickens and beef and so did everyone around me.  I was under the impression that most animals were raised the way that we raised ours.  When you came to my neighborhood/town/county/state you saw and still see acres of farm land with cattle roaming on plenty of space, eating grass.  To me, that is how we did it.  WRONG.  That apparently, is not the way things are done for your local “grocery store USA”.  The movie…

Food, Inc.

best described as “You’ll never look at dinner the same way” This is a MUST see

If you have any thoughts on these feel free to let me know.  Also, I am looking for cook books that focus on ingredients in the garden.  If anyone knows of any, I would love to hear about it.

Leave a comment

Filed under By the Way..., QUESTIONS???

taking out the trash…or lack there of

I need to apologize for my absence.  I fear the void in my garden has left my blog blank.

I don’t think I have realized until now how inspired I am by the warmer months and the anticipation of life and growth.  I really do live for getting outside and being in my garden.

The weather has been warmer this last week (in the 40’s).  I found myself poking around in the backyard yesterday.  As I looked at everything dormant or dead, I thought of how much I hate it… from the lack of bugs for the chickens to eat to not liking guests to even look in the back yard.  I know that everyone’s yard looks just the same in the winter, but I can’t help it.  I envisioned what would be in the garden in the late Spring and where exactly it would go this year.  I could see the piles of compost complete and ready to be added to the garden.  I thought of where I want those raised beds to go when my husbands gets around to building them.

What makes this worse?  The stores, and the fact that they are putting the seed packets out.  I am sure that they do this just to torture me.  In Central Oregon we can’t even start our seeds indoors yet.  Grrr

Okay, enough of my complaining.  On to what I have been able to do this winter.

Being a family of four, we have always used a 65 gallon trash can that was picked up on a weekly basis.  Recently we were able to to downsize to a 35 gallon can.  We could do this because we have been very aware of what can be recycled and making sure it went into that can.  The food scraps that can’t go into the compost or worms are now going to the chickens.  Now our recycling can is larger than our trash can, and it has been working out great.  Not to mention we are saving money!  Yeah!

Leave a comment

Filed under By the Way...

Eggs Anyone?

Since the gardening season is over in Central Oregon there is not much going on at my house.  The garden is tilled and awaiting the spring.  The worms are happy and quickly turning their bin.  I have been sewing a lot more lately.  It is more like teaching myself to sew with the expertise of some sewing friends.  My latest project is going to be a quilt.  I will show you it in a couple of years when it is done, LOL.  I am still composting.  Soon I think I will tarp the compost to help keep it a little warmer during the winter.  I don’t know for sure that this works, but I feel like I am doing something productive.  I plan on getting some fresh apples and canning them soon.

…and the chickens…

I was told that if you want your chickens to keep laying during the winter you have to put a heat lamp in with them.  I kept it in mind but only got it in there about 2 1/2 weeks ago.  Through the summer we were getting 3 eggs a day from our 3 lovely ladies.  I noticed that before we got the light in there we were only getting maybe 1 egg on a good day.  So in went the lamp.  It took about a week, but we are up to 2-3 eggs a day.

So… I guess it has been proven.  My girls are laying well again and we will be leaving the lamp in until the nights warm up again.  Today, that seems like a LONG time.

ALSO…

This is the time of year that we shop more than normal.  Lets be sure we are doing our part by taking those reusable bags into the store with us.  Sometimes they are easy to forget, but lets try real hard to not contribute to more plastic bags.

Leave a comment

Filed under Those Pecky Chickens

Pumpkins Galore

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted anything.  My computer has been out of service for a while.  I am back now and ready to tell you about my pumpkins.

I had a good tun out of pumpkins and gourds this year.  Not as many as last year, but that was intentional.  Last year was a bit overkill.  This year I planted a variety of gourds and pumpkins.  I am already ready for spring so I can start over again.  The large one was 80 pounds.  I was hoping for over 85 because my biggest last year was that big.

Picture of kids 1113 Picture of kids 1114

Picture of kids 1054 Picture of kids 1095
Picture of kids 1124

Leave a comment

Filed under By the Way..., It WILL Grow