Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Among other things I finally got around to today was doing a little renovation of my worms' house. They currently reside in the basement, which is a fine place for them, in a green box with air vents and a snap top.

I am amazed they are still alive.

I have really neglected them since... well, a long time ago. fishy has done a little bit of work with them -- mostly draining the wormwater, which is what I call the anaerobic compost leachate that reeks like silage. But we haven't actually taken any of the castings out since last April (by which I mean, like, April 2007, actually) and not only is it full, it desperately needed a good draining.

I have gotten over a litre of leachate out of the composter so far today. I think there is plenty more to be had. There are red mites crawling all over, which is usually a sign of things being too wet. I have to suck the leachate out with a turkey baster, since there is no drain out the bottom. It is an experience. A stanky experience.

I have gotten a bunch of the castings out to in my house plant pots, to fertilize them, which they need. I took off an inch from the top and I need to do more. Much more.

And the worms. There are worms everywhere. There are big fat worms. There are little, tiny, threadlike baby worms. There are egg sacs. There is everything in between. They are loving the neglect, apparently. I am impressed with their resilience. They are apparently the perfect pet for me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

feeder's up

Because I am supposed to be writing a paper, and am giving myself about 20 minutes until the panic starts, I have been procrastinating like mad with the Internet.

I read all sorts of interesting things. The best thing this morning, though, was this post from Garden Rant about bats. I wish that bats hung around here (pun intended) more than they do -- stupid winter.

We have birds to make up for it, though. The juncos are back, and there was a very fat song sparrow hopping on the back porch this morning. fishy and I got seed and I hung the feeder on Saturday, and already we're starting to see the cardinals and chickadees, too.

I just always figure that once the juncos are back, it's feeding time. I can't have my juncos getting skinny.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I voted...

Did you? You currently have just over an hour left to do so.

I'm not fool enough to think that this election will determine the course of the world's environmental future. Given another minority government, Conservative or Liberal, there will be no movement on the environment to speak of. Everyone is too damn scared.

I want someone to catch on, though, that the environment does matter. It's likely already too late, I guess. But I want someone to try.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

nocturnal visitor

I had another post. Well, I still have it. And I'll maybe post it tomorrow or in the next couple of days. But I am too excited to hold off. We had a skunk in the back yard!

fishy and I got in from a turkey dinner with his family and we were getting some bricks to hold down the tarp that is keeping our roof safe (this is another story -- I will bring it to you with pictures later, if I get around to it) and in the faint glow at the very back of the yard, right in front of the jungle that is the part of the yard we let grow into a meadow, I saw a white stripe making a beeline for the hole in the fence.

Now I don't want to close the hole in the fence. I was going to, to try to foil the rabbits. But that's how the skunk travels, and I love skunks. Any number of rabbits are worth the occasional skunk.

Instead I will raise the veggie beds. And if that fails, I will fence them. And if that fails, I will just grow things that rabbits don't like.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

fiery chilled soup

Was thinking about recipes this morning, when I got a recipe exchange email in my inbox. I love recipe exchanges. I love recipes in general. Because I love food. I like eating food, but I also like thinking about food to eat.

The one I sent on the exchange was this one, from Linda Matthie-Jacobs' superlative cookbook Light the Fire. I should review that one some time, I suppose. Anyway. The following recipe is hers and I made no changes to it. I consider this an advertisement for her cookbooks.

It's a chilled soup, and I decided to try it even though I'm not a big fan of cantaloupe myself. It does indeed make enough for 6 (even when recipes say that, they never seem to mean it) and it's a lovely summer appetizer or even lunch. It does not keep very well, I wouldn't say even more than a day in the fridge. So if you have to, halve the recipe and use the other half of the cantaloupe for something else.

Fiery Chilled Soup

1 large ripe cantaloupe, peeled and cubed
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cubed
1/4 cup liquid honey
grated rind of 1 fresh lime
juice of 1 fresh lime (about 1-2 tbsp.)
1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 cups plain fat-free yoghurt

Blend cantaloupe and cucumber in blender until smooth. Pour half of mixture into bowl. To remainder in blender, add honey, lime rind, lime juice, jalapeño, cumin and yoghurt. Blend until smooth. Add to mixture in bowl and mix well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serves 6.