Sierra-Worm-Compost-Blog

The Sierra-Worm-Compost-Blog will be my avenue of updates at the worm bin. It will also serve:

~to speak on several other topics I'm passionate about such as organic gardening and the quality of our food.

~to bring you news relating to worm composting here and around the world.

~and invite you to share your worm composting experiences.

Feb 12, 2014

Contribute to Worm Compost

Would you like to share your knowledge about worm compost? Great, find out how you can submit your story or tip here.

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Jul 26, 2013

Worm Compost Puts Life Back in Your Soil and Health in Your Plants

Learn the why and how of making and using worm compost,nature's ultimate soil builder and plant growth enhancer.

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Jun 16, 2012

Is it necessary to dry out the worm compost?

I'm unclear about whether it's necessary to dry out worm compost. I have a small bin and can easily use what I'm producing pretty quickly. Can I just

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Apr 15, 2012

worm bedding or food

Paper celluose could it be used for bedding and or be fed to worms (before any chemicals are put on it)Thanks Keit

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Apr 14, 2012

Storing worm castings

What is the best way to store worm castings and how long will they be good for

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Apr 12, 2012

Worm Compost Events Calendar

Our worm compost events calendar shows our scheduled appearance at farmers markets and other venues. .

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Mar 27, 2012

How Much Water to Add to Bin

Please tell me how much water to put over the decomposing material in the bin. I believe that this is a must here in South Africa. Thank you so much for

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Mar 25, 2012

Seedlings

How much worm compost can you add to the soil when potting up seedlings

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Mar 25, 2012

Weeds for bedding

I don't have newspapper or any of the other bedding materials that you have mentioned. I do have weeds. Lots of weeds. If I run them through the chipper

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Mar 23, 2012

Nutritional benefits of organically grown food

“Healthy soils = healthy food = healthy people,” is a fundamental tenet of many ecological farming systems, yet the nutritional quality of food grown by organic and conventional methods is the subject of much controversy. The mainstream scientific community argues that nutritional differences do not exist and that plants don’t know the difference between organic and chemical fertilizers.

Organic advocates claim organically grown foods are nutritionally superior because such foods contain higher levels of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, and have a much greater level of vitality and are more disease and pest-resistant. In addition, the plants are more healthful due to lower levels of pesticide residue and nitrate-nitrogen and have greater density and better flavor.

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Mar 21, 2012

Using worm tea on Orchids

I have several orchids and mainly want my worm tea for use on them, can you give me a more or less amount of dilution of the worm tea. I have been diluting

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Mar 16, 2012

COW & HORSE MANURE

HI I WAS WONDERING A COUPLE OF DAIRY FARMS AND MORE THAN A FEW HORSE RANCHES HAVE CONTACTED ME TO DELIVER THEIR MANURE SO MY QUESTION IS WHAT ARE THE STEPS

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Feb 21, 2012

Worm Bin Heating Up

I may have accidentally created a hot compost by unknowingly mixing bedding with a bit too much food stock. I still have plenty of worms but I'm wondering

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Jan 26, 2012

Help support the GMO labeling campaign in California

A grassroots coalition of health, environmental and consumer organizations filed papers last fall with the California Attorney General's office to place a citizen's initiative on the ballot late in 2012.

If the measure is successful, California would be the first state to adopt mandatory GMO labeling laws.

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Dec 22, 2011

Farmers get clever, use Kickstarter to promote Aquaponics in North Carolina.

Forget venture capitalists or bankers. Kickstart is the new way of raising working capital for small businesses. Fantastic idea!

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Dec 22, 2011

The deliciously eccentric story of the town growing ALL its own veg(etables)

A town growing all its own veggies? This one in England is doing just that. Hopefully, the idea will spread to the U.S.

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Dec 06, 2011

School turns abandoned athletic field into organic garden

(NaturalNews) A Denver, Co., public school has set the bar high for reconnecting the next generation of children with the food they eat. ABC 7 News in Denver reports that Denver Green School (DGS), an urban "innovation" school, has brought new life to an unused, one-acre athletic field by turning it into an organic garden -- and the garden has been such a success in just eight months that the school is able to serve fresh produce from it to students in the cafeteria.

