Thursday, April 24, 2008

How do I welcome several thousand new housemates?

After sweeping up the results of Big Brother's prolific and probably profligate social activities, I felt left out or just jealous that a tree might be having more fun than me. My place needed more... life. I'd enrolled in a class that taught how individuals could reduce global warming. I decided I'd fill the gap and reduce global warming at the same time.

I gotta admit, I'm willing to do things via Internet that I would never do in real life. Would I talk to a stranger in a bar? Would I really go out on a blind date? But I blithely signed up for a class on composting and paid the fee to purchase the, ahhh..., supplies.


The rest of this isn't for the squeamish.



I live in a condo. Spacious for a condo but still there is no yard.

My garbage goes into a collective bin and the HOA imposes the collection fee. I have no direct cash incentive to reduce my output.

I'm not exactly the kind of person who wants to sink several hundred dollars into composting equipment for tight spaces. The infinite wait time required for payback is too much for me (read - I am cheap).

There is only one type of simple, inexpensive composting system that can recycle organic material without a backyard.

Worms, worms, worms.

The only question is which kind of worms?

The composter offers red wigglers or the european night crawlers.

I look at the red wigglers. They try to hide.

My stomach quivers.

I look at the european night crawlers. They look back.


Those red wigglers are looking mighty cute now.

After listening to the instructions for the care and feeding of red wigglers (Eisenia fetida), I feel better about adopting several thousand new housemates and head on home.

Following the instructions, I sit and shred massive amounts of office and newspaper to make bedding material. After a while I start to run out. Luckily, I own stock in Citibank and haven't switched to the electronic annual report yet. (At the present time, that is the only good news about Citibank stock). It's barely enough material for the minimum bed. After dampening the bedding material, I add my new housemates into the bin. They all step lively and dive for bottom.

Excellent companions.

Topping up the bin with some more bedding material, I take a break to gather up some scattered supplies and to retrieve some of the food scraps I'd saved to get the bin started.

All in all, not bad for one day. I learned how to compost with worms, set up a bin and fed my new housemates.

Time to call it a day.

Rustle, rustle...

What's that?



I peek into the bin.

So that's why they call it night life.


The great escape

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