Posts Tagged ‘poo’

I Have Worms! Again!!


…and I’m happy about it.  A little over a year ago, I shared my passion for composting worms in a post called, I Have Worms. I took last winter and summer off, not wanting to bring the bins inside after spending the summer outside. I had hoped the worms would survive winter in compost bins and piles, but they didn’t. 😦

Luckily, I had shared worms with several friends, and Ms. J. still had some she was willing to share back.

worms, vermiculture, compost, recycle, fertilizer

I am still happy with the content of the original post, but wish there were more pictures. So this time, I’ll be keeping a kind of photo journal of the process. Welcome.

First, I keep my compostables (fruit and veggie scraps) in the freezer. It speeds up the decomp process and eliminates smell and fruit fly issues.

worms, vermiculture, compost, recycle, fertilizerAlso, the smaller the chunks, the faster the worms can break it all down. This Pampered Chef hamburger masheer thingy works GREAT to chop up frozen romaine.

worms, vermiculture, compost, recycle, fertilizerPlease note:  when adding compost to an indoor worm bin, thaw it out first or  the worms could die.

In order to separate the worms from their poo (castings) later, I’ve found the best method is to feed on only one side of a bin at a time.  When the pile gets near the top, I will start feeding on the left side only. The worms will move to that side, leaving their nutrient-rich fertilizer on the right. I first tore up a small brown paper bag into one by six- inch strips for bedding. Then I added an ice cream pail’s worth of fruit and veggie scraps (thawed to room temp),

worms, vermiculture, compost, recycle, fertilizerfollowed by more paper bag and finally 2-inch layer of black dirt.

worms, vermiculture, compost, recycle, fertilizerTa-dah!!

I am so excited to have worms again! I can make dirt and super fertilizer all winter. Also, I eat better (more fruits and veggies) and my fridge is cleaner because I am always looking for more worm food. And Mr. Clean (aka Mr. Wonderful) doesn’t even mind that they’re inside. Much. 🙂

We’re Baaaaaaack!


Losing Cook Dollar Barn was one of the worst experiences we have lived through. It wasn’t just a store; it was an important social hub for the Pajari Girls, and our little town, too. Every day, the list of people and things we miss gets longer. And when people told us that there must be something even better around the corner, we KNEW they were lying.

Now, we are headed back. Back in “A Barn, if not “The Barn”.

So here’s the scoop: barring zoning, insurance or licensing issues, Her Highness The Queen of Poo (Lois) is hoping to open the Peterson family homestead as a petting farm/ event location this summer! Can we get a whoop whoop??

farm barnherd, pony, llama, goat, sheep

farm, barn, cat  

great pyrenees, dog, boy, farm

walli, corgi, dog,

goat, farm, pajari girls

alpaca, farm, pajari girls

pony, farm, horse. girl guinea hens, fowl, poultry bunny, rabbit, zip, hens, chickens, farm, eggs Flemish Giant, rabbit, bunny donkey, the farm, pajari girls

One Lovely Blog Award


one lovely blog award

Thank you Heather of  Rambling of a Hedge Witch for awarding me the One Lovely Blog Award! I finally got around to really looking at your blog, and love the Pet Portraits blog, too..a very talented lady.

The rules of this award are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you (manners, people! manners!).
  2. Add the “One Lovely Blog Award” image to your post.
  3. Share 7 things about you.
  4. Pass the award on to seven nominees.
  5. Include this set of rules (important, otherwise confusion and mass hysteria ensues).
  6. Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs.

*If this is your first Blog Award Nomination, you might want to read this post. It’s things I wish I’d known earlier lol.