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Nov 19, 2011

That Big Farm Called San Francisco

The times and towns, they are a-changing. And by the sound of this article, San Fran is getting downright earthy. Though this article is a year old, it's still current as far as people learning and asserting self-reliant skills.

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Sep 27, 2011

Study Debunks Myths About Organic Farming

The results are in from a 30-year side-by-side trial of conventional and organic farming methods at Pennsylvania's Rodale Institute. Contrary to conventional wisdom, organic farming outperformed conventional farming in every measure.

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Sep 21, 2011

How Independent Are You?

A 1976 article that has even more relevance today.

"The garden is the best place to start looking for ways to help people become more independent. A garden is both the symbol and reality of self-sufficiency—especially an organic garden, which recycles organic wastes of the yard and household, permits the production of significant amounts of food with only minimal reliance on outside resources. Any campaign to boost personal independence should start by helping people become gardeners—teaching, motivating, and making land available."

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Sep 04, 2011

Local food advocates to protest in Santa Cruz a crackdown on small dairy farms

The tired refrain of federal, state or local government that they must intervene because "someone might get sick" is getting pretty stale. Since when is it any level of government mandate to save us from ourselves? Especially when it pertains to food?

While shares in fruit and vegetable farms have been a popular part of the local food movement, a new trend is buying shares of animals. But this new trend disturbs authorities, so much so that prosecutors have sent cease-and-desist letters to small herd share cooperatives across the state - including Evergreen Acres in Santa Clara County - and even staged an armed raid on a Ventura operation.

In this climate, local herd share operators, many of whom prefer anonymity, are coming out of the shadows next week. They are planning a downtown Santa Cruz "milk-in" to raise awareness about what they say is a misuse of taxpayer funds and government resources.

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Aug 17, 2011

Now They're Sanitizing Almonds! What's next?

If all almonds now require pasteurization, what foods will be next on the list of mandatory sterilization, heat treatment, or irradiation? This may be the first step toward a sterile food environment that protects processors from lawsuits and facilitates industrial-scale food processing and distribution—which is exactly the kind of environment that fosters bacterial contamination.

For an in-depth look at what's on those almonds to "make them safe", go to- http://www.cornucopia.org/almonds/Almond_Fact_Sheet.pdf

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Aug 11, 2011

It's Sauerkraut time!

I've been harvesting my Early Jersey Wakefield cabbage(Heirloom from Burpee)on and off for several weeks now. I have planted a variety of veggies, but somehow cabbage never made it on the list, usually it was just too late.

It was unseasonally cold the first part of May when I set them out knowing that it could be too late in the season to get a nicely developed head. By mid-June it was starting to finally warm up. Since I seeded them in straight compost with an additional handful in the transplant hole, the plants were beautiful and big. But, by mid-July it was getting hot and I didn't know if I would get any cabbage at all. So I just waited and watched and slowly they started forming their heads.

I've picked close to 15 heads from 1/2 - 1 pound each. And they were not bitter as a couple of smaller heads were used for slaw. Delicious. I pulled out my old (1973)Stocking Up book from Organic Gardening to see how sauerkraut is made. Will know in a week.

cabbage plant

cabbage plants

cabbage harvest

Aug 02, 2011

Family Farms Are Under Attack

In Late May, the DOT (Dept of Transportation) proposed a rule change for farm equipment, and if it is allowed to take effect, it will place significant regulatory pressure on small farms and family farms all across America – costing them thousands of dollars and possibly forcing many of them out of business. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), part of the Department of Transportation (DOT), wants new standards that would require all farmers and everyone on the farm to obtain a CDL (Commercial Drivers License) in order to operate any farming equipment. The agency is going to accomplish this by reclassifying all farm vehicles and implements as Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs).

The move by the DOT appears to be “legislation through regulation.” By reclassifying all farm vehicles and implements as Commercial Vehicles, the federal government will now be able to claim regulatory control over the estimated 800,000 farm workers in America, at the same time, overriding the rights of the states.

