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February 21, 2009

got dirt?

Have I told you yet?

I've got worms. Actually, I have had them for quite some time and have learned exactly what not to do:

1. Don't over feed your worms by a zillion pounds - especially not a zillion pounds of healthy organic locally grown squash seeds
2. Make sure you bury all your food deep below the newspaper - even if it is "just a few tea leaves"
3. Check on your worms frequently, even if you know you have over fed them and are trying to "just let them do their thing uninterrupted".

The result of my bad behavior was a ton of squash sprouts and a ton of fruit flies (if you can imagine how many fruit flies it would take to weigh a ton, you'll have a glimmer of how many were breeding in my apartment).

Anyhow, that was all weeks and weeks ago. I managed to get rid of the fruit flies (it felt like a second job for about a week), and I haven't put any new food in my worm bin for at least a month. I also left them at work for several weeks, figuring that fruit flies were less likely to survive and reproduce in an office space than in my kitchen.

I finally brought them home last week.

So today, since I was re-potting my giant bamboo plant, I found myself digging through worms, worm poo (looks, smells, and feels like really really rich black soil) trying to harvest some of this special "dirt" they produce. You know, it felt kinda like spring!

Okay, not really, but a girl can get desperate in the depths of February in Minnesota.

In the short time I have had my worms, they have been busy (overfeeding them probably helped). I could not believe how many eggs, little babies, and big worms I came across as I was trying to sort out their doo to add to my plant dirt. I knew from my worm composting class that the dirt would be teeming with life but it was still cool to see all the little critters (not only worms but also various little bugs) skitter and run about as I disturbed their cozy eco-system. I also pulled out quite a few more squash sprouts. Is it close enough to Spring that I should be replanting those in their own container?

February 19, 2009


The Carl Sanburg of my youth was silly and frivoulous but very delightful. I only vaguely recall my father reading about Gimme the Axe, Axe Me No Questions, and Please Gimee in his big booming animated voice. The plot lines all run together but the wonderful ridiculousness of the stories remain a favored flavor of memory, which is why when I saw a book of poetry for sale in the used book store I picked it up. Having never known Sandburg's poetry I was immediately taken in and amazed. It is like my super fun childhood friend grew up to be an incredible adult. Before picking up the poetry I knew next to little about Sandburg's politics, history, perspective, and life and who knows how much I would have cared before. It has been a long cold winter - my mind and spirit were ready for serious thoughts and words from an elder of a different but difficult time.

This is the first poem I read which still captures my attention:


The little boy blew bubbles
Floating the air to glisten and shine
With a rainbow joy and airiness silken:
They floated and broke and were gone

The man blew bubbles,
Made nations and kings and captains
And armies that marched and slaughtered
And laughed at the blood on their hands--
But the armies and kinds and captains
Are broken and vanished and gone.