Category Archives: Resources

Worms Can Help Too!

Looking for a cheap, easy, and fast way to compost your everyday kitchen scraps? If so, vermicomposting is exactly what you’re looking for. Vermicomposting is composting your scraps with a little help from redworms (Eisenia foetida). Approximately one pound of red worms can easily take care of a half-pound of garbage a day. Because they can get rid of garbage so fast, many people are looking into vermicomposting as a way to decrease global warming. What an easy way to keep organic materials out of landfills!

Redworms are also known under various common names, including brandling worms, tiger worms and red wiggler worms. These worms are a species of earthworm adapted to decaying organic material, that is why they are favored for vermicomposting over all other worms.

Vermicomposting is extremely inexpensive. A pound of redworms is around 14 dollars and with scrap material around the yard, that is all you will have to invest in. Redworms prefer temperatures between 55 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit, with this said it is hard to keep them outside through the winter. An easy way to store these worms is in a plastic bin like that of which you store clothing in because it is light enough to transport. Below are 5 easy steps in making your own worm ranch.

1. Choose a bin that is large enough to store worms, bedding, and food.

2. Add water-soaked bedding. (Shredded newspaper, peat moss or leaf mold)

3. Add Redworms. (Redworms are the most satisfactory and efficient type.

4. Bury Garbage. (Steer clear of meats, bones, and fats. Cover food with bedding)

5. Harvest Compost. (An easy way to do this would be to place new food on opposite end of bin and wait a couple weeks, all the worms will migrate to the new food allowing you to harvest where they had just been)

*During the composting process it is advised to collect the drainage (compost tea) which is great to fertilize plants. If possible fix a spout onto the bottom of your bin and a mesh screen so liquid fertilizer can be easily drained from the bin.

*Keep in mind that the worms will be reproducing so you could even use this process to profit by selling the worms.

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Edible Forest Gardening in Orono, ME

One of the primary goals of the Stillwater Permaculture Guild is to develop an edible forest research garden. Through landscape and community design that prioritizes local and beneficial plants working in concert with one another and the landscape (a system called guilding), we have been researching what a highly productive permaculture system is capable of in a medium/high density residential area. All parts of the project are designed to be repeatable in various scales and priorities, as diverse as college campuses, Maine’s cities and agricultural lands.

Three years ago a multidisciplinary team started with close observation and  interaction with the land, a year later a basic landscape design, and eventually systemic actions that stimulate a ecological integrity, and capacity for food production without taking resources away from the land. The past 6 months has seen the largest changes to the landscape since the project began including, extensive soil building, planting, cover cropping, and pruning. Additionally a system that passively filters rainwater and groundwater through the land is under development.

The project is the result of the community’s strong affinity for permaculture design and its ability to help communities redirect food, fuel, and fiber responsibility and production to the immediate local community. We believe that when such a system is in effect there is a direct and sustained benefit to the local economy as well as in the ecology. The project, although long-term in scope, will soon be releasing it’s first major reports.

Southwest Section of Stillwater Permaculture Guild Edible Forest Research Gardens

66 Edibles to Grow in Containers!

Citrus Trees Indoors!As Mainers, we have a short outdoor growing season. Therefore, we need to expand the number of alternative growing methods. I found this article on edibles that can be grown indoors in containers, which enables us to feed ourselves hyper-locally through the winter! See below for tree fruits, citrus fruits, melons, herbs, leafy greens and more!

(To find edible seedlings, try your local farmers’ market, or http://logees.com/products.asp?dept=166 ) Continue reading