7 things about me:

  1. I have recently discovered I have a form of OCD involving spelling, grammar, and punctuation. I’m working on a post about that, but am extra-worried that I am doing something wrong.
  2. I don’t just love to laugh; I need to laugh. Daily. It’s part of how I battle depression, and I think I got the idea from Robin Williams. (But I’m fighting off a stomach bug and can only be upright for a short time. Sue me if I’m wrong.)
  3. My sister (The Queen of Poo, aka Boss Lady, aka Sissy Butt) says the best word to describe me is “irreverent”. “Insubordinate” was a close second. Whatever.
  4. I am on the fence about Blog Awards, but for today I find the pros outweigh the cons.
  5. We have two pets at my house, GF Peaches the neutered, male, half-Manx cat and Isabelle the Guinea Pig. (Any other creatures I talk about are my sister Lois’s.) That link is a YouTube video I made of GF playing piano/nippin’ out. He plays piano without catnip too.
  6. I am finally at a place in my life where I like who I am. This is not an accident; it took a lot of work. And a lot of mistakes, lol.
  7. I use texting shorthand quite a bit. The reasons? My female Spawn are 18 and 20 (our main form of communication is text), and I have RA so some days my hands are uncooperative.

These are my awardees, and a short note about each and why I chose them.   In general, I included blogs I was bummed I forgot for the Liebster, and then went through my “posts I recently liked” list. Please stop by and visit them as well as visiting my nominator’s very cool and interesting blog. Accepting this award is optional, and supposed to be fun. Don’t feel you have to do it; nothing bad will happen if you choose not to. 🙂

Quarter Acre Home: This chick boggles my mind; she grew up in a city and is living her dream of living sustainably on about 1/4 of an acre. Having been raised on a thousand acre beef and horse farm, I find her blog fascinating. Her latest post, “Animal Rights VS Animal Welfare” is a must-read if you are conflicted or confused about eating and raising meat.

The Return of the Modern Philosopher: This is funny stuff, written by a real-life screenwriter. Latest post titles include “Zeus Announces Contest to Name New God” and “The Mourning After, or How to Deal With a Drunk Leprechaun“. I always laugh, and have something new to think about when I leave this page.

Rag Bag Originals: This is my friend Ruth Huismann’s blog. She works across the hall from me and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her, her spawn, her mom (who scares me a little), and her siblings. I admire her sense of humor and the things she does with fabric. It’s because of her that I am thinking about buying myself an American Girl doll–she makes the cutest clothes for them. She also makes mittens that encourage the myth of Minnesota Nice. (Ever try to flip someone the bird wearing mittens??)

The Wicker Woman: This is another local lady who is a very talented artist. She makes the COOLEST baskets with antler handles, re-canes furniture, and does many other amazing things. She has been creating literally as long as I have been alive, and has been blogging for 8 years.

Single Dad Laughing: This guy’s blog  is kind, funny, smart, and honest, and I love the way he approaches parenting. I first found it through my sister, who suggested reading his post “16 Ways I Blew My Marriage.” Shortly after that, he posted “I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay“, which is an eye opener for all faiths )or none) and sexual orientations. Most recently, he did an AMAZING thing for a neighbor of his, posting an appeal for help that resulted in a gift from his readers in the amount of $10,000. A great example of the good that can be done via the internet.

Fish of Gold:  According to Fish of Gold herself, “FOG is a eclectic assortment of opinions, experiences, gripes, stories and fiction.” Honest, interesting, uplifting and funny stuff. Her New Year’s post brought a tear to my eye, and The Middle Finger: The Jolliest Finger of All made me laugh out loud. You are missing out if you don’t follow this fish.

Bananas and Prunes: This lady and her hubby Bill have recently moved back home with her mother to be her caretaker.  Her latest adventure started with the question, “What Could Be Worse?” when she decided to clean out some of her mom’s belongings. I won’t spoil it, but it was freaking hilarious. I am still chuckling days later. Read this now.

Pouring My Art Out: His motto is “Ripping out my guts for your entertainment”. That sums it up nicely. Here, you will find adorable baby pics of his nephew Willy and pics of Saddam Hussein and Mother Theresa in footie (footy? feety?) pajamas. Kind of reminds me of myself….crazy, but in a fun, non-threatening way. Visiting this blog always makes me laugh, smile, and exclaim,  “WTF is WRONG with you?!?!?” Good times, good times.

Liebster Award


Liebster Award

“The Liebster Award is given to up-and-coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  The word ” Liebster” comes from the German language and can mean the sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, most beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

Thank you Heather, of Ramblings of a Hedge Witch, for the nomination! 🙂 The toughest part was figuring out how many followers each blog had. There were a few that I couldn’t find any stats on, so I hoped and included them anyway.

