24 July 2008

back down to earth

My goodness, that was a long post, wasn't it? I think the champagne bubbles must have gone to my head or something. So here we are back down to earth and what better grounding than a visit to the wormery.

Don't fret. I am going to spare you too many gory details. We are onto the second storey of the wormery now. The first layer already looks like compost, though there are still a few worms working away in there. The second layer is also beginning to become more crumbly and compost like. Here are the gerberas from last week with the remains of torn egg boxes which I put in regularly to soak up excess moisture. I was a bit worried when I read the other day that there might be harmful chemicals on commercially grown flowers, but the worms seem to have survived. I've given them some worm treat - yes, it exists - as a placatory gesture. Bless.

The bad news about keeping worms is the way fruit flies are attracted to the bin. Not very nice, especially when they decide to invade the kitchen. I've found a somewhat unorthodox solution to that - I've been hoovering them up from the kitchen ceiling. Not very Zen, is it, but I really could not come up with any other ideas - invite an army of spiders to take up residence and build silky webs across the door? I don't think so.
There is good news too. After a few weeks, you can open the tap at the bottom of the wormery and start collecting what we call here "worm juice" - a rich dark brown brew which is full of goodness and perfect for using on the garden. We've been bottling it up and using it on the plot, alternating it with some smelly steeped nettle juice to pep up the plants. They seem to like it because last night we managed to add beetroots, oak leafed lettuce, a few dwarf beans and a mighty fine cucumber to our crop of courgettes and potatoes.

I dare say that in a couple of weeks I won't be able to look a courgette in the face, but I've been pretty enthused so far. I've made a couple of courgette tarts , including a kind of tarte fine - ready made puff pastry rolled thinly and slightly crimped around the edge, with a layer of courgettes, asparagus and a sprinkling of feta cheese and cooked till the veg is lightly charred. Perfect. Ish.


j said...

fruit flies--something about sugar syrup or a little honey in the bottom of a bottle...they go in and never come out. but i like the vacuum idea- quick and thorough.

colleen said...

Thanks - I'm going to try that honey idea. It does promise a sweeter ending than being sucked into the vortex of a Dyson.