THE FORCED THAW

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melting snowCheck out todays photo, melting snow… this is not us, indeed upon inspection yesterday, our out-door vermicomposting facility is still hip deep in the dastardly white menus.  While we’re not ones to mess with Mother Nature, desperate times call for desperate measures; we are starting a forced melt.  Working under the premiss that white surfaces reflect sun light and dark absorb… we’ve dug out the south side of one active compost pile in the hope of a faster sprig melt and ultimately a sooner start for our worm harvest.  This is not without risk as night-time temperatures are routinely dropping to below minus 12 Celsius. The worms are protected though the cold months by a combination of elements, we insulate our piles with a layer of straw usually 12 inches deep, and a heavy snow pack helps too.  The vermicompost self regulates to a certain degree by forming a protective ice crust that grows from 6-12 inches deep over the winter, unbelievably live worms can be found right in the ice crust.  Under the snowpack and straw yesterdays ice crust was about 6 inches thick.  The danger here is the loss of insulation for the worm colony, if temperatures plummet, we may freeze some of the worms.  So folks, fingers crossed for a nice warm spell and we’ll be harvesting worms in a week or two.

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