So I’ve been scratching my primal itch to “dig a hole” and get grounded with Mother Earth by starting my very own compost-Earthworm pile in my very own apartment balcony.

 

Now before you lose it and say, that’s unhygienic and will attract vermin, I would ask you where your food scraps would normally go? You’re thinking that Glad bin liner and the council dumpster. Actually I’m saying it would have been food for chickens! 🐔 See chickens have historically been the recycler of organic waste, later to poop our chicken manure which is fertile for soil integrity! Farmers knew this and never wasted a poop pile! Stay with me as I drive my point home here. Once the food scraps were thrown into the garden, they were a useful by-product for other animals in the food chain like chickens, Earthworms, and pigs whom in turn provide us with rich compost for growing our fruits and vegetables!

So in essence, I’m growing my own food on my own 8 square meter balcony!

But first we need the rich soil to do so. Alas, this is where I’ve screwed up! Being manly, I jumped right into action-mode, put together the trays, added the coir (bedding material made of coconut rind), added the soil, added the Earthworms, added the food scraps, and covered the lid. First two weeks, beautiful – food scraps slowly disappeared, no smell, worms thriving in big numbers. Third week, I noticed two mandarins hadn’t decomposed because they had hardy skin intact so I ripped it open and spread it round. Fourth week, I have like some dead animal situation as I see fruit flies swarming. Lo n behold, it’s the try with the mandarin! Worse yet, my Earthworms have practically gone extinct! I realise my folly, remove the mandarin (and the onion) and read the manual for worms:

 

Remember, worms do not like onions or citrus scraps or meat products

Crikey! doh!

So I’ve heard from the celebrated integrity farmer: Joel Salatin that unlike machines, life and mother nature ARE forgiving. Like that fight I had with my fiancé….she forgave me and I really hope my Earthworms forgive me too and that they lay tons more baby worms next week – I hope I don’t sound too expectant!