The "What's That For?" Cozy
On being role models ....

Humble Creatures

Were you wondering why all of my mini-teapot cozy photos were shot outside? It's not as if things are green, blooming, and beautiful here at high altitude in Creel, Mexico. I do have some nice volcanic rock backdrops, though. Funny as it might seem, in between the oh-so-cute-cozy photo shoot, I was looking for earthworms. Hee hee.

We've been preparing the beds and planting our humble organic garden (with the help of our friend Tony, who is shown below in the foreground. He's an expert in all things gardening, having studied the subject at the renowned apprentice program at UC Santa Cruz.) We are lucky to have him.

I've been itching to get started with worm composting, or vermicomposting, the more socially couth way of discussing your little slimy house guests. It all started when I read this book:

Oh me oh my. You will also be a worm enthusiast after reading this cover to cover. You will DEFINITELY want to have one in the classroom! And this would be easy to do anywhere bait shops abound! In this situation, you don't have to worry about hunting in your backyard. However, this option is a lot of fun if you have a backyard and a green thumb. For more info on vermicomposting and the necessary supplies, visit this site.

I am using a smallish styrofoam cooler as my worm bin. More snazzy worm bins can be purchased. The book offers a lot of suggestions and also shows you how to build your own.

We filled ours with a bit of soil, started filling it with the cute little wormies, and put down some banana and papaya peels for their first meal. I later topped it off with moist, black and white newspaper. This prevents it from smelling bad, and the worms can eat the newspaper, too.

A worm bin in the classroom would be a great asset. I'm going to bring mine into my primary class for the rest of the year. The worms will eat anything except meat. (They will actually eat meat, but we don't want it in the bin because the smell would be pungent.) I won't tell you all about it here; the book gives plenty of instructions on how often to feed the worms and how to harvest the extremely rich vermicompost. (In short, by making little piles on a tarp outside in the bright sun. The worms will continue burrowing down, and you will continue removing compost from the outer layers of the piles. Eventually, you will just have a pile of adorable :) worms.) The worms are then placed back in the bin with food and damp newspaper. And you will have very rich compost to add to your classroom/garden plants.

For the elementary classroom, check out this companion book for science activities. I haven't read it, but it looks great.

Yum. For the worms, I mean.

For those of you in the swap, I will send out an email tomorrow letting you know who your partner is. This weekend has been a little crazy in my household. We took our car-phobic cat on the three hour (one way) drive to get her spayed on Saturday. It was rough on all parties involved. Plus, I've been worried about her because she still seems to be lethargic and not feeling so well. We've been giving her a water/wet food mixture from a dropper. Hopefully she'll start to feel better tomorrow. Anyone else had experience spaying their cat? How long did it take for her to recover?

Until the next post,

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