SURPRISE APPEARANCE

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Want to learn more about vermicomposting?  Join us this Saturday at the Garden’s Manitoba 10th annual Gardening Saturday, March 18th from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the Victoria Inn & Conference Centre, 1808 Wellington Ave, Winnipeg, MB.  Find us on the show room floor.

Tickets for Tradeshow ($5.00) and Workshops ($20.00) at the door.

Registration opens at 8:00 AM

Workshop Sessions begin at 9:30 AM

Doors to the trade show floor open at 9:00 AM

Free parking is available in the lot facing Berry Street

Please enter the Victoria Inn through the doors marked Victoria Inn Conference Centre. Do not enter through the hotel lobby

Keynote Speaker: Ken Brown!

Trade Show featuring various home and garden vendors,  Garden Clubs and more!

Over 15 Workshops & Educational Sessions!

Silent Auction Prizes!

THE DAWNING OF THE AGE OF THE WORM

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Worms are cool!  They are the masters of bacteria and have harnessed it to become one of the only living creatures capable of breaking the strongest chemical bond in the natural world, the nitrogen bond.  Nitrogen absolutely loves itself, when one finds another they create a two molecule powerhouse that is loath to separate.  Only a Ménage à trois of nitrogen can bond with water to become soluble nitrogen that a plant can use.  It’s a force of nature and the key player in our world’s nitrogen cycle.  It’s also a bit of a love story…..

When we talk about vermicast we’re really talking about organic fertilizer complete with all the macro and micro nutrients plants need to survive including the all-important soluble nitrogen.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_cycle Would you like to be a part of this amazing cycle, it’s the cycle of life itself.  All you need to do is start composting with worms, it’s very rewarding.

Your indoor bin http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2012/08/27/indoor-worm-bins/ is the window into a sustainable future.  You will create vermicast from the waste in your household.  You may use it anyway you wish from house plants to garden.  You will notice a distinct improvement in the health and quality of your plants.  When you eat those delicious veggies, the remains of your feast can go into your vermicomposting bin thus continuing the ageless nitrogen cycle.

You have become a world builder!

 

CREATE QUALITY CASTINGS

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People decide to vermicompost for many different reasons, what is the goal of one, may not be the goal of another.  Some folks use a worm bin with the main purpose of eliminating food waste from the local landfill while others feel a need to grow worms to share.  No matter what drives your desire to vermicompost the end result is always the same; the creation of vermicast or worm castings.

Here’s where purpose meets goals, if your goal is quality castings we can help.  The conditions in a vermicomposting system, moisture, pH and temperature are dictated by the materials within that system.  Both food and bedding choices play a part in the resulting vermicast.  Just as in an outdoor compost bin the careful balance of carbon and nitrogen or “green” and “brown” material creates a desirable end product.  It’s the same principal in a vermicomposting system.  Many people disregard the importance of the type and quantity of bedding material in their worm bin.

Bedding represents the carbon or “brown” component of your worm bin, it is instrumental in controlling moisture levels and in creating quality castings.  It is also a key player in the mating and reproduction of red worms.  Worms will rise to enter the bedding layer in order to find a potential partner. You may notice when your bin is functioning well a number of teamed up worms have crawled up the walls when you open it.  This is a good sign. If on the other hand you find a mass exodus, particularly when accompanied by a foul smell, you are in trouble.  Bedding can be any type of dried carbon based material from newspapers to straw or dry leaves.  Here’s a hint, t’s always a good idea to collect a bag or two of dried leaves in the fall for use over the winter months.  The best example of the carbon vrs nitrogen content and how it changes is grass clippings, when new and fresh they are green and contain mostly nitrogen as they dry and become brown the nitrogen is removed and replaced with carbon.

In order to create dark, rich and “fluffy” castings you must incorporate a high enough carbon content.  If you have light coloured wet and “mushy” castings, you need to add more bedding to your mix.

THE DEAD OF WINTER

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The mighty collective “they” of the universe has determined; we have just past the dead of winter!  Go figure, it seems exactly like the life of winter to us.  This past Monday was deemed the most depressing day of the year, apparently after the high point of the holiday season people feel a sense of disappointment…. we say hogwash to that.  Why you may wonder are worms farmers immune to these mid winter blues?  It’s our connection to the earth of course.

Being able to touch the living heartbeat of life through soil is very beneficial to mental health.  As simple as it sounds, during the coldest months when snow lays feet deep on the ground the feel and smell of healthy living soil can be rewarding.  An indoor worm bin can do this, give people the connection they’re looking for.  Who needs a dating app when you have a worm bin eh.

