Thursday, January 31, 2008

Closing the loop

Today it was time to transplant my baby garbonzo bean plants out of their egg shells. (We save the halves of our egg shells and put them back in the egg carton to make a no-mess seed starting pot. It beats the heck out of those peat pellets, which are environmental nightmares!) It's too cold to put their fragile selves outside, so I just took a couple of Trader Joe's Graham Cracker boxes, filled them with potting soil and a special amendment, and then popped the little egg cups full of baby plants into the dirt. Okay, first I squeezed the egg shells so they would be full of cracks and holes at the bottom, giving the plants' roots plenty of places to creep out and find their new soil.

That special amendment? Worm castings! I finally got enough worms out of one end of the bin to harvest the castings today. I've been feeding only the front end for about three weeks now, just waiting until I needed some delicious compost. It looked like pipe tobacco, a rich warm brown, and smelled nice, very earthy. Not stinky at all! Then I threw down some more bedding and rotated the bin. I'll be ready to collect the next half in a couple of weeks, and then I'll let it hang out for a few months, building up matter.

I love my worms!

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