Thursday, 28 March 2013

Club Day. The Nature Version.

Hmmm...I do think that spring is making a valiant attempt to arrive here!  The sun felt just a bit warmer and the snow is perfect for snowballs.

With that in mind, Nature Club did a wee bit more to prepare for our pizza garden, by fertilizing and watering our young onion seedlings.

I provided Nature Club with bananas, carrots and hard-boiled eggs for a snack, with instructions to save their leftover peels and shells.  As we cut the banana peels with scissors, peeled the carrots and ground up the egg shells, we chatted a bit about the worms. 

I told them the story of how the ancestors of our worms entered our lives the same year that Jaelyn was born, and how those worms were of the revolutionary variety...meaning that we often found worms who had escaped from their container when we awoke in the morning.  And while we know it wasn't that worms wanted to escape from us but rather the less-than-ideal conditions we had created in their container, we struggled to fix it.  I had nightmares about walking across the floor with worms squishing underneath my feet.

We also talked about gizzards, which the worms use to digest their food.  The eggshells we crushed help them use their gizzards more effectively.

The worms don't escape anymore, thanks to a new container system, which is actually three plastic totes stacked one on top of the other.  The two top totes have holes drilled in the bottom so that liquid can escape.  The lid of the top tote also has holes so that air can circulate.

I'm pleased to see how nice the compost looks like!  I was also pleased at how the Club eagerly dug around among our kitchen scraps, shredded newspaper and worm casing to find some Red Wiggler friends.  Eventually we fed the fellows our snack scraps, then we pulled off the top two totes to see the "compost tea" that had collected.  This stuff is potent, so I demonstrated, using a syringe, how to drop just a bit (5 drops) of compost tea in each of the planter cells, followed by a good watering.  These onions are looking good so far!

With the worms were taken care of and the onions were tended to, we cleaned up our messy hands and made our way out to enjoy that glorious sunshine!

Here's a little poem I found (in case I needed it for the transition from snack to worms).

The Worm by Ralph Bergengren

When the earth is turned to spring
The worms are fat as anything.
And birds come flying all around
To eat the worms right off the ground.
They like worms just as much as I
Like bread and milk and apple pie.
And once, when I was very young,
I put a worm right on my tongue.
I didn't like the taste a bit,
And so I didn't swallow it.
But oh, it makes my Mother squirm
Because she thinks I ate that worm!

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