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Family Farms Are Under Attack
"

Jul 26, 2011

Blackberries and stawberries update

In April I posted my ambitious project of transplanting an old,thornless, blackberry bed and planting strawberry plants in the cinder block retaining walls. Well, the blackberries are loaded and look great. The strawberries didn't get enough water early on and didn't produce the quantity I was hoping for. The water problem was fixed and the plants themselves are beauties. They may yet produce a fall crop.

Here's the terraced bed in April

blackberry bed

And here's what it looks like now.

blackberry bed

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Jun 01, 2011

Help Save Nick's Organic Farm

Though I live on the opposite coast from this organic farmer, I'm incensed at what his local government is doing to drive this good man from his farm. If you live in the Potomac, MD area, please read this and stand up against this land grab.
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Nick Maravell has farmed the land on Brickyard Rd. in Potomac for 30 years. He has farmed it organically and sustainably, benefiting the local community, consumers and other farmers in the county, and our environment, including the Chesapeake Bay. He has farmed so well that in September of 2010, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack appointed Mr. Maravell to the prestigious National Organic Standards Board.

Nick's Organic Farm is a heritage farm, one of the few organic farms in our county and the only one to produce genuine organic seed. And now the Montgomery County government wants to destroy it.

Earlier this year, the Montgomery County School Board, which owns the land, gave Nick three weeks notice that they intended to cancel his lease, and give the lease to the county government in order to build... soccer fields. The deal was made with no public or community input.

Read about Nick's farm here:http://www.nicksorganicfarm.com/

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May 23, 2011

Fungi reduce need for fertilizer in agriculture

Although the article does not mention it, this is where customized, fungal-dominated worm tea could make an important contribution.
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The next agricultural revolution may be sparked by fungi, helping to greatly increase food-production for the growing needs of the planet without the need for massive amounts of fertilizers according to research presented today at the 111th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in New Orleans.

While mycorrhizal fungi typically only grow on the roots of plants, recent biotechnological breakthroughs now allow scientists to produce massive quantities of the fungus that can be suspended in high concentrations in a gel for easy transportation.

Sanders and his colleagues are currently testing the effectiveness of this gel on crops in the country of Colombia where they have discovered that with the gel they can produce the same yield of potato crop with less than half the amount of phosphate fertilizers.

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May 18, 2011

Detroit's Revitalization Through Community Gardens

Detroit was once called the Paris of the West, but at this point it’s more reminiscent of Venice. Like Venice, its demise has been imminent for some time, as crucial businesses and huge chunks of the population flee.

Here, local food isn’t just hip, it’s a unifying factor not only among African-Americans and whites but between them. Food is an issue on which it seems everyone can agree, and this is a lesson for all of us.

“The idea,” says Malik Yakini, a school principal who runs the two-acre D-Town Farm, “is to help black people stand up, to demonstrate that creating reality is not the exclusive domain of white people — without pointing fingers at white people.” The farm, located in Rouge Park — the city’s biggest — will soon double in size.

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May 11, 2011

40 Fruits, vegetables and herbs that will grow in partial shade

We all know that most garden crops want as much sun as possible. Tomatoes, melons and peppers will positively pout if they don't get oodles of light. What you may not realize is that many other garden crops will do quite well with limited sunlight.

Which plants will put up with lower light levels?

A general rule is that plants grown for their stems, leaves or buds generally tolerate light shade fairly well. Those grown for roots or fruits tend to need more sun.

That said, even many of these crops will also tolerate light shade, simply providing smaller yields. These are noted on the list with an asterisk (*).

The following crops will grow with as little as three to six hours of sun per day, or constant dappled shade. While size or yields may be affected in some instances, taste will be just as good.

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May 04, 2011

USDA Still Ignoring New Pathogen Tied to GMO Feeds

I first posted the problems with genetically modified crops in a March post. Now, the USDA is planning on allowing Monsanto to approve Roundup Ready® alfalfa which would have long-term implications of more Roundup Ready® crops on the market, especially as it affects dairy and cattle herds.

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