Making a Do-It-Yourself Worm Bin for less

If you are interested in doing some worm farming, and want to do it for an inexpensive cost, then you have come to the right place.  We will look at a specific plan for a Do-it-yourself worm bin, and explore some of the cheaper options for building the right worm farm. For this article, we are going to keep the goal in mind, and that would be to make this extremely affordable.  When you are trying to keep things cheap on a worm bin, sometimes you need to keep in mind that you want this to be a successful project, not just a cheap one.  Hopefully, we will explore how to do both.  So rather than go spend a hundred dollars on a bin, without even getting the worms, we thought we could help you save some money right off the bat.  If we can keep the cost down on the worm bin, then it will allow us to spend more money on the actual worms!   The best bin for this I have seen are some eighteen gallon rubbermaid bins, two of them. You can find these at an average department grocery superstore such as Costco, Walmart, or Target. We also sell specific worm bins on our site!  These are fantastic things to start with, and poke holes in the first bin(the one on the inside). One is going to rest inside the other.  If you have some newspapers, and can make some bedding, then your worms will hatch …

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How to Start Your First Vegetable Garden

If you are looking to start your first vegetable garden, look no further than right here. First, lets look at the reasons why.  Starting a vegetable garden at home is a great way to save money.  For example, a plant that may cost you a dollar and a half may product pounds and pounds of produce!  Also, it gives you the distinct advantage of enjoying a much better and delicious product than you could ever dream of getting at the best grocery store produce aisle ever.   More So, it is likely much easier than you think it is.  If you can work out your plan right, you can enjoy the process.  Even more, you may not have to take tons of time to tend it.  It can even make a positive impact on your landscaping!   If you would like some help on deciding what to grow, take a look at what you actually like to EAT!  I find it surprising that so many people don’t think about what they would actually like to eat before they plant the garden.  If you do not like this stuff, then don’t bother planting it, is the bottom line.  Some plants produce all throughout the season, and you will not need as many of them.  Some of them, on the other hand, only provide produce at the end of the season, and it would be a good idea to plant more of these.   When you are trying to plan how much space …

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Healthy Slow-Cooker Recipe: Red Beans Over Spanish Rice

This is a Great recipe for a healthy meal that will definitely keep your kitchen clean, and smelling very good.  It is a low-prep time meal that you can pop in the crock pot in the morning and have a great healthy meal at night.  Let us know what you think! Ingredients: -Fresh Jalapeno Peppers, sliced(amount to taste) -2 Cups dry red beans or dry kidney beans -1 6.75 ounce package spanish rice, cooked -4 cups water -5 cups COLD water -1 Tablespoon vegetable oil. -¾ pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch peices -2 ½ cups chopped onions -6 Garlic Cloves, chopped -1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin   Directions:   -Rinse beans, then drain.  In a saucepan, combine beans and the 5 cups of water; and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. -Remove from heat, and cover and let stand one hour.  Rinse and drain beans. -Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork in two batches, then drain fat. -Coat a 3-4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray, then add the beans, pork, onions, garlic, and cumin.  Pour in the 4 cups of water, then stir. -Cover, and cook on low heat for 10-12 hours. -Using a slotted spoon, remove the beans and pork.  Serve beans over rice, and spoon liquid over the top.  Garnish with sliced Jalapeno.   Nutrition facts: 344 Calories, 19g Protein, 68g Carbohydrate, 1g Fat, 17g Fiber

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Tips for Growing Awesome Potatoes

Having been born on the Farm, spent a lot of time in Idaho, and growing up plowing potatoes as a young kid, I have been around all sorts of potatoes my whole life.  What better way to get a blog out there than do one on how to grow some great potatoes!  They really are not hard to master, and once you do, you will be happy you did!  There is probably nothing more american than meat and potatoes.  Let’s cover how to take care of the last part of that statement! Potatoes are typically best grown in a long growing season, that does not get overly hot.  The best timing on growing potatoes is to start basically as soon as the ground is not frozen.  If you can help, use potatoes from you last crop, or from a certified seed potato source.  This will yield the best results, and keep your potatoes from getting diseases,  You basically just need to cut them into pieces, with one eye in each piece of potato.  Don’t let them sit around, just plant them as soon as you cut them up. Your spacing on your potato plants will be varied, but I would recommend for each row doing a minimum of 10 inches between plants.  Any less than that, and you will not get the growth you need.  If you are farther apart than about 12 inches, though, the soil will not get shade from the potato plant above the ground, and the …

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10 Uses for Zucchini and Summer Squash

Zucchini and summer squash are delicious and have a myriad of uses. You can bake, boil, steam and chop for a delectable meal. You can use them in soup, pasta, as side dishes or for a main entree. Mix with meat for a delicious main dish. They are also great with lentils, rice, noodles, and fish. Here are ten uses for Zucchini and summer squash. Steamed Squash – use dill and steam on the stove for about 10-15 minutes. Melts in your mouth. Mix your zucchini with other veggies that you will probably have on hand, like tomato and corn, and put them into the oven. Baking this dish in the oven will get you a delicious crisp on the outside without the added fattyness from frying it in a pan. For a tasty cake, Zucchini, carrot, and apples add moisture and flavor, eliminating the need for excess butter and oil. This soft cake type batter takes around 10 minutes for the cake to be ready to go. Zucchini, banana and flaxseed muffins with shredded zucchini, ripe bananas and flaxseed make a very nutritious baked treat. These are perfect for a nice meal or light snack! Creamy zucchini and squash ricotta spread. Includes sautéed (make sure it’s grated) zucchini, garlic, ricotta cheese and lemon juice. Can be served with pita chips or as a dip. Marinated zucchini and yellow squash salad is bright, colorful summer salad and packs a lot of flavor, considering how few ingredients it uses. You’ll get …

