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.
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!
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.
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.
I have entered my baked goods in the fair and am awaiting the judging outcome. My son, Cameron also entered a couple of things this year as well.
Nothing much is going on in the garden, just sucking up tons of water because of the heat. They love the heat though. I am getting pumpkins galore, gourds too. Lots of green tomatoes, none red yet. The corn is huge and is producing well so far. Not ready to pick though.
The chickens have started laying. Little baby eggs. There are really cute. My little girls are becoming hens.
Crystal, Omerosa, and Trixy
The clothes don’t take long to dry on the clothesline because it is so hot. I do love the clothesline.
My compost would be complete if I would leave it alone and quit adding to it. I have a couple of pumpkins I allowed to stay growing in it. I have finally been able to construct a second story home for the worms. If I could only get them to move out of the first story just a bit quicker, that would be great. They are movin’ on up SLOWLY. Mostly the baby worms for now.
Happy Earth Day!
I hope you all feel like this is your day! I sure do.
I know it is Wednesday and it is still the middle of the work week, but be sure to do something great today for our planet. Check with your city’s website and see what is going on this weekend in honor of Earth Day. Redmond Oregon has it’s annual litter pick up in the canyon. Head on down there and take part, you will feel so good about what you have done. Be sure and include everyone, the kids and all of their friends can only make for a more exciting day.
Well, the garden is 1/2 in. I cant wait for the rest of it. Don’t forget to leave a little room for regular reseeding. We want to be able to enjoy our garden as long as possible, not just all at once. I feel so accomplished, I can hardly stand it. I really do feel like that is my baby out in the corner. I am trying rows this year for the firs time. My friend Ann gave it a shot last year and is totally pro row girl now.
The chicks pullets are doing well, I swear I will get the coop picks up soon. I am working on a huge project that I cant wait to tell all of you about, just not quite yet. Anyway, big personality’s (those 3 girls). Trixy is my fave. Then Omerosa and Crystal. Yesterday Trixy started squawking very loud. I have just recently been letting them out of the coop as I don’t have the pen built yet. I ran over there to find that she had been around the corner from the others and started to panic. She is now known as the chick that cries wolf. The next couple of times that happened, I didn’t run.
I put up my clothes line. I put the clothes out @ 8:00 last night and pulled them in this morning, I love this weather. I thinkI have convinced my husband that laundry doesn’t have to be done every day, we can shoot for every other day. Baby Steps, I guess that is what it is all about.
Again, Have a Great Earth Day and actually embrace it and everything that it stands for!!!
My neighbor Kendra had some great questions that I thought I would attempt to answer. I am choosing to answer them in a post because I thought that they might be able to help others as well.
Where to get manure to blend in with the garden
I frequently see manure being advertised on Craigs List. Typically it is free, sometimes they will offer to deliver for a small fee. I would recommend looking for “aged” manure. Don’t worry if it is mixed with shavings and straw, the more the merrier, it is all great for the garden. Regular or fresh manure is “hot” and could burn your plants.
Kendra had concerns with having time to start and maintain a vegetable garden
I would suggest starting small. Even a patio garden is better than no garden. If you don’t have time to prepare a garden maybe you could start this year with pots. I have a garden and I have mescalin mix in pots on the patio just for fun. Just make sure that they have enough space to grow properly. You wont be able to feed the family for the year, but trust me it’s enough to give you the bug to really want that garden for next year.
What do I have the worms for
I have worms in the worm bin for easy composting. Call me lazy, but it is pretty nice to open the garage door and the worm bin is right there. I have worms in the compost pile too. They were thrown out there when my worm bin failed last year. This is working out nicely because it is moving the pile along even faster than without them. So to answer the short version answer would be for quicker composting .
Thanks for the question, it makes me feel like someone is reading. LOL! Hope everyone had a great weekend!!!
You remember those 3 cute chicks that I had to have? Well, I would call them pullets now not “cute chicks”. I feel that I do have to go on the record and tell everyone that Trixy (the one that was so ugly I serious contemplated taking her back) is still not beautiful, but by far has the biggest personality. Glad I didn’t send her back, she is kind of funny. Anyway, the coop is almost done and I cant wait to throw them out. I am ready to have my laundry room back. weather permitting, Cam and I are going to paint the coop this weekend. Come on weather, work with me.
I hope you all have big plans for the weekend. Get outside.
I thought I’d better give a worm update. They are doing great! All are alive and counted for.