The mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
Here we go 'round the mulberry bush,
So early in the morning.
We HAVE been going round and round here, though not exactly around bushes. Last week school got interrupted because we changed all the children's bedrooms. And this week we moved them all again! This is because some of the decisions we made last week didn't work out. On top of that, the dryer stopped working and we went to our beach cabin for a few days so we could have an operational dryer and so that Steve could paint one of the upstairs bedrooms (Amazon Moss) before we moved Leah into it. So our Soil Study has been severely compromised. Although we did have a good time playing in the sand at the beach the past two days. I think it would have been compromised anyway, to tell the truth, because I didn't have a concrete plan in mind for it. I like to think "what do I want the children to learn?" then work backwards and plan learning activities. My only ideas for Soil were that 1) it would be a good extension of the plants unit, and 2) they could dig in different kinds of dirt. And when your plan is that haphazard, you are bound to get smudgy results.
One thing I had been thinking about for this week was to visit the compost piles at our farm pick-up site, but when I got there I completely forgot about it. This is because I was so excited at finding a mulberry tree! I've never seen a mulberry tree, or had a mulberry, so this was a great revelation for me. The children and I picked berries and ate some. They were all stained with the juice. :-) In addition to mulberries, we got snow peas, lettuce, kale, carrots, lavender, and a basil plant.
Yesterday Steve drilled holes in our Worm-Bin-to-be. According to the directions in the March 2007 Martha Stewart Living, you should use a 1/8 inch drill bit and drill airholes in a two inch grid on the top third of each sidewall of the bin in addition to holes all over the top and bottom of bin. We are using a five gallon spackle bucket. Today the children and I are going to wash the remaining mud out of it (if you're looking for art projects to do with drywall mud, check out the series of books by MaryAnn Kohl -- she loves the stuff!) and assemble the bin. Ingredients:
The wooden blocks are for the bin to stand on to increase circulation. We need to do a field trip today to a bait store to buy red wigglers (the capacity of our bin will suit about 600 red wigglers and they should eat about 2 1/2 pounds of food scraps per week, which is good for us). I plan to keep the bin in my pantry. According to the article, "A base cabinet is a convenient spot for a vermicompost bin, given its proximity to food-prep counters. But worms will thrive in any location, provided it's dark and has temperatures from fifty-nine to seventy-five degrees. Make sure to keep bins secure from prying pets."
So... we're actually going to do it!! Wish me luck!!!
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