Cliff’s Notes on how it works: I answer 11 questions, share 11 random facts about myself, nominate 11 bloggers, and write 11 questions for them to answer. (Full rules at the end.)

The questions I was supposed to answer:

1) Why did you start writing a blog?

Mary Conger told me to. Bossy Big Sister seconded. Motion carried.

2) What is your favorite work of fiction?

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

3) How would you describe your personal philosophy/spiritual path?

Seeking balance.

4) What has impressed you lately?

The snow llama. (https://pajarigirls.com/2012/12/16/weekly-photo-challenge-delicate/)

5) What has depressed you lately?

The Sandy Hook tragedy.

6) What advice would you give your younger self if you could go back in time ten years?

Can I make a joke about getting a defense lawyer instead of a divorce lawyer?

7) What are your vices?

Smoking, cussing, being late.

8) What would you like to achieve in 2013?

I want to be Employee of the Year at Cook Dollar Barn. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. But will my sister acquiesce?? Nooooo.

9) Describe your personal style.

In public? Jeans, T-shirts, sweatshirts.

10)  What is your favorite city?

Philly 🙂

11) Name something that always makes you smile.

Playing ball with Walli; Corgi butts drive me nuts. That is funny stuff.

Questions for my nominees:

1.) Does YOUR sister pick on you, too? Nagging and such?

2.) When was the last time you shoveled poo?

3.) What would be the first thing you’d do if you won the lottery?

4.) How YOU doin’? (It’s just not the same without an up-nod and a bad Sopranos accent.)

5.) What do you want to be when you grow up?

6.) If you could live anywhere on earth (and take whomever you wanted along), where would it be?

7.) What do you admire most about yourself?

8.) What would you most like to change about yourself?

9.) What are you waiting for?

10.) Why did you start blogging?

11.) What is the most-watched movie/DVD in your collection?

11 things you might not know about me:

1.) I hate this part.

2.) I know how to harness and drive a team of horses.

3.) I have been a mom since I got pregnant at 16.

4.) I always wanted to be a truck driver/ heavy equipment operator.

5.) I can play 3 instruments, though not well: piano, trumpet, and guitar.

6.) The activity that makes me happiest is gardening.

7.) The first deer I shot was a 12-point buck. Really pissed off the Chicago boys lol.

8.) I have Rheumatoid Arthritis…I spent 18 months in a wheelchair and give myself a shot in the stomach twice a week to keep that from happening again. (There also a million other things I need to do to stay upright, but that is the one that seems to freak people out the most.

9.) We Pajari Girls speak in movie shorthand–if you haven’t seen The Boondock Saints, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, Practical Magic, and The Big Lebowski, you will totally miss what the hell we are talking about most of the time.

10.) I had the WORST taste in men. Mr. Wonderful endured a committee of friends and family members, as well as a 3 page application, a note from his doctor, and a background check. It was worth it. (PS I did the same for him, under orders from my bossy sister, aka Head of the Committee. )

11.) I am always out of the running for Parent of the Year by mid-January. (See #3.)

And the nominees are (in no specific order):

Quite Contrary

Hammer Like a Girl

Verbatim Gibberish

Everyday Gurus

Trophy Daughter

Catherine Holm

Rice River Ramblings

whiskeytangofoxtrot

momuverse

Blaise Lucey

Superkat Wins

Here are the RULES –

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Pass the award onto 11 other blogs (while making sure you notify the blogger that you nominated them!)
  • You write 11 NEW questions directed toward YOUR nominees.
  • You are not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated your own blog.

You paste the award picture into your blog, Google it or steal mine.

PowerBall Christmas Shopping List


How fun would Christmas shopping be if I won the lottery?? (Seriously, follow the links–they are half the fun.)

 

My Big  Sister Lois would get a yak, which was Rachel C’s great idea…

Yak

…and a Hippopotamus For Christmas. Real ones. Complete with enclosures etc. And enough money that she could stay at home on The Funny Farm and play with creatures, her chainsaw, and shovel POO!  to her heart’s content, instead of going to The Barn every day. (The Barn vs. the barn.)

