HOW COLD IS TO COLD?

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old man winterNow that we’re enjoying some nice daytime weather, people may be tempted to place their indoor worm bin outside.  It’s especially tempting for those that have had Fruit Fly “blooms” over the past few months.  Unfortunately you can’t really trust Old Man Winter, he’s still got some punch left in the cold Northern nights.  (if you are struggling with flies, try this) http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2011/11/13/easy-fly-trap/  

The trick to timing the outdoor debut of your bins is indeed keeping an eye on those night time temperatures.  Once they’ve stayed above zero Celsius for at least a week you’re most likely good to go.  Check the weather forecast for the next week or two in case there’s a cold snap and hopefully your bin will be just fine.

When you do have a spot outside, keep in mind that bins can flood from rain fall that flows in through your up facing air holes.

As always we appreciate your questions and feed back, use the contact page right here on the post or visit us on Face Book.

SOIL AMENDMENT

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worm castingsAn early spring, who would have thought it.  After enduring 3 years of ridiculously late season garden start ups, Mother Nature has rewarded us long suffering Northerners with what looks to be a reasonable growing season, finders crossed.  Many gardeners are planning to grow plants with longer growing season requirements, Cantaloupe for example.  Melons traditionally don’t have quite enough time to mature outdoors here on the North Prairie.

Naturally folks want to give their gardens the best head start they can and one way to accomplish this is of course starting with healthy, nutrient rich soil.  We’re blessed in Manitoba with rich top soil but, it never hurts to boost this up by using vermicompost as an amendment and organic fertilizer.  Apart from having micro and macro nutrients worm casting offer a raft of other additions that will greatly increase the productivity of your garden.

Active micro-organisms that encourage soil growth are a huge boon to the health of your garden soil, that’s why we sell unprocessed or “raw” cast for outdoor use.  These are the types of bacterium that will attract like minded soil builders to the area, you’ll also notice an increase in earthworm activity where you use it.

Humus, the fundamental building block of soil is found in abundance in worm cast, 40% more than standard compost.  This sponge like material is what ultimately holds the moisture in the earth, allowing plants more time and less energy to acquire the Nitrogen and nutrients they need to thrive.

When your planning this years garden be it vegetable or floral consider adding nature’s perfect plant food, we didn’t get the name from nowhere, it works!

BRING ON THE SCIENCE PROJECTS

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file_111017Here at NATURE’S PERFECT PLANT FOOD we’ve been lucky enough to have helped out many students with their Science Fair projects.  Wormy projects are popular this year.

Everything from testing soil to prove how truly amazing worm casting are to (not for the faint of heart) finding out how much soap contamination worms can take before they croak.  Way to go kids!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, a vermicomposting bin is the perfect tool for learning about a multitude of scientific disciplines, from chemistry to biology.

It’s a handy one stop shop to understand the carbon/nitrogen cycle or the natural decomposition on life here on Earth.  Make your project as large or small as you need, we’ll be on hand with special student rates to make everyone’s life a little easier and smarter.

Extra thanks to Susan Messin for her excellent point below.

science fair

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, MARCH 8, 2015

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statusquo

LEST WE FORGET…..

One in two Canadian women have experienced physical or sexual violence.

One in three will be the victim of sexual harassment.

The Canadian gender pay gap is 19%.

There are over 1200 murdered or missing First Nation women.

 

Take a look at this sobering report and tell us how far we’ve come.

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/GGGR14/GGGR_CompleteReport_2014.pdf

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

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SEED SWAP Seed Swap at Blooms

Blooms Eco-Family Centre

3 ST MARY’s RD, UNIT 1,
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2H 1H2
Join us today for a vermiculture demo, seed swap with Audrey Logan and much, much more!

 

WORMS IN THE WEB OF LIFE

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webThe web of life, we learn about it in grade school, how everything is tied together in an intricate mesh of co-dependence.  One would not be there save the other, it’s an absolutely beautiful concept and a truth of nature.  It’s also why composting worms are the coolest thing on the planet, they’re the creators in the foundation of our thin brown line. our top soil.

Macro vrs micro, hands down worms hold a position of great importance.  They create and carry the weight of our fruitful bounty, the food we grow and eat every day.  They thrive in environments that we discard in our lives, the waste.  Weather it be of our own purpose or not, they’re the ones who clean up our mess and turn it into a productive self sufficient growing medium.  Call it soil or dirt, it keeps all of us alive.   http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2011/11/08/stop-treating-our-soil-like-dirt/  

The bottom line in this web of life is the humble bacterium and their ability to break the Nitrogen bond; http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2013/06/11/pro-biotic-power/ worms come a close second.  They hold the aerobic bacteria in a healthy habitat, an environment conducive to arable growth, the very same type of growth that feeds us.  Almost all our edible plant life relies on the soil web to sustain it.  These are simple examples of the macro vrs micro elements to the “web”, it’s the journey of discovery that counts.

