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Heirloom vegetables/Vermiculture

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by country lady, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. country lady

    country lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2008
    NW Tennessee
    Anyone growing heirloom veggies or red wigglers? I just got my wigglers but I have been growing heirloom tomatoes from seed for several years now. They are so delicious. I brought in the green ones and we had one for lunch--so good! I haven't had much luck with eggplant though. I bought seed for an Italian eggplant and it was so good but I gave away too many seeds and then the rest didn't really produce. I have been using wall-o-water tents and row covers which work really well.
     
  2. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have posted this before so if you think you seen it before you may have.....

    My worm bin is just a rubber maid bin with holes drilled into the sides for ventilation, I just used the largest drill bit I had. Err on the side of too many, the worms if they are happy will not try to escape (they do not like light). If they do try to escape your bin has some kind of problem......

    Some people make a worm bin out of 2 – 5 gallon pails that can fit into each other. Drill holes in sides again, so that when they are nested the align up. The top bucket also gets holes drilled into the bottom so the leachate can drain into the bottom one. You still need the lid.


    The bottom layer I just have non-biodegradable packing peanuts (the biodegradable dissolve in water) round 3-4 inches worth. This is the area where the leachate will collect – do NOT mistake this for TEA – tea is different. Then you add the layer of bedding = shredded paper soaked in water then “squeezed dry – or just spray with water for the same “dampened” affect. Then you just start tossing in.

    Bedding is where they will ALL congregate if they do not like if they do not like their environment. Its natural to see some there but just some – not all.

    You would want to set this up a week or 2 before you get your worms. Remember that they do not eat what you throw in there – they eat what grows on what you throw in. So if you throw in an apple and you see them on the apple they are not eating apple but what is growing on it.

    Worm Favorites include: Banana (whole or just the peel) & cornmeal – from what I have observed I think the cornmeal is some kind of aphrodisiac – don’t ask.....OK fine...usually they mate “normally” but I have witnessed what can only be explained as an orgy & I truly do attribute this to the cornmeal. I got them before I got chickens and was obsessed with them. I tackle life one obsession @ a time.

    If you fish you can make a small bin and feed them predominately garlic & you will have some killer garlic verm’s.

    Dislikes: Same as chickens – citrus & salt

    Then throw in the worms and put on the lid. Its very easy to over feed to begin with – wait till they move into the “newest” area before you add more. Your population has not established itself yet. When you do go to add more do the same thing – bedding & ?.....you know whatever, you will find yourself slowing adding more and more @ a faster rate as your population increases.

    A healthy bin should smell kind earthy.

    Some people make a worm bin out of 2 – 5 gallon pails that can fit into each other. Drill holes in sides again, so that when they are nested the align up. The top bucket also gets holes drilled into the bottom so the leachate can drain into the bottom one. You still need the lid.

    Problems:

    Bin smells funny – either its too wet or overstocked with food. If too wet then add in dry shredded paper to absorb. If overstocked – then remove extra food preferably anything with no mold on it yet and add more “bedding”.

    Fruit Fly Infestation: Is very common, too avoid I freeze any & all uncooked veggies & fruits first then throw in the bin, I think this also helps speed up the decomposition process.
    If you get an infestation in you bin, put Apple Cider Vinegar in a saucer & put in the bin – they will be drawn to it & then drown.

    HTH
    N
     
  3. country lady

    country lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2008
    NW Tennessee
    Thanks, Eggzettera--lots of useful information. Raising worms is new to me. We've had just about every animal except horses--never worms. I have them in a huge flower pot--big flower pot. I put them in that because it has a saucer on wheels. We are leaving them on an enclosed porch for the winter. It does get really cold here in NW TN. I have seen a few coming to the top so I know some if not all survived.

    You are probably familiar with Harvey Ussery since he writes in several magazines. He has a unique way of raising worms in his greenhouse. www.themodernhomestead.us

    I don't plan to feed them to my six hens--somehow that seems unkind. ha. I have red clay soil but it is getting better. I'm not organic; I do use fertilizer right now.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I do garden. I love heirloom tomatoes! I have a monster garden planned for next year! Watch out Spring. This time I am rearing and ready way too early!
     
  5. newchickenfamily

    newchickenfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have red wigglers. They are doing great. I got a free 3 level worm bin on Craigslist, which is awesome!!
     
  6. country lady

    country lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2008
    NW Tennessee
    I am ready for spring too. Last year we got our seed catalogs before January 1st--so maybe. I can't grow corn here because of the coons. The one year that I tried it, every night we had a visitor until he got every ear. I set two have-a-heart traps and never caught him. I don't want to draw the coons into the yard with the chickens. We have a local farmer who sells delicious sweet corn so that works ok.

    I'm excited to see how the wigglers do. I don't plan to put mine in the garden. I wish my kids were little again--I have two grown sons. I told my DH that we should rent a kid. ha. I think it is so neat to do these things with children.
     
  7. Bebop

    Bebop Chillin' With My Peeps

    I trade and save heirlooms.
    No worms though..
     
  8. country lady

    country lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2008
    NW Tennessee
    Bebop, aren't the veggies good! I ordered "Antigua" an Italian eggplant that was so delicious--I didn't grow up eating eggplant with southern parents but I love it Unfortunately, I gave away way too many seeds. I haven't reordered because the prices went up, and the shipping cost too. I ordered from www.mariseeds.com. She's located in Dickson, TN.

    I ordered seeds this year from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and the shipping is really low there. I'm impressed with that company. www.rareseeds.com.

    Another source is: www.seeds@growitalian.com. I haven't ordered from them yet. I save most of my seed--bet you do the same.

    What type of vegetables do you grow? I grow all of my tomato seeds. I've noticed that Wal-Mart now carries a lot of heirloom plants in the spring. We also enjoy sweet peppers.
     
  9. Babsadon

    Babsadon Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 28, 2008
    Glendale, California
    My 6 chickens sleep every night on top of a ladder in the aviary (3 to a rung). There is always a nice collection of droppings beneath them. (I have been putting it in my compost bin.) To save some labor, I am thinking of designing a worm box to sit below them to catch the droppings. I would incorporate some plastic netting with holes wide enough to catch the droppings but small enough to keep the chickens out. I got this idea from a lady who kept worms under her rabbit cages. Would the worms thrive on chicken droppings? Is anyone out there raising worms under their chickens roosts?

    Barbara
     
  10. chicken_boy_Kurt

    chicken_boy_Kurt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2008
    I don't know what kind of tomatoes or any other plant she grows are, but I have tried the heirloom tomatoes and I would eat them plain [​IMG]. They are so delicious.
     

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