All of the Pajari Girls would get pink guns. Because it’s ironic. And badass. Check out these Google pics of pink guns.

Mr. Wonderful would get a private plane so we could visit his family whenever he wanted. And Pine-Sol. The company.

BigGuy: A custom Harley, with all the accessories including Vance & Hines pipes. And maybe a sidecar, so we wouldn’t have to fight over who gets the next ride. Of course, he will have to quit working so he has time to give me more than 2 rides per summer.

Firstborn Spawn: NOT a pole. I’d buy her the Minnesota Wild.

Unloved Middle Child: We would follow The Boss on tour, front row, backstage, etc. And pie. Scooter Pie.

The Boy: His own museum full of trains and dinosaur skeletons.

If money were no object, what is the wildest Christmas gift you would buy?

I Have Worms


I first heard about composting with worms from my daughter, whose science teacher had  a worm bin in her classroom. Said daughter started cleaning our refrigerator to feed the worms for extra credit. The more I read about composting with worms (vermiculture) , the more intrigued I became. Mrs. Bidle (who also taught my sister and I in high school) asked if the worms could spend the summer at my house. Of course I said yes, and almost two years later I’m still waiting for her to start a bin of her own. 🙂 Hopefully, this will help.

Why Worms??

Because I am not a patient woman. Nor do I have a big budget for gardening. I want to grow the most food and flowers possible for the smallest investment possible, AND I have a chronic health condition that limits my physical ability. (It’s like having a 12 year-old ADD brain in an 80 year-old body some days.) It quickly became apparent that worms could be a big part of the answer I was looking for. While I am doing other things-or nothing- those worms are making dirt and fertilizer 24/7. AND eating what would otherwise be taking up space in a landfill to boot.

Which Worms?

These aren’t just any worms. Eisenia fetida is the Latin name for the worms I wanted. They specialize in eating food scraps and reproducing. And their poo is unbelievable fertilizer. My apple trees, for example, are from Idaho. They are NOT thrilled to be in the icebox of the nation. However, a friend taught me how to prune them and I added castings (worm poo) around the base of the trees and voila!

The biggest, happiest apple I have ever grown, thanks to worm poo.

I am not an expert. See the links at the end of this post for that. This is just a quick overview of what has worked for me.

  1. Keep an ice cream bucket in the freezer for food scraps. This eliminates fruit flies, smell, and best of all, speeds up the whole composting process. When the fruit and veggies freeze, ice crystals split open the cells, so the worms can break it down faster.
  2. Brown and Green. There is a specific formula for how much of each to use, but I wing it and it seems to work fine. “Brown” can be paper grocery bags, newspaper, leaves, etc. The worms need this material for bedding, and it also helps soak up excess moisture. “Green” is food scraps (plant only- no dairy or meat…they attract the wrong kinds of bugs and may also contain pathogens). Whole corncobs and apples will eventually break down, but smaller chunks are faster, so I usually chop up the food for the bins. If I don’t have time, it goes in the big compost bin outside, which I add worms to regularly.
  3. Black. Always cover Green with at least two inches of black, again to keep unwanted bugs from being interested. “Black” can be compost that is finished, bagged potting soil, or even garden dirt.
  4. Moisture. I keep my bins outside in the summer, so when it rains I cover them. Too much moisture attracts- again- the bugs you don’t want. The drain on my bin keeps clogging, so I just scoop out any extra moisture for super-concentrated fertilizer. A kitchen baster works great for this, too.
  5. Rotating where in the bin I feed the worms has worked best for separating the worms from their castings (poo). For example, I feed only on the left side of the bin for a few weeks, layering brown, green, and black. Once that side gets close to the top, I stop feeding on the left and  switch to the right and start over. The worms eat everything on the left and work their way to the other side of the bin. Then I can remove the finished product from the bin, and use it in the gardens.

I hope this helps you get started! I am all about guidelines and winging it– the details are here:

www.redwormcomposting.com  has tons of info on getting started and troubleshooting. Dear Family, please visit this site when you think my worm experiment has gone too far. 😉

www.lavermesworms.com is the Duluth company where my worms came from. Ellen has done great things with worms; check it out!

