Thursday, May 23, 2013

Green Living With A Toddler

When I say "Green Living" with a toddler, I am not talking about the nasty color you occasionally get in a diaper or the junk coming out of their nose when they are teething or have a cold.

In my attempt to provide a higher quality food to my child, without breaking the bank, I decided I would embark on the composting, planting, growing journey; which is part of "Green Living."I was not raised on a farm, so can I just say this has been a major learning curve for this city girl.

In the fall, in preparation for the Spring, I started a compost, but not just any compost, I started a worm hotel. The idea is that these massive red worms, the size of small snakes, break down compostable materials quicker than just leaving a pile of stinky fruit and vegetable skins rotting in your back yard as they bake in the sun, meanwhile drawing all of the cities stray cats, skunks, mice, etc... into your back yard. This is not a good way to make friends with your neighbors.

I built the thing according to the directions so that the worms would crawl up to level one of the hotel eat their food and fill the first room with worm poop, which is suppose to be great for your plants. Then, they are suppose to continue upwards into each suite until they reach the roof, so that it is easy to separate them from the soil. What a joke! The lazy suckers refused to move, they apparently missed the memo.

 After reading on Pinterest about a woman with a similar problem, I just dumped the several hundred worms and all of the rotten produce into a garbage can where they are all living together happily in my garage....and no I have no idea how I will separate the little beasts from the beautiful rich soil they are creating for my plants.

Then, realizing that I had more compostable material than these little suckers could process, I purchased a rolling composter (A large black garbage can that lays on its side on wheels, so that all of the compost tea (liquid produced as compost breaks down) can drain into the platform it sits on. Now this contraption is brilliant and works exactly as it should.

So after settling how I would enrich my soil, I went to work growing organic seeds, under a light hung with chains, on a table in my kitchen. I nursed these babies for 8 weeks and was ready to plant the beautiful things, when the weather of upstate NY decided to bring a frost the second week of May, followed by temperatures in the 80's. No biggy I thought, I will just let them keep growing on my table. Sadly, their roots had a different opinion and my plants started to die.

This week after all fear of frost had passed, I planted the strong few that remained, only to have them all practically drown in a weeks worth of torrential downpours. After watching helplessly while my plants tried to stand firm in water up to their little necks, Samuel, myself, and our faithful side kick, Auntie Ria, set out this morning to dig a trench and drain the water from our garden.

Now it seems, I just have a river leading to a lake in a different part of my yard. And it continues to rain. Could I please just catch a little break... and I don't mean I want to fall down the stairs.

1 comment:

  1. We tried sectioning off part of our lawn to grow an organic garden, it didn't end too well but the wildlife here loves it.

    Sammy is soooo cute! I'll have to come back and visit the old neighborhood soon :)