Ewwww…. worms

Yes, this is a blog entree about worms, specifically composting worms. We have adopted about 1,000 of this wiggly worms as a way to move us further into the green world of self sufficiency. How in the world, can 1000 night crawlers help in being self sufficient? Is this your next question, OK just humor me.

We have a huge catfish pond with about 200 farm raised Carolina Blue Channel catfish, we also have 11 chickens (herein after referred to as the girls), 1 guinea hen, 5 drake ducks, a blueberry orchard and veggie gardens. Are you still with me?
The worms multiply quickly which will give me free protein to feed my fish, which we raise to eat, the girls and ducks can also benefit from free protein, the worms poop fertilizer which and castings which will make my garden grow so we can get bigger more beautiful veggies. The worms also take care of my sunday papers which they eat and turn into compost. Tada, told you they were useful.
Back to the ewww part, lucky for me I have lots of little hands who love to play with the wigglers. In order to keep such pets as company, they need a home. We used this plastic storage container which we poked holes in for air, filled with damp shredded newspaper, peat moss, and a scoop full of rabbit poo (thank you generous neighbors). Our new little friends will now take care of our fruit and veggie peels, egg shells, tea bags, newspaper and shredded mail (hey I finally found a great use for all that unsolicited mail I get). This is quickly becoming a very popular way of composting no matter where you are, people even keep them under the sink in apartments.
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Laundry day = laundry soap

Time to do more laundry. There are two things in my life which I know will happen, death and laundry. In order to continue our journey towards decreasing the amount of things which we are dependent on purchasing and decreasing the chemicals we use, we have been making our own laundry detergent for a while now.

This may be common place for most of my friends but for those of my readers who did not know you could make your own, alllow me to enlighten you. Store bought laundry detergent is two things: expensive and full of things I don’t want on my shelf of cleaners. Since I make most of my own cleaners the ingredients needed to make laundry detergent are all on my shelf already.
You will need to buy washing soda, I use Arm and Hammer. Washing Soda is not the same thing as baking soda, it is found in the laundry aisle as well as the second ingredient, Borax. I buy Mule Team (which can also be used to make many other cleaners or used anywhere you need a scouring powder). The last thing is a bar of soap, you can really use any soap but the most widely used are Fels Naptha, Zote or Ivory. I use castile soap as well as organic goats milk soap made by a wonderful friend of mine at the Farmers Market. Optionally you can also add essential oils. I change the ones that I use occasionally but my favorites are grapefruit, patchouli and lavender.
Grate 2 cups of soap, add one cup of Borax and one cup of Washing Soda. Put into a container and use 1 to 2 tablespoons per load. If that seems like too little soap it is because it is pure cleaners. Store bought laundry detergent is full of fillers. The whole process takes me about 10 minutes thanks to a handy grating blade on my food processor.
I spend pennies per load and I have control over what my childrens clothing and bedding get washed in, plus I get a kick out of being dependent on one less thing.
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