Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

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Turkey Tracks: Black Gold From Vermiculture Worms

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Turkey Tracks:  November 4, 2016

Black Gold From Vermiculture Worms

I have almost finished winterizing outside–thanks to Mat Jandreau.

Yesterday we emptied the worm bin into the cold frame outside.  It was really heavy for both of us to carry.  (Note to self:  do this task earlier in the fall.)

Penny was very interested.  She really tries to help as much as she can.

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I washed out the bin and picked out worms to go back inside, covered them with shredded paper, and will feed them as soon as I have kitchen compost again.

I moved the cold frame this year to a new spot.  The frame is kind of deep, so I used the soil from all the container pots to build it up again.  Then I added what compost I had ready.  I layered the bin with newspapers, to hold the worms in place until I could get some of them back, and we dumped the worms.

We are getting rain, so I’ve left the frame open so the rain can further wash the nutrients from this “black gold” all through the cold frame.

After the rain, I’ll seed with some lettuce and button it all up for the cold months.  Last year some delicious romaine lettuce sprouted up in the cold frame.  Let’s see what happens with intentional seeding.

Here’s a little video:

Written by louisaenright

November 4, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Turkey Tracks: September Update

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Turkey Tracks:  September 19, 2011

September Update

The garden is winding down, and our nights have been really cool lately.  We’ve been sleeping under TWO extra coverings.

The dehydrator has been running for most of the month.  This year, as I’ve already written, I’ve been drying our Sun Gold cherry tomatoes–planted for just that reason.  But, I’ve also been drying extra cucumbers and zucchini, and that’s been a really great project.  In other years,extra cukes would have to be pickled or lost.  And, I grated and froze zucchini, which wasn’t ideal as the grated zukes get bitter and very limp.  I really LOVE these dried cuke and zuke slices.  They can be used like crackers with dip, and I think they might reconstitute in soups or, in the case if the cukes, in some garlic and mint-spiced yogurt.   Corinne loved them all when she was here.

Here’s what they look like:

I harvested the dried beans I planted this year.  I only planted about 10 seeds as I thought they would climb.  They didn’t; they were more like a bush bean.  I  did not get a lot of beans actually.  Here’s what they look like:

One would have to plant a LOT of seeds to make this effort worthwhile.  I don’t understand about the color variation–but the dark brown beans look perfectly healthy…???

I walked past the blue baskets where we grew potatoes all summer one day a few weeks back and wondered if I could reseed them with some fall greens.  I topped off each with some compost from our bins and reseeded with radish, summer lettuce, spinach, and winter lettuce .  I did the same with the cold frame, which we dragged out from its summer storage and put back into the garden–well away from the snowplow’s path.

Here’s what the blue baskets looked like about 10 days ago.  You should see how lush they are now, and the cold frame is even lusher:

I didn’t expect to get this double use out of this project, so this has been fun.  Also, if we get a really cold night, I can throw a tarp over these baskets.

We’ve had the house trim painted–after seven years, it was time.  (Can’t believe we’re living in our eighth year in Maine!)  We used Greg Black’s Accent Painting, from Lincolnville, and are really pleased with his work.  (Greg had some of Rose’s meat chickens, so we met him the day we slaughtered chickens in early summer.)  The trim is all sparkly white now, mold has been scraped off part of the house where we get more rain drainage, and the upper deck and lower porch ceiling have been painted.  While the crew painted, John replaced back deck step boards that were rotting.  Didn’t he do a nice job?

Now he’s trying to solve the front door rain protection problem.  That door sits beneath the upper deck, and unless you put something, like a plywood board, on the upper deck, when it rains you get soaked at our front door.  We’re looking into some sort of plexi-glass solution–hung from or attached to the bottom of the upper porch.

The light has changed up here.  This back deck doesn’t really get morning sun any more.  So, soon we’ll be putting the deck wicker away for the year.  And, all the pots are dying pack now.   It’s ok though, as I’m ready to move inside to quilt intensely.

I love the changing seasons in Maine.