Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Pound of Worms, Chickens Eat Their Egg, Disco Lights and Homemade Hooch ....just another boring Sunday

In light of the fact that we emptied our compost into the garden and that it's too cold in our climate to start a new compost, we decided to get into vermaculture. Basically this is indoor composting but with worms to prevent odors. I took an old plastic trash bin, drilled holes in to the bottom, put in shredded papers, cardboard, and a few kitchen scraps then moistened it with a spray bottle. I put the entire thing in the extra chicken poop bin that we don't use any more (yes, we cleaned it out first!) This is the YouTube video I watch on how to set this up.

I called several bait shops to order red wigglers (this is the type of worm you need to use in the system) however they are not being sold this time of year so I had to resort to ordering them online.

I was going into the chicken coop to collect eggs when I noticed that there was a shell on the floor. I am guessing that this is more evidence that Scabby is laying now. The other chickens ate their eggs when they first started to lay so it would stand to reason that this is Scabby's reaction to her new found skill set. I cleaned up the shell, put a few more golf balls and river rocks in the pen and hoped for the best. (To see the full post on how we handled this the first time click here.) I did still collect two other eggs so lets cross our fingers that Scabby doesn't give the same idea to Big Crown and Cluck.

The next project of the day was setting up the LED light for my potatoes. Originally I had ordered this light for the Meyer lemon tree we are growing in our living room; the lights are in the blue and red spectrum for optimal plant growth. However Jeff took one look at it and told me there was no way we were going to have our living room look like a cheap night club! Banished to the basement, I had to figure out a new way to use the light. I thought about what grows well in containers and decided I had enough herbs in the living room set up, so I will try potatoes. One of my co-workers gave me a potato grow bag as a wedding present so I was already half way there. I just had to hang the light fixture. The seed potatoes should be coming on Monday. (I wanted to just take regular potatoes from the grocery store but Jeff did some research and found that you really do want to spend the extra money for seed potato since you have to be very careful about potato seedlings since potatoes are notoriously susceptible to plant disease, and you want to be very careful and use only seed potatoes certified as disease free).

We ended our evening by making homemade bread (by hand- one of Jeff's favorite things to do). We used a simple recipe for plain whole wheat bread. Its so easy to do, but mixing and kneading the dough takes a surprising amount of physical labor. We didn't realize making homemade bread could give you muscles! The smell of bread baking in the oven is almost better than actually eating it. Tonight we decided that we couldn't wait any longer to try our first batch of homemade hard cider. The cider was exceptionally dry and slightly effervescent. Alcohol content is a mystery as we don't yet have the tool to measure specific gravity (how you determine alcohol content). Jeff likes the natural dry cider flavor, me.....not so much. Woodchuck cider, it was not..... but at least it wasn't vinegar! Jeff is looking into ways to sweeten it.