Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bumped and Bruised, but Hopeful

A few days after Sunday's horse experience, I'm starting to recover. I've discovered some pretty fantastic bruises. I don't have specific memories of getting each individual bruise, but I'm sure they are a direct result of being dragged throughout the barn on Irish's quest for snacks. My muscle soreness was the most acute yet, but that is also fading. Despite all of this, I'm actually much more optimistic about the next lesson. Surely, I must have encountered most of the challenges already. I'm visualizing myself in a month or two feeling much more confident and capable of accomplishing each of the tasks. My bruises remind me of the satisfaction I felt years ago, looking at my remarkable bruises obtained during archery lessons at summer camp. They felt like a badge of pride and a mark of completion then, and though the feeling now is a shadow of that long ago feeling, it is similar.

Tomorrow I'll make the call to the farm to see what help they'll need this weekend. A week or so ago, they thought they would need help working in the greenhouse on Saturday. I'm anxious to get more involved, to really get in the dirt and learn to grow what will ultimately become our food.

Meanwhile, my Worm Factory arrived yesterday! I've started collecting food scraps, and I'll spend the next week or so gathering all the materials needed to get it all set up for the worms. I also need to get a space made for the composter in our shed. The instructions that came with it are comprehensive, and recommend a location that stays between 60 - 80 degrees. This will be an ongoing challenge - the shed will provide some shelter from the elements, but there's no way it's anywhere near 60 degrees in winter or 80 degrees in summer. The booklet recommends buying your worms locally, but specifically from a grower who produces red wigglers. Regular worms sold at bait stores won't do, and neither will the ones in your yard. Assuming you insanely wanted to try to collect the 1,000 worms recommended!

The instructions prefer local worms because they get stressed out during the shipping process. Yeah, you read that right. No one wants a stressed out worm. Believe it or not, there's a site to help you locate a worm source near you. Seriously. The more I dig into this sustainable life (sorry, pun intended!), the more I am amazed at the resources and structures already available to the seeker. Turns out there are no Maryland options, but there were two relatively local options, in Delaware and Pennsylvania. The Delaware option looked good, but I was charmed(!) by the PA option. Here's what Uncle Jim's Worm Farm has to say:
Now let's face it! You probably aren't the average Guy or Gal if you're interested in buying wholesale worms. You're obviously environmentally aware, economically savvy and eccentrically right on target. After all, it's not like purchasing toothpaste, toilet paper or groceries...
Eccentrically right on target? Love it! Oh yes, Uncle Jim, you can have my business. I'll be purchasing 1,000 red wigglers as soon as I'm confident their new home will be ready for them once they arrive. I may also purchase some of his vermipods, which are earthworm eggs encased in clay for storage and handling. They would make an excellent addition to our yard, garden and flower beds! Sometimes I'm confused about how I ended up in a place that these things are interesting and exciting to me... content, but confused!

Finally, my friend Deborah and I are embarking on another fun journey... beekeeping lessons! The 5-week course starts next week, and I'm both nervous and excited to learn more. Not that I was planning on it, but we will not be getting bees at our current house. Jay is reluctantly playing along with most of my projects, but here he's put his foot down. He and bees... they don't get along so much.



Gretchen said...

Wow, red wigglers! When you get into something,as usual,you go all out. Can't wait to hear how this goes, and of course, you know I'm breathlessly awaiting your verdict on the beekeeping class.None of this fits in my life right now, so I'll live through yours!

Lisa Reed said...

Charles just came from the other room to see why I was laughing out loud. I truly was LOLing...stressed out worms...ohhh nooo!!
We finally have a perfect label..and perhaps it is the beginning of an association or a club (or a 12 Step program)
"Eccentrically Right On Target"!!

Your blog is a great start to any day!