town_935WINTER HAS ARRIVED

I know, what we have for a winter isn’t much, relatively speaking, but for us mild-weather nerds in Olympia, this has been a cold one so far.  Snow last week and so far a cold December.  This is news if only because we haven’t had a serious snowfall since 2012.  Our chickens are almost three-years old and they had never seen snow up until last week so yes, this is an unusual winter for us.

Looking back, when I was a kid, back during the Ice Age, we would have major snowstorms every winter. In fact, as a pre-teen, that’s how I made some spending cash, going around the neighborhood shoveling sidewalks and driveways.  But times are changing, aren’t they?  And things will never be the same!

THE BIGGER PICTURE HERE AT OUR URBAN FARM

The bigger picture can be summed up in one word: community.

Listen, I’m as upset and worried about our world as the next guy.  I don’t go online and flood the social media with my concerns, but I am, most definitely concerned.  I want to change things, make things better, but doing that on a global level is a bit out of my reach.

But I can change my community.  I can work towards the philosophy of localism.  I can make a difference here in Olympia, Washington, and that’s really what this blog, and our urban farm, are all about.

I am fed up with huge retail chains and all-powerful corporations, so I shop locally whenever possible.  I’m fed up with the complete disregard for the environment, and the waste of natural resources, so I’m doing my little part to counteract the damage that has been done.  And by writing this blog, and sharing my thoughts with you, it is my hope that I can inspire some of you to follow my lead.  I’m not selling a thing; I’m not forcing my ideas upon you; I’m simply showing you how we live and hoping some of it resonates with you.

And that, somehow, takes us to worms.

I’m going to give you a brief primer on worm tea and worm castings, and then I’m going to talk about something I think is important for all urban farmers and gardeners to hear.

WORM TEA

If you take worm castings (see below) and mix it with water and a bit of molasses, you get worm tea.  You can find it on sale at select gardening shops.  Great stuff for your garden and indoor plants.

WORM CASTINGS

Worm castings are, to be blunt, worm poop.  It’s what is left over at the bottom of your worm bin after the worms have eaten all the food you gave them.  It is superior fertilizer/compost/whatever you want to call it.

AND NOW, MY MESSAGE

Spread the word!

Talk to your neighbors. Spread the word about urban farming.  Carry on conversations with others about it.  Share ideas.  If you don’t currently garden, start small but most importantly, get started.  Turn off the television, go outside, and plan next spring’s garden.  Read up on new techniques.  Form a community garden.  Form a community seed exchange.

Do something!  We all benefit from this movement.

HOW ABOUT RABBIT POOP TEA?

I was thinking about worm tea the other day and I wondered if maybe making rabbit tea from rabbit poop was possible.

Turns out quite a few people already do it.

Take a gallon of rabbit poop (no problem for us), mix it with four gallons of water, let it sit for a couple of days, and you have an excellent liquid fertilizer, all-natural, flowing with nutrients.  Of course, you can scale down the size of that recipe…just think one part poop to four parts water, and give it a try.

A SHOUT OUT

I like to support other blogs when possible.  Here’s one I recently found, No Harm In Farming.  Give them a look and see what you think.

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK

I’ve got things to do, so I need to leave you for now.

Have a wonderful and blessed holiday season!

Bill

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10 thoughts on “Localism and Community

  1. Hi Bill… Great article as always. Manure tea is the essence of great gardening. I have a few small square foot gardens. I plant roughly 6 plants per square foot at varying times of the year and it provides me with all I need. The tea I used is made from sheep manure. I get a gunny sack from a local farmer, tie it shut and suspend it in one of my rain barrels, it makes a great fertilizer.
    Yet another is the water from my tropical fish tanks. Each week I do a partial water change and use it as well. It keeps both the fish and plants happy.
    Great article… thank you for sharing… like you I share your concerns of world affairs and the resources we have been given. I can make a difference in my little part of the world and do what I can.

    Hugs from Canada

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Rolly, my friend, good to hear from you. Happy New Year to the Great Frozen North, and thanks for sharing your thoughts on the manure tea. It’s great stuff for sure and I hope others try it after reading this blog.

    hugs from balmy Olympia

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  3. LONG LIVE THE WORMS! If I may channel Hermione for a moment: I STAND for the equal and inalienable rights of worms. HAHAH.
    That said…worm tea? Castings? If you could see my nose just know and how wrinkled it is. But I’m open to these things. We need compost. Worms are a good source. Okay…maybe I’ll make some tea. LOLOL
    As for winter…wow. Ours is so unusual down here. It’s been warm, there are leaves growing…this when the nearby lake used to freeze and we had a major snowstorm here in 2008 that shut everything down for two weeks – it snowed like 25 inches! Since then, we’ve not seen those levels of precipitation or cold.
    And that does concern me.
    And well…I admit, I have shared my concerns a bit too much on social media, I’m afraid…BUT, if you’ve seen them, you’re part of a special group of folks whom I consider close friends and trust that you’ll bang me on the head a time or two if I go over the top. 😉 In the meantime, I am trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to stay off social media more. What I need to do is go on a tech fast once a week. But so hard when the weekends are the time to amp-up my online game. Ah well…
    Balance. By making worm tea. And letting the ground sip it.
    Thank you for these gentle reminders to honor our humanness and our connectedness. You Are Awesome.

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    1. Lil Sis, dealing with worms is not for everyone. They have never bothered me, so I just dip my hands in there and get dirty along with them. Great fun! LOL Seriously, the compost they make is some of the best around. And rabbit poop is the best, and it doesn’t smell and they are solid little nuggets of gardening gold. 🙂

      Good luck with that balance thing. I’m still working on it.

      Happy New Year dear friend.

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  4. Hey Bill, that’s a great post! We are firm believers in the compost tea of all sorts. I’ll defiantly agree with above poster about the fish water. Our tiny aquaponics set up works great for the plants grown in the bog garden and the water works outside of it for others!
    Btw, thanks for the shout out..we really appreciate that. Our big adventure is just beginning but we’ve been “practicing” for years.
    All the best,
    Chad

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  5. We have had one of the mildest winters so far, no sign of snow and hardly any frost to speak about. The times are changing that is for sure.
    I don’t mind making the worm tea as long as I don’t have to drink it! Guess the plants will love it and you I in turn will reap the benefits of the fruit and veg that grow!
    Happy New Year Billy.

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    1. Sally, I promise, your garden will love it, and if you can get your hands on some rabbit poop…well, you will be the envy of your community.

      Happy New Year my friend, and eternal thanks.

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  6. Where I am in Brazil, worms are in short supply. We have sandy soil and work hard at improving it. We use chicken manure tea and also use cow, and goat manure. Worms are the ideal livestock for a farm.
    Here on our farm, we are waiting for our rainy season to begin so we can stop irrigating.

    Regarding helping in the community, my daughter and friends helped at the homeless shelter at Christmas. This week she is treating their teeth for free at the shelter, she is a dental therapist in London. I feel so proud of her, that she has the desire to give back to those in her community.

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    1. Thanks for sharing all that, Mary! We have no problem raising worms in the Pacific Northwest. This is a haven for worms. Still, many people will buy them since they don’t have the time to raise them….so I’ll gladly fill their need.

      Happy New Year my friend!

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