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Posts Tagged ‘worm bins’

http://www.mindfully.org/GE/Farmers-Struggle-Against-GMO.htm

My last 6 blogs were about GMO’s.   It was a very one sided point of view, mine and about 200 million other people who view GMO’s as a man-made scourge upon the earth not unlike the biblical plague of locust described in Exodus.

I didn’t realize until I looked up the biblical reference to locust how similar the plagues of the bible correspond to the our modern day ‘curses.’ The biblical  locust “descended upon the land and ate every living plant and tree.” Humm. Terminator seeds, Frankentrees and Roundup Ready crops created by Monsanto does the same thing. Kills everything it comes in contact with.  Geez who needs gods to cast plagues upon the earth when we have man-made curses like Monsanto to do it for us?  So, where is our modern day Moses to get us out of this mess?  I wish I knew. I am not a particularly religious person but this has me wondering.  All this plague stuff has to do with nature and living organisms.

The plagues as they appear in the Bible are:[4]

  1. (exodus 7:14–25˄) water turned to blood killing all fish and other water life. (Dam)
  2. (exodus 8:1–8:15˄) frogs (Tsifardeah)
  3. (exodus 8:16–19˄) lice or gnats (Kinim)
  4. (exodus 8:20–30˄) beasts or flies[5] (Arov)
  5. (exodus 9:1–7˄) disease on livestock (Dever)  Mad cow?
  6. (exodus 9:8–12˄) unhealable boils (Shkhin)
  7. (exodus 9:13–35˄) hail mixed with fire (Barad)
  8. (exodus 10:1–20˄) locusts (Arbeh)
  9. (exodus 10:21–29˄) darkness (Choshech)
  10. (exodus 11˄,12˄) death of the first-born of all Egyptian families. (Makat b’chorot)

These references are from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagues_of_Egypt

It just seems to me the key here is nature.  If you want to get someone’s attention just threaten and change the natural order of things.  GMO’s have changed the natural order of things.  The Egyptian pharaoh was a pretty hard nut to crack.  He didn’t ‘get it’ until after the all the fishes in the Nile died all the cows, donkeys and horses died and  the scourge of flies, frogs, locust, lice and unhealable boils happened.  Not until the death of his own first born did he finally get it.

Our government is a pretty hard nut to crack too.  They don’t get it. I mean we are the only country that has not labeled these cursed GMO’S.   We have made it a law to Not label GMO’s.  That is just crazy talk.  I mean really. What is it going to take to get things turned around before someone or something ends up dead?  I think having 80% of all our food contaminated with GMO’s is enough of an indicator of where things are going.  Cracking the nut in this case is just not worth the effort.  By all indications the nut is rotten anyway so why even bother trying to crack it?  Our government has had numerous opportunities to do the right thing by at least labeling GMO’s and has ignored every request to do so.  So, I think now it’s  time to ignore the rotten nuts and get on with picking something better.

Better Nuts worth Cracking

Rather than try to take on the rotten State or Federal government I am going to start this nut cracking business in my own backyard.   I can do that by getting an ordinance written here in SLO that requires all GMO’s to be identified on the signage with a red dot at the Point of Purchase.  I have talked about the organization Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund who helps people write ordinances.  I also told you I would keep you posted as to the process.  So far we are off to a bit of a bumpy start.  I have been in contact with Ben Price and Shannon Biggs.  Ben is working out of headquarters in Pennsylvania and Shannon is the Rep for California.

We have made our introductions.   I have made my intentions known and the offer to have a 3 way phone conversation was extended by Ben.  That was 3 weeks ago.  I have since sent a follow-up email last week to Ben and Shannon indicating I am ready to get started.  I am still waiting for a response.   In the mean time I have learned we are a charter city, which is a good thing. Also am lining up local organizations I belong to as well as networking with farm organizations I think would be so inclined to back this ordinance.

Community involvement is key to this effort. The more the merrier. I am approaching this as a one for all all for one flash movement.  If we could All join forces for just one big push or effort our chances of success are greatly increased.

After we  succeed in passing this ordinance as a community we disband and go back to our regularly scheduled events.  We can each be doing our own thing but when the need arises we can ban together as One in a Flash. Get the job done and then go back to what we were doing. One thing that really impressed me about CELDF was how they were able to organize at the local level.  This local level stuff is very powerful.  In fact, in many  cases as they have proven, local laws and ordinances trump State and Federal laws .

Maine Town Passes Ordinance Asserting Local Self-Governance and Stripping Corporate Personhood | Press Release

“We do not recognize corporate personhood.”  That trumps the Supreme Court ruling.  Cities have successfully done this thereby disarming corporate mercenaries and rendering them helpless. Oh Yea that’s the ticket.

There are a lot of issues right now.  Had to pick my battles.  Getting GMO’s labeled is one. Growing timber bamboo in San Luis Obispo on the Dalidio property another and learning to edit iMovie the last one.  I just told you about how I am working on the first one. Timber Bamboo is in the works. Learning to edit is well, it is a learning process.  Want to see what I have learned so far?  It will leave you laughing…..  (so hard for me to post. It is so not perfect.  But if I didn’t get it posted today on the full worm moon it was never going to get done.)

Precursor to viewing the video:  Please apply the Japanese principle of Wabi-sabi. (?) The Japanese characters are for you Samson just for fun.


