When, in March 2008, our local Municipality waste department went on strike, we discovered exactly how much waste we accumulate and what a mess we are responsible for at 40 on Ilkey B&B. We have therefore decided to "Go Green" and take responsibility for our little spot on Mother Earth.
I read that: "When wet garbage decomposes without air it becomes slimy, smelly and gives off methane and nitrous oxide, two very potent greenhouse gasses.
Disposing of wet garbage in plastic and sending them to the dumping ground therefore contributes directly to global warming. The amount of garbage collected for landfill is a huge, global problem, with landfill areas rapidly filling and around 50% of waste materials at landfills are composed of organic solid waste / wet garbage."
Our first objective was to recycle as much as possible. Glass and paper are the obvious first baby steps. This is relatively easy as we have glass collection points and the paper is picked up twice a month.
The next obvious step was to make compost from all the kitchen wet waste. The shells of 15 dozen eggs per week, peels and pips discarded from our daily fresh fruit and other salads.
Our first attempts on making compost went well, but it is a lengthy process and if not managed well, a smelly one.
Johan read about using earthworms in vermiculture. I had vivid pictures in mind from taking my (then) small boys fishing each with a small container of wriggly earthworms, so I wasn't too excited about cultivating "red wrigglers" at first, but I did a lot of research and grew strangely attached to these fascinating creatures. I found out that the Eisenia Fetida are surface feeders as opposed to the garden burrowers you'll normally find in your garden.
That means that they move with the food minimizing you handling them. All we have to do is make sure the worms are comfortable, dry and don’t accidentally get fed things they shouldn't eat.
I was convinced and we have just received our first containers with our very first crawlies from Wriggler Magic Worms.
With spring just around the corner, a part of the garden was cleared to accommodate a veggie patch and hopefully, we'll have our first organically grown veggies around September.
4 Aug 2008
This is the first picture of our wriggles after one week. They look plump and slimy (...which apparently is a good thing.) I am amazed at the absence of a bad smell around the worm farm. One would think that the decomposing matter combined with gooey worms must smell disgusting. They don't. I can now believe that the compost created by their excretion is sterile. Nature is amazing.
11 Aug 2008
I had to grab a camera when I saw this. Our first babies in the making. According to one of my friends: the Bug has officially bitten.
22 Aug 2008
Today I saw the first cocoon packages. The worm compost is also turning into a black mass. Beautiful. We added the first tray as well this week.