A fabulous way to begin that journey is to enjoy and understand the simplicity of vermicomposting.  We’re more passionate that most of course but anyone can get a kick out of watching worms at work building soil.  It’s a cycle that starts with waste and ends in the most valuable of products, a sustainable cycle we can all use to grow, eat, compost the waste then grow, eat, compost the waste, on and on.  There’s comfort in that assurance of continuation.

WORMS + SCHOOLS = BIG TIME LEARNING

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New foodVermicomposting bins fit perfectly into a classroom environment.  They provide an in-house laboratory for experiments in chemistry, biology and environmental studies.  We’d like to see a bin in every classroom and by golly, we’re getting closer to that realization every day.  Indeed, schools and those who teach in them are about half of our new customers during the cold winter months.

If you are involved with any educational institution and would like to see more sustainable organic waste management look no further than an indoor worm bin.  They’re easy to set up, economical and big time fun.  A standard 38 L Rubbermaid bin is under $10.00 to buy, 100 mL of worms to get started will set you back $20.00.  Play your cards right and this is a one time cost to start your school or work place off on a path of sustainable, environmentally responsible waste management program.

Young people are very aware of the 3 r’s, reduce, reuse and recycle.  Life’s stressful enough for these kids without worrying about the future of our planet.  A worm bin offers a simple way for them to feel more in control of their environment.  Not only are you helping young minds to feel better about their classroom, they also feel better about the world around them.  Win, win!

 

LIVING WITH WORMS (THE GOOD KIND)

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Easy Indoor Worm BinOnce you’ve decided to take the plunge into vermicomposting and have an indoor bin for the organic waste produced in your home you’ll need to find your own balance.  It’s a personal comfort zone that works for you and your bin.  We’ve often equated bin maintenance with the same commitment you’d have with a tropical fish tank.  Both need to be cleaned, checked for moisture/water levels and fed.

Indoor vermicomposting can be as complex or simple as you choose to make it.  Everything composts eventually and left to it’s own devices a bin will function to some degree all on it’s own.  Because of the “closed” nature of an indoor bin however, we do recommend a certain level of standard bin maintenance.  The most important aspect to this is moisture, really wet bins tend to get a little smelly as anaerobic bacteria thrives in a wet airless environment.  http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2014/11/29/how-wet-is-too-wet/

You’ll need to find a balance in the amount of food you’re producing for the worms and the amount the worms can compost.  Luckily freezing excess scraps not only makes them easier for the worms to deal with, it keeps them “fresh” until you can put them in your bin.  That’s by far our number one hint, freeze those scraps.  The vermicomposting formula is one way to keep on top of your bin, find it with this handy link….http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2012/09/21/whats-your-worm-count/

There’s also bedding to think about, bedding is crucial to bin moisture and worm happiness.  You won’t get much breeding without a layer of dryish bedding on top of your active compost, this is where the worms head to find a mate.

All this info and more can be found here on our web site, if you have more questions or suggestions please don’t hesitate to drop us a line through our contact page.

Happy Worm Farming everyone!

QUALITY CASTINGS

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Harvested VermicastPeople vermicompost at home for different reasons, some just want to get rid of kitchen scraps as quickly and sustainable as they can.  Some have no space for an outdoor compost or want to continue composting through the cold winter months.  Others are in it for the castings.

Technically any casting that emerges out of the back end of a worm will be perfectly balanced organic fertilizer.  A tiny “drop” of brand new soil.  Complete with all the macro and micro nutrients growing plants need.  It can be beautiful fluffy black gold, it can also be a sloppy, mushy glob of wet “mud” in your bin.  If your goal is to produce instantly usable soil for your home and garden you’ll need to maintain your bin to fill that purpose.

Moisture content and bedding are the tools for high quality castings and there’s plenty of tricks for drying out wet bins.  Raw food vrs. frozen food is a good place to start.  Freezing your organic waste plays a duel role.  Keep in mind that worms can’t “eat” anything until bacterial decomposition has begun.  Anything you can do to increase the surface area of your worm food will help speed the composting process.  Freezing actually bursts the individual cell walls and allows the bacteria instant access to begin decomposition.  It also is a great way to control the moisture of your bin.  Once thawed this material will shed some of it’s water.  If your bin is to wet simply discard the liquid before using the solids.  Raw food tends to compost much more slowly and will retain the water longer leaving your bin a dryer environment.

Bedding eventually composts too.  Newspaper will disappear faster than straw or cardboard.  The bedding to food ratio can change the texture of your vermicompost.  Keeping an eye on moisture and bedding is the key to having instant castings, it’s an interesting balance and a personal choice.  Each vermicomposter will find the system that works best for them.  It depends on your needs and goals.

 

THE WORM NEW YEAR

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fireworks             HAPPY NEW YEAR!

If you’re reading our posts you’re likely interested in sustainable living and protecting our environment, we thank you for that.  This is why you’ll understand that WORMS WILL SAVE THE WORLD.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, when you need to grow food, who ya gonna call….. the unsung heroes of the plant world of course…. the tiny quiet workers who create the very force of life, worms make soil.  Without soil our planet couldn’t grow anything.  Every year is Worm Year and every year we can thank them.