While enjoying Christmas Eve eve at home today, I finally finished a project I started several days ago: fresh dirt for the worms.
Actually, it wasn’t really “dirt” I was giving them. I gave them coconut coir.
What is coconut coir? In the past, when coconuts were harvested for the coconut milk and meat, the husk was considered a waste product. All of the material from the husk to the inner shell of the coconut was a discard product. Coir was discovered as a growing medium in the 1940’s by a soil scientist, EP Hume. He noticed that the dust created from extracting the fibers of the husk had properties similar to peat moss and began experimenting with it as a growing medium. Today, coconut coir is used as a preferred growing media for large scale greenhouse cultivation of food and ornamental plants.
Coconut coir is also great bedding material for worm bins. It holds moisture well and creates pockets of air that are easy for worms to move about. Worms find coconut coir to be a very hospitable environment.
Coir is purchased in compressed blocks. They look just like a brick, weigh about 1.5 lbs., and, with the addition of water, each brick expands to 2 – 2.5 gallons of lovely, fluffy “dirt.”
I purchased two bricks of coconut coir and “reconstituted” them the first of this week. This was my first time doing this which meant it was a learning opportunity.
First lesson: it took two days and an extra bucket to accomplish that task. Unfortunately, then, it was too wet to put into the worm bin, so I let it set out for the rest of the week to dry out.
When that wasn’t long enough to reach the correct moisture level and wanting to get the buckets of “dirt” out of my kitchen for Christmas, I decided to bake some of it to speed up the drying process. So, today, instead of Christmas cookies, I made mud cakes.
That did the trick. The worms have fresh bedding in one side of the bin, with collard greens, apple peels, and zucchini to munch on. Once they migrate over to that side, I’ll harvest the other side, get some more coconut coir, and put fresh bedding on that side too.
I hope the worms are happy!
In other news, I was prepping the chicken coop for tonight’s frigid temperatures when what to my wondering eyes did appear?
Someone is laying again! The egg strike is over.
The eggs are really dirty, and they didn’t pass the float test (for freshness), so the chickens will be having scrambled eggs for breakfast tomorrow. Nevertheless, this was a very welcome discovery!
If the eggs didn’t pass float test does that mean you didn’t find them because they hid them?
Sent from my iPhone
We just hadn’t looked for eggs for a few days. After all, it has been so long since there were any to find. They enjoyed the scrambled eggs I served them Christmas Eve morning.
Ahhh…I thought you were never supposed to give them eggs so they don’t start trying to do it themselves.? Or does cooking them make it ok? ________________________________
It’s okay to give them eggs, even raw. I just cook them to make them even more unrecognizable and more difficult for them to make a connection between what we took and what we returned. I could be giving them more intellectual credit than they possess but that’s ok, lol!