Saturday, August 15, 2009

Worms, Storms, and The Best Muesli In The World.

It’s been forever!
Why haven’t I written in one month and two days? Because it has been a lovely summer and it has been really hot and I, admittedly, have been having too much fun to write. Decent excuse I think...

A few weeks ago I went to worm class with my good friend Kimmi at the CityFarm (Maple and 6th in Kits – go check it out!). I have watched people compost with worms for ages, but I just never got around to finding my own worms. Lucky for me, Kimmi was super keen and did her research ages ago. Back in February she got her name on a waiting list for worm class back – for a class in July. They are that in demand apparently. Me being the ultimate last-minute-kinda-girl, I called up the CityFarmer (unsure of what to call them exactly..) on the Thursday before the Saturday class and learned there was one cancellation. Perfect!

First off, I learned that for $25 I was receiving: a pound of red wiggler worms, a great box made just for worms (complete with air holes!), a bag of straw and newspaper, a book called Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof, and one full hour of instruction. Apparently this would normally go for over a hundred bucks but the City of Vancouver was being kind enough to subsidize the majority of it for us because it is one of the cheapest ways for them to reduce the amount of garbage coming out of the city, our very nice instructor told us.

Two things amazed me in this class: the wide array of people, and their reactions to the worms. The people: all sorts...there was a little old Asian lady, a bald gay guy with great posture, a girl with really fancy sunglasses and long fingernails, a lady who laughed at all of my and Kimmi’s jokes (that’s normal..) and that was only four out of about thirty. And then there were their reactions: one guy (shocking how many straight guys were there!) wouldn’t stop asking if he could use the worms for fishing, one woman was afraid to touch the worms, people who were pissed that the worms wouldn’t be able to eat every scrap of their organic garbage, people who hung on the instructors every word and took notes the entire hour... Now I’m being hard on them.

This is my fresh worm box, before I fed them anything:

I left mine out on the patio for about twenty minutes after I got them home. It was about 35 degrees out there, but I figured they would be fine if they were in the shade... Wrong. They will die. I got them out just in time and they are now flourishing in a closet.

I also learned that if you tell someone "I got worms today" they will be a tad weirded out. I was just really excited about it!

So with the worms, you feed them your vegetable scraps (one big yoghurt container full) once a week and they eat it to make a compost you can feed your plants. Awesome, but I am still paranoid about killing them. Or their possible escape...

Want to try it now?


A few photos of that awesome rain/thunder/lightning storm a few weeks back. We just happened to be at the Virgin Music Festival where we had been happily watching the lightning - which was still a few kilometres away - when the rain hit and things were swiftly cancelled seconds before The Roots came onto the stage. Devastating. However, it did make for a beautiful sky.

I have never seen the Vancouver sky like that.


Lastly, I want to share a muesli recipe that I find to be one of my most favourite things in the entire world. It was perfected by the one and only Jane Goodrum and I have waited about a year and a half only for it to make it to the other side of the world into my hands, yes, a few weeks ago. She makes a batch of it once a week, distributes it to her kids and their families and they all eat it every single morning for breakfast. My first attempt wasn’t exactly like Jane’s so it’s going to take me some time to get it just right, but I am happy to keep trying and definitely ready to get back in the habit of eating it every day.

JANE'S MUESLI (exactly as I received it)
4 cup rolled oats
1 cup all bran
1/2 cup low fat powdered milk (just powder)
2 tbsp wheat germ
2 tbsp linseed
1 cup of raw nuts (whatever you have in the kitchen, all good)
1 cup shredded coconut
~All these ingredients can be combined in a baking dish, and mixed.
1/4 cup of oil
1/4 cup of honey
~Melt together and pour over the dry mixture.
~Then bake in a moderate oven for 30 mins (pulling out and stirring roughly every 10mins)
~When cooked, allow it to cool then add a cup of dried fruit and stir through (anything you have: apples, apricots, sultanas, cranberries, etc).
~ You are then ready to get involved and chef it up. Yum yum!

*Linseed is just flaxseed, sultanas are raisins, a moderate oven would be around 350F and “chef it up” would involve serving it with whatever you feel like – come summer go wild with any berry you can get your hands on, a bit later move onto apples, then into the winter it’s perfect with yoghurt and canned fruit.

*Try and do it in a big baking dish as opposed to a baking sheet as it won’t turn as dark brown (Jane’s is a super light color; the ingredients are just toasted).

*Many thanks and love to the Goodrum family for sharing!

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