Thursday, June 11, 2009

Big Worm Bin, Little Victories

Here's some good news: it hasn't even been two months since I established my first worm bin and I've already expanded to a second. That's right, the worms quickly multiplied so today I set up a second -and larger- worm bin. The parents have been giving us their compostables to feed the worms so we are blessed with a plethora of kitchen wastes. Which means, ultimately, a plethora of compost! I harvested the worm castings a few days ago, there was a LOT! And already both bins are full again. One of my favorite parts of this story is that we didn't have to buy more worms. They were just there for the taking. Simple pleasures. Although now that I think about it, at this rate, we could become overrun with worm bins by the end of the year. There are worse things. Most likely I'll be able to start giving worms away to friends...I've already got several in mind. You know who you are, and you've been warned.

Our little homestead is running great these days. I spent most of monday and tuesday in the kitchen baking things for family birthday parties (we have quite a few birthdays this time of year). I also made yogurt, which I then made into yogurt cheese. Jonas and I have been spreading it on crackers for morning snack. Correction, I usually do the spreading, he eats it at his leisure. And on top of the yogurt cheese I made bread, rolls, and started a jar of sprouts to be used on friday.

I've been making our bread for well over a year. I just can't believe that! We haven't bought store bread in a YEAR! How time does fly. When I first told one of my family members that I was going to attempt to make all of our bread she cautioned me --be careful, it's hard. And it was a bit trying at first, we suffered through a lot of not-so-good bread. But now, it's almost second nature, part of the routine. I'm bringing this all up because it correlates to the yogurt thing. Why have I started making yogurt? Because the guys that haul our recycling away have announced that they now only accept #1 and #2 plastics. Yogurt containers are #5. We eat quite a bit of yogurt, especially Jonas. It pained me to put those containers in the trash. So I started making our own. I had thought about doing it for awhile but this recycling thing really gave me the kick I needed. The first batch of yogurt didn't go so well. Then I talked to my friend Nikol -hi bff!- who had made yogurt before and she recommended using a crockpot to keep it at an even temp while fermenting. Brilliant! Now the yogurt making is a breeze. Hopefully a year from now I can come onto the blog and write about how I've been making all of our yogurt for a year. Small steps. It makes me feel great that I know what my family is eating. I know exactly what is in that yogurt and bread. In a dream world I would know the cow/goat that the milk for the yogurt came from, and grow the wheat for the bread myself. Again, small steps.

Wondering how you yourself can make your own yogurt? That's coming up in a post next week. I'm waiting until the next time I make it, so the post will have lots of lovely pictures to go with.


siobhan said...

i need to learn to make yoghurt. we eat a TON of it, between the kids and smoothies and such.

i'll take excess worms! we almost bought some at the market last week, but didn't have enough cash on us. we need some more. and if you're ever REALLY in a crunch to get rid of worms, berek's cousin dumps them straight into his garden and always used to take our leftovers.

NIKOL said...

I'm kind of excited at the thought of possibly getting some of your extra worms. I need to get my homestead going! Other than eating all manner of things made with lemons from our tree, I'm not really "using" my yard like I want to.

I'm so glad that my crock pot tip helped you! I need to start making yogurt again. It's been a long time since I last ate fresh yogurt. Mmmmm.

Clong said...

Um, yeah, you guys were kinda the friends I alluded to in the blog post. Secret's out! Now you can fight over who gets the first batch of worms.

Nikol and Siobhan. I started some cucumber and melon plants and fear I may have started too many. If you guys want some let me know.

P.S. Siobhan, homemade yogurt is thinner than storebought due to the lack of pectin. It works great for smoothies and dressings and things.

NIKOL said...

I would love both some cucumber and melon plants. I can grow them in containers, right? I'm all about the container gardening for now, since my yard is still a work in progress. Also: gophers. Joey came home with three tomato plants from cub scouts one day, and I'm really excited because they're all three still alive and thriving so far. Well, they seem to be thriving. No flowers on them so far. Kind of need flowers to get some tomatoes. Sigh! But I feel good growing SOMETHING.