I still love Skippy!

Food is on the brain, in my hand, in my mouth, in my stomach, in my dreams!  I love food, especially peanut butter!  I can eat it with apples, bananas, and celery!  I can eat it out of the jar, smothered on bread, toast, bagels, and banana bread.  I can cover it with jelly, honey and chocolate!  I can also mix it into my ice cream.  I am picky here and prefer to have it with chocolate instead of vanilla or any other flavor!  Crap!  I freakin’ LOVE peanut butter.

I have tried a lot of the “all natural” varieties out there.  I have even blended my own….blah. I stink at that!  So when my all time favorite peanut butter company, Skippy, came out with their own “all natural” line (about a year ago?), I was thrilled.  I grew up on Skippy and knew this was gonna rock!  It did, of course.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Skippy never lets me down.

Then!!! there was word on the street that Jif was coming out with their “all natural” peanut butter.  I finally saw it on the shelf in the store yesterday and bought it.  Yipee  more peanut butter to try!  I was happy to show Carlos when I got home because he grew up on Jif.  He said his mom was choosey.  So we did what I am sure millions of people have done when a company has some competition….we had a taste test.  I opened Jif’s jar and Skippy’s, got 2 spoons and fed Carlos.  He knew the difference even with his eyes closed, and of course picked Jif….by the way he’s choosey, too! I just grabbed my spoons and chowed down!  Yummmmm I was in heaven.  Jif was actually good!  but I still prefer Skippy. Skippy’s texture is a bit smoother, and I just found out today, after reading the label, Skippy has about double the amount of salt.  I love salt!!!!!

Check out the pictures.  Interestingly, they have the same amount of calories and fat.  Jif actually has Calcium.  Where does that come from?  The molasses? hmm.  Even though I prefer Skippy, I am not worried.  I won’t let the Jif jar go to waste, but I have a feeling Carlos will devour it without a problem.  Jif is in the hizzzz-ouse again!

By the way, I do reuse these when I sell a 1/2 lb of Red Wigglers.  I make sure to poke holes on the bottom and on the lid.

Wanna play a little game of “I Spy”?

Food scraps for the wigglers!

Today I made a huge pot of soup.  I am not going to tell you what type…not just yet!  First, I’d like you to play a game with me. Please, please, please play along with me! Are you ready?  Too bad I won’t be able to hear your guesses.  Oh well!

O.K. so here goes.  I am sure in your life you’ve played “I Spy”, right?  Well, if not, I’ll give you quick “how to”.  You can play this game with an unlimited number of players.  You need at least one person to play with besides yourself.  Basically, it’s a guessing game.  You look at an object, maybe an apple that’s on the counter.  You would say, “I spy something red” and the person tries to guess what you are looking at.  Not too difficult, right? Let’s play!  Be prepared to be challenged!

I spy something orange and stringy…..

I spy something green….

I spy something yellowish, orangish…..

I spy something tiny that’s white…

All done……Here are the things I was looking at.

Something that’s orange and stringy…… the carrot peelings

Something that’s green……celery

Something that’s yellowish, orange….butternut squash

Something that’s tiny and white….garlic peels

Do you know what kind of soup I made?……

Butternut Squash Soup!  These scraps are now in the worm bin being devoured by the Red Wigglers!

SunChips Compostable Bag Weekly Update #2

SunChips Compostable Bag Weekly Update #2

Yikes, it’s been cold in Bend! Cold enough for it to snow in November. When there’s snow on the worm bins, I like to leave it there.  Having the snow on the bins, provides another layer of insulation for the Red Wigglers.  I am still conducting the SunChips experiment despite this cold weather.  The bag is in it’s 3rd week of composting. Each week, I will update the “Data and Observations” section of the experiment.

Data and Observations: The temperature in Bend was 41F when I went to check on the worms.  To my surprise, the temperature inside the worm bin was about the same.  I made sure to thoroughly clean the thermometer when I got back inside!
When I pulled away the bedding, I saw one lonely Red Wiggler next to the SunChips bag. He was moving rather slowly, and I am sure he was cold.  There wasn’t much of a change from last week.  I did pick up the bag to see if it would rip some more, but it didn’t :^(

Even with these frigid temperatures, I will continue to observe the SunChips bag.

Happy Wormin’

Check out this cool trail of ice which formed on our gutter chain.  At the moment, it is slowly melting away and the sound it’s producing is rather calming!

Baby, it’s cold outside!

It’s been so cold in Bend!  Last week, our daytime highs were in the 20’s and the night time lows were in the negative single digits. Not only were we blasted with winter temperatures, Mother Nature also granted us 6 inches of snow.  The kids enjoyed the snow and weren’t phased by the arctic temperatures.  They made a really cute snowman with Carlos and loved pelting each other with snowballs.  I’m not to sure how the Red Wigglers felt about this unseasonably cold weather.  I’m going to check on them and the Sunchips bag today and will record all of my data for my ongoing experiment.  It will be a quick visit because there is a nice layer of snow on the top of the worm bins, and I don’t want to expose them to the outside temperature for too long.  That wouldn’t be too nice to blast them with cold air…yuck.  Be back in a bit!

Deschutes Composting Facility

Members of Deschutes Recycling and St.Charles Health Care Center and me! I got to wear a vest, too!!!

Today, I had the coolest opportunity to visit the Deschutes Recycling Compost Facility  housed at the Knott Landfill!  I loved every single minute of the visit and couldn’t stop the smile from shining the whole, entire time!  There’s something so inspiring and motivating to see composting on such a massive level.

This week, I had a meeting with members of St. Charles Health Care Center to talk about their planned community garden and learn more about their pre and post consumer waste which is being collected by Deschutes Recycling.  I was fascinated by the composting program and asked if I could tag along on their visit to the composting facility.  I had to see it in action.  Their set-up is truly amazing.

Brown and Green waste ready to be moved to the next phase of the composting process.

On the composting site, the food waste travels to 4 areas before it is ready to be usable compost for your gardens.  (Carlos took amazing video footage and will be edited sometime soon!)  This photo shows the compost moving from the 2nd phase to the 3rd phase.  This is a mixture of brown and green organic waste.  You can see the brown waste on the bottom and the green food waste in the middle and a bit of brown on the top.  The drop box also has black tubes inserted to pump in air so aerobic decomposition occurs.  This process takes about 30 days and temperatures reach about 130F which kills the pathogens in the compost.

Can you find the white sprout?

Here’s a close up of the compost.  They are doing a terrific job keeping it aerated.  A sure sign of aerobic decomposition is the smell it gives off while breaking down.  This batch has an earthy smell.  Good Job Deschutes!  This will then move to a windrow to continue decomposing and then move to the screening process to remove any pieces that didn’t compost, such as large pieces of bone.

There are only 2 facilities participating in this food composting program on a commercial level.  Soon, Deschutes Recycling will continue to provide this service to many more commercial businesses in Deschutes County.  Very cool, very cool indeed!

Happy Wormin’