Tuesday, July 31, 2012

We Went to the Homeschool Expo - Part 2

A true great Man will neither trample on a Worm, nor sneak to an Emperor. ~Benjamin Franklin

We went to the Homeschool Expo on Friday and…my daughter came home with a new instrument, my husband came home with a new hobby, and I came home broke having spent way, way, way over (yes, three times over) my homeschool budget and I had not bought the one thing I think I would like to get for this year.

My Husband's New Hobby
My husband ran across a booth where they sold a kit with books and instructions to make a worm farm with totes, as a science project for homeschooling children. I think my husband spent as much or more time at that booth as the violin one, although he did not spend any money there, thankfully. He did want to buy a book, but they did not sell single books, except through their website.

You may wonder what is the attraction about worms for us. I have known that that worm and rabbit farming go together well, just not the details as to why. My husband, however, has done more research and before Saturday's end we had started our worm farm. There were two major things I did not know about worms.

One thing is that red wigglers are eat more and reproduce faster than other varieties of earthworms, but the thicker skinned earthworms last longer as fish bait.

The second is that worm "castings" enrich soil--"castings," isn't that kind of a snobbish term for poop from such a lowly creature as a worm? Anyway, what I did not know is that you can lure the worms to one side of your farming area, pour rain water through the vacant part, let it drain and use that enriched water, also called "worm tea," as a ground fertilizer and on plants as a pest deterrent, particularly for aphids, like the ones that just finished off one of my cucumber plants.

All our banana peels and other rotten organic foods will be given to our worms and there will be no smell! When the number of red wigglers swell, we will redesign the rabbit cage area so that we are farming worms directly under the lower tier of cages so there should be no more bunny waste to clean and also no more smell there as well.

It is an interesting ecological cycle. The worms can be spread into my gardens to help aerate them and their leached castings can fertilize them also so I can grow more food for the rabbits and, in turn, the rabbits cast off food for the worms. Eventually, I am hoping that the rabbits will further offset the food we need for the cats and dog, but we need to expand a bit before we are there. It could be that our animal food budget could be greatly reduced this time next year, but it does require more work, especially in the way of gardening. Still, bales of hay are cheaper than dog and cat food.

The other problem is that our dog had to be switched to a raw food diet to rid her of a Candida problem. German Shepherds just do better with a raw food diet, but it is an expensive diet if one is buying all the meat, as we have mostly been. Increasing the rabbit production could be very helpful in keeping her in the healthiest state and reducing feed costs.

~ My Lord, may this be a solution for us toward being more independent homesteading within the confines of our subdivision and make better use of our property. ~

2 comments:

  1. My dad had a worm farm. I think onion & citrus are killers so just check. Great fertilizer though!!!!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.