Think about this, when your are actively vermicomposting you are creating, a worm bin is a constant source of life creation.  A replica of the very essence of the nitrogen carbon cycle that runs our natural world.  How cool it that!  You can lower your carbon footprint to help our environment, eat healthier with more veggies in your diet so your worms don’t starve and play in the dirt whenever you feel the need.  All these things add up to happiness.

Try it out for yourself, contact us here on the web page or through our Face Book page, worm therapy awaits.  https://www.facebook.com/NATURESPERFECTPLANTFOOD/ 

 

ALL HAIL THE CANADIAN WORM AND HAPPY NEW YEAR

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(We are Back!  Please forgive our absence from posting in the past month, we have “fixed” the web page.  Much more great info to come.)

When we look back on a turbulent year around the world, as Canadians we can take the time to do a bit of gloating even though it’s not in our nature.  Where on this planet would you rather be than the bastion of democratic thought and multicultural peace?  We’ve worked hard to achieve this place in humanity, this island of safety on a dangerous planet.  Our record is not spotless; we are struggling to stay on the path of reconciliation with our First Nations community, but we walk that road hand in hand, nation to nation and it’s a long path indeed.

Not everyone here can boast of a clear conscience, there are racist, sexist intolerant people in this country they hide behind the comment sections in newspapers and online.  You seldom see or hear them in real life, when you do encounter a bigot you’ll find that they stand alone.  What used to be a silent majority have found their voice and a new turn of phrase has come to light…. Call them out!

Do not tolerate or meet with silence the face of discrimination, to stay quiet is to condone.  Bruised feelings heal faster than broken bones.  Racism and sexism come from fear, be patient and understanding in your gentle tutelage.  Take a page from First Nations philosophy; make sure to feed the right wolf.  Let’s be proud of the work we’ve done together to make a tolerant, just society.

Almost all of us are immigrants to this land including the very worms that make NATURE’S PERFECT PLANT FOOD the growing success we cherish today.  There’s plenty of room to welcome any newcomers and enough love to make it worth your while.  As we enter into the great unknown of 2017, stay fast in your resolve and strong in your commitment to freedom and peace.  All hail the Canadian Worm, there’s more of us than you think.

WHEN TO START VERMICOMPOSTING

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VermicastWe have been blessed with a mild snow free Autumn this year (fingers crossed) but you know it won’t last.  Before too long we’ll be shivering and shoveling, the green brown landscape gone under a blanket of white.  No more frolicking in the garden or digging in the dirt.  You may experience a sense of loss even, lamenting the return of the winter months.  Do NOT despair!  Worms in your indoor compost will work all year.  You can still play in the dirt to your hearts content while you happily reduce your carbon footprint and save the life of your local land fill and the planet too.

When you ask yourself when to start composting with worms, the short answer is NOW!  We can get you started for as little as $20.00.  Just think, within a couple of months you can begin to harvest castings for your indoor plants or just to store until spring.  Save them up and start some of next years seedling when the time is right.  Use them once you have some to create that indoor herb garden you’ve been dreaming about, yum, fresh herbs.  The possibilities are endless.

The best part of starting to vermicompost in your home however is the satisfaction you’re sure to feel from seeing all those kitchen scraps vanishing into beautiful perfectly balanced compost for you to use as you will.  Get going today, you can use the contact page right here on the web site or for fun, check out our Face Book.  https://www.facebook.com/NATURESPERFECTPLANTFOOD/ 

Still a little worried?  have a look at this post.  http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2011/10/27/indoor-worm-bins-qa-2/ 

 

MOVING TIME, AGAIN

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VermicompostingThe nights are getting cold and soon frost will be on the ground, if you have worms outside in our Northern climate, move them inside now.  That’s what we’re doing this week, shifting from our outdoor operation in the country to inside our city depot.  Due to this change will will not have Bulk Kits available until next spring.  No worries, you can still enjoy vermicomposting with our “Clean” worm option. http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/products/ 

Many people employ Red Wigglers in their out side composting bins during the summer season, you can overwinter them inside.  Now is the time to give indoor vermicomposting a try. http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2012/08/27/indoor-worm-bins/  You can try to overwinter worms outside yourself, ours survive because of the size and quality of our system.  You need a really big and active compost to give it a go.

WHERE ARE YOU AT?

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Lobster Mushroom by Roxie AteahSo, where you at in the height of the harvest?  We’ve had a stellar growing season this year on the floodplain of the prairies and it’s far from over.  To quote one crotchety old farmer; “If it’s bloody green it’s growing!” We think he was referring to the “weeds” at the time.  Still you can’t deny this wonderful harvest.  Many vegetable crops are coming in, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower, yum! But, that’s not all, our rich woodlands and natural wilderness areas are also bountiful in their fruition, it’s just not what we’re used to.