POO!


Don’t be scared…it’s only fertilizer.

So my sister and I were sitting by the bonfire tonight, talking about all the by-products we use from The Funny Farm (now Cook’s Country Connection), and naturally the talk turned to poo.  Her critters produce a LOT of it. And since we are both avid gardeners, this is a good thing. The trouble is, all poo is not created equal. Thus, I decided to share an overview of the poo we fertilize with, and why. (Please note: NPK is the amount of Nitrogen, Phosporus, and Potassium in fertilizer. Most synthetic fertilizer is 20, 10,5. However, we prefer the organic, homegrown type that comes from all the critters. It takes a bigger volume of fertilizer, but it’s worth it. And free. And we have to something with all that poo!)

  • Horse/Donkey Poo: Little Bit, Itchy, Squirt, Toby and Jack eat a LOT. Horses are less-efficient at digesting than other farm animals, so they poo a lot, too. Cleaning up after them often requires a front-end loader and a strong back. That’s why I usually just supervise. Horse and donkey poo is “hot”, meaning it’s high in nitrogen and can burn plants if not aged or composted. (The average NPK for horses is .7, .30, .60.) Also, weeds can be an issue with horse poo, since a lot of the seeds pass right on through. However, every equine on the place is an eating machine, so there are large quantities of horse poo available.

Lois with (clockwise from bottom left) Itchy, Little Bit, and Squirt

  • Rabbit Poo: Zip the bunny was easy to litterbox train–unfortunately he had a tendency to chew on things he shouldn’t. Like wiring. Therefore, his accomodations were upgraded to an indoor-outdoor hutch with a wrap-around porch. Bunnies usually poo in the corner farthest from their food, so collecting rabbit poo is easy. The average NPK is 2.4, 1.4, .6. Bunny poo is already pelletized, so it’s convenient, too! And it’s safe to put directly around plants, like llama beans…no need to compost first. Luckily, Lois brought home another bunny today from our friend Diane 🙂
  • Worm Poo: I love composting! Two summers ago, our high school math/science teacher, Mrs. Ann Bidle, had a worm bin as part of a class project. When the project was over, she gave me the worms and bin 🙂 Most people know that earthworms are excellent for the garden. They aerate the soil, break down organic matter, and add vital good bacteria that helps plants grow bigger faster. I spread the castings from my worm bins around two of my apple trees this spring, and they are literally weighed down to the ground with pie apples. My lilacs love castings, too. I also add excess worms to my regular compost bins and piles to get things moving faster. If you want more info on vermiculture, check out this blog: http://www.redwormcomposting.com/getting-started/. Average NPK varies greatly depending on what worms are fed.
  • Llama Beans & Alpaca Poo: Talk about the perfect organic fertilizer! It’s compact, has very little smell, releases nutrients slowly, can be added directly to the garden, is easy to collect (they tend to go in a few central locations), and face it- Jill, Belle, Madelyn and Maddox are just plain fun to be around. The underbites and humming alone are priceless.

    Madelyn, one of the newest additions to the Funny Farm.

Lois and Jade sniffing noses with Bella Llama

Check out this Nicotiana I started from seed and transplanted to the flower bed that had llama beans. It’s easily twice the size of the others I started and placed elsewhere. The average NPK for llamas is 1.5, .2, 1.1.

WITH llama beans…

  • Dog/Cat Poo:   Unfortunately, dog and cat poo are NOT good for much. Never use pet waste in gardens or compost. (Assuming you have normal pets ie: cat, dog, rodent, etc.) If you know something we don’t, please let us know. The big dogs alone weigh close to 300 pounds, so you can just imagine the sheer volume of poo they produce.

Cats do reduce the amount of mouse poo on the farm, however. Which is good. Nobody wants mouse poo in their feed.

As you can see, using poo for fertilizer is not only good gardening…it’s a way of life on The Funny Farm. Any questions? Ask Lois…she is FULL of poo In fact, she’s the Queen of Poo. True story! Google it and see!!

What’s your favorite poo for gardening?

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