MaMa Bear Oden’s Preschool has joined the Red Army!

A pound of my super composting Red Wigglers is now in MaMa Bear Oden’s hands!  Mrs. Oden is the proud, happy owner of MaMa Bear Oden’s Preschool in Bend. Vermiculture is just one of the school’s highlights.  The preschool inspires the children to make healthy, earth loving choices with MaMa Bear’s guidance. These learning centers are valuable, and I applaud MaMa Bear!

Some of the school’s features include:

•non-toxic cleaners

•reducing, reusing and recycling

•no waste Arts and Crafts center

•daily walks to the community playground

•organic garden

Role modeling earth loving choices will create healthy kids and a healthy planet!

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’

ph meter

I just bought this ph meter from Bend in Bloom, one of Bend’s garden supply shops.

I am really excited to test the ph of the compost and castings in the Red Wiggler bin!
More later!!!

Mysterious Veggie/Fruit plant growing in my garden!

Does anyone know what this is? It looks really healthy and thriving in my veggie garden. I didn’t intentionally plant this. There must have been a seed in my worm castings when I added the amendment to the soil.

I am not sure if I should let it continue or pull it. It reminds me of some sort of squash because there are yellow flowers underneath these massive leaves but nothing else seems to be growing?
If you are out there and reading this could you help me? hmmmmm
Happy Wormin’

Backyard Compost Pile

My backyard compost pile has been going for about a year. I started throwing yard debris, including grass clippings into a small section of my yard. Many of my clients have free standing piles and have had much success with adding Red Wigglers so I decided to give it a try. The pile was dry so I made sure to get it very wet so the wigglers would thrive.

My neighbors often supply the wigglers with a lot of food waste. Last week, I added about 2 cups of the waste to the pile. Adding the food made me a bit nervous. I didn’t want the pile to attract flies. So far things seem to be quiet in the corner.
I will wander out there this afternoon and check on the progress of the food waste. I am hoping to find the worms having a feast. If all goes well this week, I will continue to add food scraps to the pile. Wish me luck!