Wednesday, March 23, 2011


So, I’m super excited about a new hobby. Greg and I are geocaching! For a full explanation of what the heck we’re doing, I recommend you go here: If you’d rather have the three sentence version, here it is.


Geocaching is a GPS “treasure hunt” taking place all over the world. People hide containers called “caches” anywhere they like, and post the GPS coordinates on a website for others to go find it. The contents of the caches aren’t actually valuable, but the real treasure is the experience of hunting for it.


Anyhow, it’s a really neat way to get outside and see some places you haven’t seen before. We actually bought our handheld GPS unit late last fall, but winter arrived before we had much opportunity to use it. We’ve found about a dozen caches so far this spring and I’m sure we’ll be finding lots more in the months to come. This is so much fun!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Worm Bin Tour

This is my vermicomposting bin. It sits in our kitchen right next to the trash can. The bin is about 18 inches by 18 inches square and about 16 inches tall, but the tray with the worms is only about 6 inches deep.

The lid on the top is meant to keep light out of the bin. Even without the lid the worms will stay in the bin, because they are much happier inside than they would be if they crawled out. The lid doesn't snap on, so air can easily flow in and out of the bin. When I lift off the lid, here's what you see. That is a pile of moistened shredded newspaper. It helps keep the bin moist enough, and eventually the worms will eat all of this paper.

If I pull the paper back, you can see the layer of food scraps. Here you can see some slices of an apple and a couple of coffee filters. There were some worms crawling around this stuff, but most of them hid as soon as I pulled back the newspaper.

And here is one of the residents of the bin. These worms are called red wrigglers. These are surface dwelling worms, not soil dwelling worms. They are much smaller than a typical earthworm. In nature, you'd usually find these worms in piles of manure or decaying leaves. These worms are ideal for indoor vermicomposting because they are comfortable between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, they reproduce quickly, and they don't mind living in confined spaces.

Things are continuing to go well in the compost bin. I found something that I think is a worm cocoon. If I'm right, one or two baby worms will hatch in a couple of weeks. And I saw some worm behavior this morning that indicates I may have more cocoons fairly soon.