Thursday, November 22, 2007

Retail Therapy

With my man hooning off up the highway to the annual Bombala Motorcycle Show and Shine, and me too broken to ride, I told him I was going to do 'retail therapy' and buy a worm farm. "Go for it!" he said, as he always does, never denying me anything. So I did.

I had a funeral to attend first for a lovely friend whose mother had died on Tuesday (at 94!). We 'don't do funerals' as my man states firmly, but she's a special lady, and it was also conducted by a celebrant I knew.

I was the first to arrive and sat on a couch watching people come in, noticing a tall man immaculate in a kilt, with his thick calves encased in knee high white socks. The old mum who had passed on hailed from Scotland originally, and had come out to Australia as a 'Ten Pound Pom', so I hoped this handsome man might play the bagpipes. He did, halfway through the service, and it was very haunting and emotional.

The celebrant did a great job, and, apart from the granddaughter having a sob through part of the service, it was a gentle celebration of her life..... as it should be. I sat quietly on my own, in the sun coming through the window, listening to the music Maggie had chosen, and watching a small jumping spider wandering towards me on the window sill. Great little spiders. I love them. They are the most entertaining creatures, appearing very inquisitive and can jump great distances. I resisted the impulse to poke at him, just watched him checking out the world. I recalled the documentaries where the spiders are magnified to a huge size, and pictured his many eyes, his busy little mouth, and all those legs working together, high at the front and low at back.

There was a clipped green hedge bordering green shrubbery through the glass at my elbow, so it was really pleasant with the music, the recounting of her life.

Leaving the funeral parlor, I kissed my stressed friend as she took off to the crematorium for a private send-off, and escaped. Sitting alone, politely eating sandwiches and having a cuppa until she returned was not on my agenda. She had all those relatives to attend to.

Off to Bunnings, where I picked up a few veggie seedlings, a gorgeous port wine ivy geranium, a tub carry-all, and my worm farm. I had spotted the carry-all on an ad on TV.... just the end of it, so I just had a rough image of what it was. With the limitations my weakened arm causes, to have something to carry mulch, wood, and anything else awkward in really appealed to me. The lady at the checkout says her old dad uses it to bring in his shopping! Wow! So will I......

So, back home, I planted my seedlings and other treasures, put my purchased ten kilo bag of spuds in my new carry-all (I love it!), and unpacked my worm farm.

I bought 500 worms, which was a bit stingy of me...... they say we need 1000, but who is in a hurry? The instructions are very clear, and here is the process.....

Set up the legs into the solid base and tap for the 'worm pee'. You dilute that with water and fertilise your plants. Then place a level with drainage holes on top and line it with the packing cardboard.

Soak the provided block of 'coir' in 3/4 bucket of water and break it up until all is absorbed.

Spread it over the cardboard packing from the outside of the worm farm pack.

Put your bag of purchased wormies in, spreading over the wet coir. Don't use worms from the garden; they must be compost worms, not earth worms, and would apparently die in normal earthy/drier situations. They need moist, composty conditions.

Cover with wet newspaper and kiss them all 'goodnight'!

Lid on, job's done!

Let them feed and breed, and as they expand, put more of the three provided levels on top one by one, and offer food on that next layer. the worms will crawl up to that to feed. When nearly all worms vacate the bottom one, that goes on your garden. Simple!

No onions, or citrus, they don't like that, or offer some neutralising fire ash to improve the balance .....

"Man cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen"
...Michel De Montaigne

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