Who hasn’t enjoyed the delightful sweetness of a Saskatoon Berry or the delicate kiss of the Wild Strawberry, you don’t buy them in a store and unless you’re very gifted and lucky probably don’t grow them yourself.  Some edible plants you simply must find in the wild.  That said we’d like to remind people of the careful use of our more elusive food supply.  Through the guidance of our First Nation’s these plants are still thriving in many parts of our Province and that’s to be supported and respected.  Always have permission to forage on land even if you think it’s public land, check it out and make sure.  You may not be the only person to use this area. Never take an entire plant or the fruit from a whole patch!

If you look at the habitat these natural plants inhabit you soon understand the fragility of the spaces.  Imagine the time and conditions required to host such complex ecosystems.  Because we grow fabulous vermicompost doesn’t exclude the fact that we in all our wisdom, can not duplicate these delicate habitats.  That is Mother Nature’s domain in entirety.

Photo credit to Roxie Ateah

 

TEA TIME!

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tea potNo, not that kind of tea!  It’s time for vermicompost tea!  Many gardeners know the benefit of fertilizing plants with compost tea or as we like to call it, liquid organic fertilizer.  Making worm tea, just like composting can be as complex or simple as you want.  You can use a bucket or a thousand dollars worth of equipment, it all comes down to the bacteria, doesn’t everything…

The idea behind tea made from worm cast is the promotion of healthy aerobic bacterial growth along with the readily soluble macro/micro nutrients found there in.  As in all of nature the balance between aerobic and anaerobic bacteria really dictates the health of your soil and plants. http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2013/06/11/probiotics/  As we know, vermicomposting is the employment of worms to compost organic material, the worms rely on aerobic bacteria to fulfill this mandate.  In turn you can use “brewing” methods to promote this bacterial growth and boost the “good” bacterial content of your soil.

The simplest way to “brew” compost tea is to mix one part worm cast to nine parts water, let stand for 8-10 hours and water your garden.  If you leave the mixture longer, the aerobic bacteria will drown and the concoction will become septic.  Still effective as a source of nutrients but benefits of aerobic bacterial content will be lost.  Commercial brewing systems often have a mechanism for aeration to prevent anaerobic conditions from developing.  You may also rig up your own aeration to keep the bubbling going but be aware, you need a lot of bubbles.  One 5 gallon pail (20L) would require at least two fish tank aeration hoses to maintain a high enough oxygen content.

The end point here is that no matter how you make it, worm tea will fertilize and enrich your soil and plants in a way that nothing else can.  Give it a go!

ARE YOU IN IT FOR THE WORMS?

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topsoilBusy, busy, busy, whew, this time of year has all the attractions doesn’t it. Garden preparation, seeding, transplanting the whole deal.  Back to outdoor composting and building the soil we go.  What’s your favorite area of concentration in spring, are you in it for the worms or the vermicompost?  ‘Cause ya know, you can’t have one without the other.

People have different vermicomposting goals and desires, some are more oriented to castings production and others want speedy breakdown of organic waste.  The methods are the same but the variables can be worlds apart.  For example let’s talk about the kitchen first, if your mail goals are directed toward speedy destruction of  food scraps there are a few tricks to optimize your system.  How much waste are you producing and how broken down is it?  Worms wait until natural bacterial decomposition is breaking down the material before they can ingest it.  Anything you can do to create surface area on your scraps will give the bacteria an opening to begin the cell by cell conversion of organic waste.  Freezing then thawing is really effective as it actually explodes the cell membrane.  Chopping and blending food scraps speeds things up too.  The worm to composting surface area is certainly a factor in this equation, the more worms you have the faster food will be consumed.  Depending on your use of bedding this type of system can be a little wet and sloppy but your kitchen waste will be gone in a jiff.  The castings production is a secondary concern but you’ll still need to periodically remove excess material and aerate the bin.

But I want to feed my plants!  As you should, if quality castings are your hearts desire, well, red wigglers LOVE manure…… almost all kinds.  Not many folks have access to fresh manure in the city but even the old stuff is a nice addition to an outdoor (and sometimes indoor) worm bin.  In fact, it’s always a good idea to incorporate extra natural organic material into any closed system, just to give it an aerobic bacterial infusion.  But, your bedding is what makes or breaks vermicast production.  To produce dark fluffy castings concentrate on the carbon to nitrogen ratio and the bedding material.  As the bedding breaks down the worms will slowly consume it.  Bins that have more time to “stew” tend to produce drier, airier shall we say cast.

Bedding also plays a significant role in breeding, where do you think the worms go to get a little privacy away form prying wormy eyes…….

One final “heads up” today, we have oodles of fresh castings just waiting for deployment in your garden, contact us here or through our Face Book page for info.