As the Fall Season progresses, the outdoor chores slow down. The weather, on the other hand, has been great for working outside.
This weekend’s chores revolved around clean-up. We cleaned up the debris and bits and bobs left out from the previous weeks. The wheelbarrow was put into the barn, pieces of wood were picked up and either stored or discarded, empty feed bags were put into the garbage, etc. The property is ready to be mowed once the rest of the leaves fall off the trees.
We also added bedding to the coop and filled the chicken’s dust bath bowl with sand and peat moss. The remainder of the bag of sand was poured along the edge of the run where the chickens have scratched ruts into the ground. If left unfilled, they could become points of entry for other critters.
To begin prep for next year’s garden, we put a tarp over the space used for this year’s Three Sisters Garden. While I’m not going to use that method again, I do want to use the garden bed for some yet-to-be-determined crops in the next growing season. Covering the area is meant to kill off remaining weeds and plants and prevent new ones from growing while the soil rests.
The summer growing season is done but harvesting continues — from the worm bin.
I don’t do it as often as I could/should. That’s not because it’s difficult to do but because I lose track of how much time has passed.
The first time I harvested castings, I had Oscar drag the whole box outside and tried different methods of screening until I settled on one that I liked. Since then, I’ve worked out a nice process and can do it neatly and quickly in the house. I don’t need to rely on Oscar for any part of it.
I just sit on a chair at the end of the box I’m harvesting (I harvest one end of the box one time and then harvest the other end the next time). I scoop worm bedding into my colander and shake-shake-shake it into a bucket. When there’s only a pile of sticks and chunks left in my colander, I dump that back into the bin for the worms to continue processing. In my bucket, I’m left with a surprising amount of beautiful, rich castings.
When I’ve finished with that half of the bin, I add moistened peat moss to the bin and aerate the whole thing with my garden trowel. It takes about 30 minutes, there’s nothing to clean up, and I have a gallon or two of ready-to-use fertilizer for the garden.
Then I start feeding the worms at the end of the bin I just harvested so they will move out of the other end, which I will harvest next time.
The apple trees were blessed with this batch of worm castings. Throughout the winter I will just collect and save it in plastic storage bags over the winter to use in my Spring Garden.
To purchase worm castings costs around $18 per gallon so keeping a worm bin is beneficial for the wallet, too.
I’ve been asked what became of the apples I bought earlier this month. Well, the applesauce processing went well. I tried some different techniques and tools, and my head is so full of information that writing the post has become something to avoid. I guess it boils down to Procrastination is now spelled A-P-P-L-E.