Thursday, April 19, 2012
I'm not sharing a recipe today because I wanted to share a different view of our food today. Over the fall and winter, I became frustrated with the waste. No matter how well I thought I was doing I still could eliminate the waste from our food. We have a freezer filled with orange and lemon peels for various projects but we can't eat every part of every fruit and vegetable. I wanted to compost but I live in an apartment. When my son was a baby, I tried composting in our apartment. It wasn't easy to learn how to compost in an apartment and eventually I had a neighbor complain. I didn't want to go through that. We do have garden plots and I still think there's a good argument for having a compost space there but it's a long way to go from our apartment with every scrap. I just don't see it as being successful. Enter my mother and her previous worm experiment. Her department, here at WSU, wanted to go green. My mother suggested adding worms so they could compost the extra food. The worms lived happily in a large plastic tote in their hallway. When they became over populated, worms would go home with employees - some for fishing, some for gardens. She suggested that we try worms in our apartments. She ordered from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm, 2000 worms for $37. We had large totes so all we needed was a bag of peat moss which came inexpensively from Walmart. The whole thing cost about $40 but split between two households, it cost us $20. Because we have so many worms, we are going to sell the surplus for $1 a dozen. After 40 dozen (480 worms) we will have made back the expense. The worms will multiply so we can continue to sell them over time and have them actually make us money but that isn't our complete focus. The worms will eliminate our waste. All those inedible parts become food for them. They turn that into great compost for our gardens. I can throw some of the excess worms into my garden space to make it healthier. We'll have our own fishing worms as well so that eliminates that expense. I'm actually excited to have them in my home. In the warm months they will live on our balcony, the colder months they'll live inside. Damp newspapers will help reduce other bugs, as well as a little diatomaceous earth (a very fine particle dirt that kills nuisance bugs). Properly cared for, there will be no unpleasant smell. It's perfect for apartment living.