Too cool.

I found something cool on the City Farmer Web site today. They have posted videos about various aspects of urban agriculture. You can download the videos for free and watch them on your iPod or your computer.

Video subjects include several aspects of composting; vermiculture; and winter gardening using a cold frame. I haven’t watched the movies yet, but I’m especially looking forward to seeing the one on vermiculture.

I had a very small but very successful worm bin under the kitchen sink in the apartment Ron and I lived in right after we got married. (Thank God I had the good sense to marry a farm boy. A lesser man might have had some second thoughts if he’d walked in one evening to find his new bride sitting on the kitchen floor, tending a plastic shoebox full of worms. Ron just asked what I was doing, said, “You think it’ll work?” and asked me if I’d mind handing him a beer, since I was blocking his path to the refrigerator.)

I used the compost to feed the herbs I kept in pots on my balcony. When I got a house, I built a bigger worm bin … which promptly failed. I’ve made several attempts at vermicomposting since then but have never had as much luck with subsequent bins as I did with that first little experimental composter. Maybe I’ll try one more time … with a tiny little bin like that one I had six years ago.

I really want a Can O’ Worms, but I don’t really have space for it in the kitchen just at the moment.

However, I do have a three-drawer plastic cabinet I bought a few years ago to sort small amounts of recyclable materials. When I got a bigger recycling bin, I cleaned the cabinet and used it as a nightstand. When I got a bed with shelves built into the headboard, the plastic cabinet/recycler/nightstand went into the closet, where it has been sitting dormant, full of stuff I never use, ever since.

I think if I get out my cordless drill and put some drainage holes in the top two drawers, I can make a pretty nice three-story worm bin similar to a Can O’ Worms that will collect compost tea in the bottom and produce rich compost in the top. I’ll have to dink with the design a little bit to make it work, but I believe I can come up with something pretty good without spending a whole lot of money. I will probably see the owner of Worm Solutions at our Route 66 Association meeting later this month. I should call him and see if he’ll bring some redworms to the meeting for me so I don’t have to drive all the way to Yukon to pick them up. I only need about a half-pound to start with, because this is not going to be a very big bin. For some reason, the bait shops I’ve checked with around here don’t have redworms. I don’t know why. I guess Oklahoma fish don’t like red wigglers.

I’ll let you know how that project goes.

If you haven’t made a New Year’s resolution yet, consider resolving to do something positive for the environment this year. I made that resolution in 2000, and it’s been part of my lifestyle ever since. It’s kind of fun once you get started. And you don’t have to keep worms under your kitchen sink … although I highly recommend it if you’re into that sort of thing. 🙂


Slow day

Too much time cooped up indoors today — I was at work later than usual, and then I had a project to work on, and then I was in a meeting for part of the evening.

When I got home, I went outside looking for something new in the yard, but I didn’t find much. The Waterman and Hill-Traveler’s Companion says this is “Twelfth Night — animals speak tonight.” I didn’t hear them, although a little while ago, Scout did sit next to me, sending telepathic messages that said, “Share your dinner with the terrier. Let the terrier lick that bowl. Feed the terrier….”

It’s been warm lately, but this evening has gotten a little chilly. I wish it would rain. We really need the moisture. It clouded up once this afternoon, but nothing happened. Maybe I should wash the car. 😉

I’m looking forward to a good weekend. First thing Saturday morning, I’m jogging along the Arkansas River with a friend. I imagine I’ll have plenty to report when I get back; I always see all sorts of critters along the river trail.

In the meantime, here’s a photo I shot in the front yard the other day. I don’t know exactly what kind of evergreen this is, but it’s putting out quite a few pinecones: