Kitchen Recipes

Kitchen Recipes

Kitchen Recipes

When I was a girl I always lived in big houses, with a lot of yard, we had rabbits, hens, dogs, orchards, fruit trees and it was great. Both yard and animal produces lots of "garbage", manure, dry leaves, pruning clippings, etc. Then my dad set up a large composter, where he threw all that plus the remains of the kitchen and then used the resulting compost as fertilizer in the orchard and fruit rates.

My grandmother had one of those very large houses in which I lived, a garden full of flowers, grass and evergreen trees and I paid my sister to look for worms to put in their gardeners so that the land was "better", always gave me a little disgust , so I never tried to take away "my sister", she just looked at her with "uhh" face.

In 2010 I lived in Cerro Bellavista, in a house with patio, a cat and a mix of Chileans and foreigners very entertaining, we had an orchard that was falling in decadence and a large drawer of compost, like the one made by my dad, the children took turns to stir the earth and in the kitchen we separated the organic waste from the inorganic and non-compostable , there I learned that citrus peels icos and the tomato do not go to the compostador because they acidify the earth, which is not the taste of most plants.

Now that I live alone and I change my house minimum once a year, a composter of 1mt square was out of any logic, then?

What is compost and why compost?

Compost is the product of decomposition of organic matter, thanks to the action of small microorganisms, resulting in a land rich in nutrients and perfect for cultivation. Composting is to use and manipulate the cycle of life for our benefit and our garden ...

The thing with a composter in the middle of the city and without a yard, is that it is complicated, close to impossible, so I have vermicomposter. A traditional composter takes 9 months average to give the first results, then 3 to 4 months, it is necessary to aerate it constantly and can attract unwanted guests, such as mice. A vermicomposter instead in 3 months already produces worm humus and you can have it inside the house without complications.

The worm humus is literally, worm-eaten, it is a solid earthy substance but spongy, dark colored, which is 5 times richer in Nitrogen, 7 times richer in phosphorus, 5 times richer in potassium and 2 times richer in calcium than the matter used to feed worms, also favors the absorption of water and does not smell anything but wet soil.

The vermicomposting system that works best for the interior of a house or apartment is the vertical composting machine. You can buy it or manufacture it. To have your own DIY wormhole you need:

  • 1 worm core (the amount depends on the size of your containers)
  • 2 stackable containers (as a minimum)
  • At bottom, any earthworm would serve, but the Californian red worm is preferably used for its devouring ability and living in overcrowded conditions. Earthworms are sensitive to light, so containers must be opaque and / or dark. Very high or low temperatures influence their life cycle, if they are not comfortable stop reproducing and enter a state of latency, ideally keep them at a stable temperature between 18 and 25 degrees. Protect them from direct sun and rain, they can not get out of the containers, they do not tolerate temperatures above 45 ° and they drown with excess water.

    You should not put on the vermicompost or a normal compost, meat or fish, dairy or fatty products, oils or fried, dog and cat feces, vacuum cleaner residue, any other non-biodegradable.

    You can put the remains of plants in the orchard or garden without seeds and healthy, do not put diseased leaves because you can transmit them to the humus and then contaminate your plants or spread weed seeds. Avoid placing citrus and tomatoes because they acidify the humus and the onion shells take a long time to decompose. The worms do not have teeth so the more you chop, grind or decompose the debris into the vermicompost, the better.

    My first vermicompiler had 3 transparent plastic boxes of 20 lt each. I paint them on the outside with a black spray for plastic and to be able to stack them and leave a space between each one I made the open tops the size of the bottom of the box that would go up.

    The container below is to collect the "water" and liquids coming out of the vermicompost, the liquid humus is rich in nutrients for the plants and you can dilute it or use it directly on the plants because it does not burn them.

    The second container from bottom to top must have holes in the bottom, top and sides of the top so that things do not go out through the dimples, this is to ventilate and allow air to circulate. In this container you must put the material compostable, the bottom of the container you should put a permeable fabric, a cardboard or strips of paper, to prevent the worms from falling to the liquid to be collected in the container of the base, on that put fiber of coconut or paper very fine chopped to give a "mattress" to the worms.

    Kitchen Recipes
    Kitchen Recipes

    Worm Egg

    To prevent unwanted guests from appearing as the vinegar fly, you should put paper, cardboard or dry grass on the wreck, as long as you add wet lid with a dry coat. If you put a third tray you should repeat the process of the layers, papers, coconut fiber or cardboard down, organic remains, layer of something dry. In some online tutorials they say green to compostable and coffee to dry. On the last box above, put the lid, with holes.

    The holes should be small at the sides and at the top of the box, at the base a little larger so that the worms can pass through them, in the small lid as to the sides. With a hot nail or screwdriver it is easy to make them, once you try it with a drill and split the whole box ... (quiet, the worms will not escape in the direction of the kitchen, because they do not like light)

    The idea of ​​stacked containers is not to touch the worms or to do it as little as possible, once the worms process the food from the container below, change it by the one on it and the worms go down by the holes at new food that you have already been gathering in that container, the container with humus should leave it a couple of days or a week up, so that it loses moisture and the worms that live in reach to evacuate. If you see that there are remains yet to be digested you can move them to the other box where the worms are now. It is a cycle of constant exchange of boxes. If you have a single box when the food is digested you must sift through the earth to keep the worms and use humus, this is a little stressful for the worms but it is the only option if you do not use multiple trays.

    Potted vermicompost

    Holes in the top

    Holes in the base

    You have to monitor your earthworms, if there are eggs and juveniles you are doing things well, if it is very wet or soaked it ventilates

    and add dry material, if it is very dry, you can moisten it with a sprayer or pour some water over the lid to fall as rain through the holes.

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