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Ways to Make Your Garden Tomatoes Stay Fresh

Did you know that there are over 400 different types of tomatoes that are suitable for growing in your garden? Keeping veggies fresh is great for you – they taste great and are healthy. Do you love to grow fresh tomatoes in your vegetable garden? If so, you want to know how to keep them nice and fresh. Good news. Keeping veggies fresh doesn’t take a lot of time, preparation or effort. Just be sure to let them ripen first before storing them away long term. 5 different ways to make your garden tomatoes stay fresh Eat them soon after picking. Eating fresh tomatoes is the best way to eat tomatoes without worrying about them going bad. They can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days. It will be a week before they start to go bad. Refrigerate them. Refrigeration is a bit tricky, though. If you want to keep them tasting fresh, store them in there only a few days. They will taste bland, but will store in the fridge for two weeks before going bad. Store them in the freezer. Freezing tomatoes keeps them the most fresh the longest – for 3-4 months, long after the summer garden harvest. You can keep them indefinitely in the freezer, but storing them a max of a few months will keep their taste. Canning comes in fourth for keeping your garden tomatoes fresh. There is a process to canning tomatoes, but it is easy. There are benefits to keeping them …

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Storing Garden Vegetables In The Ground

Learning how to store fresh garden vegetables year around is a gift worth giving. It’s an age old practice that has been relied on for survival. In addition, many are limited when it comes to storage space, making this tool of the trade especially helpful because it allows you to keep your garden veggies stored in the garden throughout winter. Some popular vegetables you might want to try this mulching technique with include: carrots, beets, turnips, celery, cabbage, kale, spinach and leeks. Let’s dive in! Storing Garden Vegetables In The Ground First, it’s important to go through your vegetables and make sure the soil is protecting any exposed root crop. For example, in the picture above you see the exposed shoulder of a carrot, which needs to be protected against the cold elements if you want it to store well. Taking a hoe, pull some soil up around exposed shoulders, but leave the green leaves uncovered. Second, anticipate the possibility of an early hard frost. If you expect one, cover your root crops with blankets, loose straw or row covers to keep them from freezing. When the temperatures have risen above freezing, you can remove the covers. As long as you keep a fairly close eye on changing weather patterns, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Lastly, as winter sets in, apply a thick covering of mulch around the plants. You can use a variety of organic materials for mulch including: Chopped Leaves Straw Grass Clippings Wood Chips Compost …

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When Should I Plant?

Spring is in full swing and you know what that means – it’s time to plant your garden! Growing your own groceries is very rewarding and a lot of fun, but in order to make it worth your while, it’s critical to know when to plant your seeds. So we here at Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm put together this little graphic to help you visualize when you need to have your seeds ready to plant, till and compost your garden, and plan to have some youngsters available to help you out! We understand there are different seasons depending on where you live in North America, and that planting times vary according to where you live. There’s a tool out there called SproutRobot that allows you to put in your zip code and it will generate the planting dates for a wide variety of garden produce that’s specific to your area. Check it out for more details! Good luck planting your garden and remember to add compost to your soil for best results!

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Preventive Solutions: Organic Garden Pest Control

A beautiful, well-maintained and pest-free garden is all a gardener could ever thank for. But what if things turn around for the worst? What if pests start infesting the garden and its produce? Before it can even reach up to this point, preventive solutions, or pest control methods are available to keeping a garden healthy, thriving, and free of bugs. Do take note that there are a variety of options of organic garden pest control products that can be used, and can be made straight from your home.   The purpose of using organic pest control products Using organic pesticide is definitely a better alternative to using toxic-filled goods. Chemical fertilizers not only kill beneficial insects along the way, it also affects nature in more ways than one. Organic based products that are used to help supplement the soil and the living things planted in it, benefit from the nutrients and minerals that come with it. So when this happens, your garden flourishes, and your garden produce increases in yield.   Assess the garden situation first Before you can even use any type of organic pest control products on your garden, it’s best that you identify the problem/s first. In this way, you will be able to assess the indicators, and the possible pests that may be responsible for the damages (whether this would only be minor or major ones). Of course, you wouldn’t want to use a pesticide that’s meant to kill moles, when you’re actually aiming to eradicate …

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Upcoming Composting Classes Around the Country

Are you ready to learn how to compost? All over the US, there are courses and classes discussing the benefits and how-to’s of composting with red wiggler worms. Take a gander at the dates and locations below to see if there’s an event in your neighborhood coming up. Check back often for our current event posts about local composting classes so you can sign up to learn this eco-valuable practice to add to your daily routine. From the BainerdDispatch.com: Participants will receive a free tree. Activities include the arb’s Solar Demonstration Project; “Take a Bird Walk” with Judd Brink; or take a nature hike on the arboretum trails. There also will be composting classes featured at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Booths of information on Brainerd in Bloom, Emerald ash borer and other tree pests, Master Gardener and compost bins will be available and those attending may meet artist Darlene Stone. More information may be obtained by calling the arboretum at 829-8770. From TheNorthfieldnews.com site: SATURDAY, APRIL 30 — Earth Day Celebration: Cows, Colleges, and Compost • A family event with earth-friendly activities, parade, dancers, music, and local food and exhibitors. Noon to 4 p.m. at Bridge Square/Riverwalk. Zero waste and carbon-offset event. Participants encouraged to walk, bike or rollerblade to the event. Don’t see anything in your neighborhood? Check with your local events groups our Parks and Recreation department. Local nurseries and colleges also promote composting events throughout the year.  

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