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We’ve finally managed to get all the boxes (mostly) unpacked and I can tell you it feels VERY nice to be settled. The furnished apartment was pleasant, but it wasn’t home. Now those things that make a home what it is are in their proper places and I feel like I can breathe deeply…

…and get to work on transforming this place into sustainable central. First, the worm bin. We picked one up for free on Craigslist. And I found a red wriggler supplier in Marilyn, the owner of Zippy’s Java Lounge. (I’ve heard she has the best in Everett. It’s good stuff). I plan on stopping by this weekend and picking up a pound or two. Then we’ll start converting our table scraps into brown gold. The worms will love us, especially when we start giving them the leftovers from our gorgeous new stainless steel Juicelady that Denette picked up at Goodwill for $20. Have you ever had fresh carrot juice? It’s the nectar of the gods. Seriously. You have to try it.

Next, the garden…and beyond. I’m going to go a bit more Permaculture up here—create an edible environment throughout the yard. And speaking of yard, I talked with one of the landlords and he said we had creative free rein. He might not have said that if he was aware of my knack for yard transformation. We have a beautiful section of south-facing lawn that—once leveled—will make a perfect spot for some raised beds. No tomatoes, though. I’ve been told by a couple of old salts that it’s just not hot enough for them. Of course, that sounds like a challenge to me, so I’ll have to find a solution. I like my fresh tomatoes too much to give up without a fight!

Speaking of transformation: Denette transformed an empty house with little furniture into a fully-furnished home in three weeks. And virtually for free. We now have a couch, a guest bed, an entertainment center, two chairs, and an end table, all acquired through craigslist/freecycle. Now when I get home from work I can collapse on the nice comfy couch instead of the hard wood floor.

I can’t tell you how nice it is to be four blocks from my place of employ. I walk down in the chill of the morning and arrive with lungs full of fresh air and my heart pumping. People at work think I’m irritatingly chipper at 7:30 AM. I just smile and nod. Even better is the return home, when the kids come racing down the hill on their scooters to meet me. Then we go for a walk. Well, I walk, they ride their scooters or their bikes. I have to take my bike in for repairs (Kaia has grounded me because of my lack of brakes), but once I do I plan to use it as my primary means of transportation to both hospital campuses and around town on the weekends. The city center in Everett is perfect for biking.

Not only am I four blocks from work, the kids are four blocks from the home school facility. I know, it sounds a little oxymoronic, but the home school program up in WA is an extension of the public school system, though they have considerable autonomy. They offer structured classes for those who want them. It’s really kind of like college for primary-age kids. Logan is loving his classes in math, science, social studies, and tae kwon do. He spends an hour a week in class, the rest of the work he does independently. Kaia should be in the program as well, but she just missed the cutoff date for kindergarten, so the goal is to get her tested into 1st grade next year. When one of the teachers at the home school facility saw her reading, she thought Kaia was already in 1st grade.

Final topic for this post: when we moved up here I set a goal of creating a home gym for free. When we were still in Cali, we had canceled our gym membership and I had created a pretty nice setup with cinder blocks, a couple of iron bars, and some free weights. I wanted a bit more up here, but I was determined not to pay for it. I knew of there were lots of people who had bought a treadmill, used it for a week, and then were desperate to get rid of it to assuage their guilt for letting it gather dust. Well, I’m proud to say that we accomplished my goal within the first two weeks! We now have a Nordictrack, an elliptical, a multi-use home gym (pulldown, bench/flye, leg extension/curl, low row, and stair stepper), a flat/incline bench with a preacher curl connector, a barbell, and two dumbbells with about 190 lbs in plates. This incredible haul was due mostly to Denette’s amazing craigslisting/freecycling skills. She would find it, I would call on it, and we would go and pick it up. I’m totally inspired. In fact, I think I’m going to have to get a quick ski in right now.

With that, I raise one well-muscled arm to you in farewell. Until next time!

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The wigglettes!

Hey gang! Here’s a bit more information about the worm bins we created in the last episode. So now you have NO excuse not to start one. 🙂

  • First, make sure you get red wigglers for your bin. They like working in close quarters. Earthworms are just the opposite. They hate being confined and are much better out in the wide open spaces.
  • Next, our dear little babies don’t like light; that is why we painted the drawers black. To keep it dark. Even though they have no eyes they are light sensitive. Too much light exposure paralyzes them and they dry up and die in less than an hour. Then you cry. Then you have a little wake, with music and a nice glass of wine…. Anyway, keep the bin in a shady cool spot with good air circulation.
  • Now, make sure they have enough “bedding”, i.e. wet newspapers. No glossy or fancy paper. Keep it simple. They will eventually digest all the bedding into compost also.
  • Tip: The ratio is 2:1. Two pounds of food for every pound of worms. There are about 1000 worms in a pound. One pound of worms can eat 2 pounds of food in a day. Yes, that’s a LOT of kitchen scraps!
  • Finally, don’t give them any moldy or spoiled food or the bin will start to smell and attract flies. Keep it fresh. And remember no meat, dairy or citrus. They are picky eaters in that respect and will just high tail it out of there.

If you want to make worm tea or wrangle give a holler. We got people and places for you to go to learn more. Tell us how you are doing, too. We’d love to hear how well (or not) it’s going!

I wrangled for the first time about a month ago. Because it’s more precious than gold, I used the worm tea for my favorite plants and I started some tomatoes with the compost. It is, without a doubt, the BEST, MOST COMPLETE compost you can find. And you can grow  your own!

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Thank you, Freecycle! We just picked up two real (as in designed for the purpose) worm bins. And we even got the red wrigglers. Now, along with our homemade bin, we will have plenty of compost and castings. Plenty.

Worms and all!

The woman who freecycled the bins told us that she had gotten them for free from the City of SLO. Time to put on the Deerstalker and investigate!

Hercules and Catwoman are thrilled!

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