Posts Tagged With: fertilizer

Worm Tea

Wormies.JPG

Wormies.JPG (Photo credit: Duncan Kinney)

It was brought to my attention, that while I have mentioned worm tea a bunch, I have not really explained what it is and how to make it. So since it is another rainy day here in Vancouver, now is a good time to talk worm tea.

Worm tea is compost tea made from worm castings. It is not, as many internet sources will tell you, the liquid that seeps out of the bottom of the worm bin. That stuff is called leachate. It is best to just put that stuff back into the bin. It is not good to use directly on your garden. If you must use it, dilute it heavily. And of course it’s not steeping your poor worms in hot water.

Now what is compost tea then you ask. Much has been written on this subject, so I am going to just give you a brief overview and the give some resources to learn more.

There is two basic methods for making compost tea. Steeped Tea and Aerated Tea. Steeped Tea is just the process of soaking your compost in water to draw out the nutrients. This is the method that gardeners have been employing for many a year.

More recently it was discovered that if you add aeration to the process, you will multiply the beneficial living organisms in the compost many fold. So in this method you use an aquarium air pump and stone to put oxygen into the water. You can also feed these organisms with some sugar to give them a head start, molasses is what is usually recommended.

I won’t give you a detailed how to as it has been done many times on the net, I will give you some links though.

http://www.compostjunkie.com/compost-tea-recipe.html

http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Compost-Tea_vq152.htm

http://www.captaincompostalabama.com/compostteastuff.htm

Categories: Compost | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Taking the Worms for a Walk

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Illustration by Joseph Bergin III

So, yesterday I was taking a hand full of worms from my bin to my new compost pile ( you know the one for my tomatoes I’ve been talking so much about). I live right next to a park, and I heard the sound of playing children as I was heading to the compost. So I took a detour to show the kids the worms. There were three little girls at the park, and they were very interested in my handful of worms and partially composted vegi matter. I talked to them about worms for about five minutes, and left them with a few worms to play with. It really made me smile to see these little girls so interested in the worms. They were specifically amazed by the fact that the worms ate paper.

When I was telling M about this exchange we did a search for kids books about worms. Of course we found a few, check out my On The Shelf page for my favorite.

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Compost Foraging Again

20130226-182414.jpgSo as you may remember I still needed to find an abundance of green material for my tomato soil composting project. M had the jeep again, so I jumped into a car2go, and went off in search of green material.

My first stop actually was at my friend SL’s place, not for green material but to bring him some poly for his little greenhouse project. He is going to build “greenhouse” shelf similar to the one I have. Great minds think alike, and fools seldom differ. I like to think of SL and myself as Great Minds, but maybe we are Great Fools. Either way I’m fine with it.

After talking about the Pallet Bed garden we are building in his back yard some, we tromped off to grab some leaves I saw in a pile at the school near his house. We could have just drove over in his jeep, but as we needed to take the dog for a stroll we rigged up a little wagon of sorts and headed off.

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After that little detour I got back into the car2go and headed of in search of green materials. I did a tour of a number of different grocery stores, and was able to get two buckets from Nesters, and two buckets from Organic Acres Market. Most of what I found was leafy greens and other small items, so it was perfect. Some of the bigger items I cut up as I want this pile to decompose quickly. I need finished compost by the beginning of June remember.

So that new composter is now about half full already. Mister Frank’s compost area is looking good. Today I will get some coffee grounds from Bean Around The World to add to the mix, and most likely take my buckets for a walk up to Organic Acres and East West Market, and see if I can get any more greens.

20130226-182308.jpgI’m feeling good about the tomato project now, I was not happy about the prospect of having to buy compost.

In fact very soon I will be able to start those tomatoes in the “Nursery”. As you may know I only have one shelf in a closet for starting my seeds. I have a lot of seeds to start this year, but with careful planning I think it can be done.

Happy Gardening To All!

Categories: adventures in urban agriculture, Compost, in the garden | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Best Pets

20130226-092914.jpgYup, worms make the best pets.

They never make noise, the don’t need to be walked,

and best of all instead of cleaning up after them,

they clean up after you.

Go Wrigglers!

Here are a couple of links to learn more about these great pets, who turn your waste into one of  the best plant nutrient you will find.

http://www.cityfarmer.org/wormcomp61.html

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/

Categories: Compost, in the garden, meanderings | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Compost Foraging

20130225-164309.jpgWell I was lax in the fall. I did not collect any leaves. I thought about it, but I didn’t act. You see I was not really composting in bulk. I have the worm bin, and the rest of my compost goes to the green bins. For the amount of space I have had , it’s been enough.

This year though I have more space! I currently have two Pallets Beds on the go and two more planned. One of which will be tomatoes in Global Buckets. The first two pallet beds were filled with top soil that was already on site. I amended them with worm castings, bone meal, kelp meal, a balanced granular mix, liquid fish fertilizer, and of course worm tea.

Now the problem arises that I am going to need to build soil for my global buckets. I have a dozen planned so far. I will be using coconut coir as the base, but I need a large amount of compost.

Luckily, tomatoes do not go into the ground for some time. So… I must make some compost. Enter the need for leaves. Alas it is not so easy to find leaves in early spring. Ok it’s technically late winter, but lets be optimistic here. So a few days ago G and I were lamenting about the need for leaves, he did collect lots, but being G, he needs more. Well just yesterday he called to give the locale of this awesome pile.

20130225-183626.jpgToday I jumped in the car2go and grabbed seven bags full. Oh Ya! Now i need to make the round of a few grocery stores for some green waste, and we are off to the races.

Now I bet you thought this tale was done, oh no. So when I got home from the leave adventure, I ambled over to Welks to see if they were carrying any large garbage containers to turn into a composter, when I bumped in to J, the proprietor, and we got to chatting as usual, and when he heard I was going to be making a composter, he gave me one he had in the basement. Awesome!

I’ll keep you all posted on my further foraging endeavours

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Thinking of Chickens

Vancooper

The “Vancooper” Displayed on Shifting Growth and Can You Dig It’s Community Garden at 12th and Clark

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Compost Tea Brewer

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Worm Castings,Kelp Meal,Molasses a little air and time…

Yummmy!

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