… a plethora of baby worms!
European Nightcrawler Eggs
Today I frantically dug through my indoor European Nightcrawler worm bin, trying to find out if my recent, too-acidic feeding killed anyone. I learned two things:
1. These are worm eggs.
European Earthworm Eggs 2
2. European Earthworms love cardboard and pretty much any paper products! I found a huge percentage of the adult ones clustered around the paper and torn up toilet paper rolls I put in there. Anywhere where there was a clump of that stuff, at least five big ones were tangled in it and some of these precious eggs were close by.
According to what I’ve read about them, this means that they consider my scrap paper an awesome feeding source. Apparently worms lay their eggs near their feeding source.
I wasn’t expecting for this to be the case; all of the online sources say that European Earthworms feed near the surface, but I found them anywhere the paper was, including near the bottom (where I found even more eggs). So, I tore up a couple egg cartons, soaked them in water, distributed them on the surface, and then tucked them in.
These guys are recycling machines!
When I have enough, I’m going to start giving these away to everyone I know. Five pounds of these guys (which could fit in this container) could eat 5lbs of matter per day, including paper! I suspect that they actually eat it a little slower than that, but there is less in there than there was when I started this bin. Imagine how much paper waste could be reduced if everyone had a worm bin!
So far, I’ve had the most success with green onions, garlic cloves, and herbs. All of the other vegetables I’ve attempted sprout well and then fade/stall at growing their true leaves (most likely because of lack of light, but we’ll get to that in another post).
One plant seems to be doing quite well; it’s color is dark, it’s growing quickly, and it doesn’t seem bothered by the amount of light. What plant is this? Broccoli!
Now, my excitement could be too hasty, as the plants are still quite small.
However, in preparation for the event that this plant does as well for it’s entire life as it has in the last three days, I’ve looked up some facts about broccoli.
Things You Miss By Buying Broccoli at the Grocery Store
- The adult broccoli plant is huge. It can reach about three feet in diameter. Unfortunately, the head, or the actual part that we eat, is quite small compared to the rest of the plant. After discovering just how small the “edible part” was, I started reconsidering taking the time and energy to grow broccoli.
- Then, it occurred to me that perhaps there was another way to approach this plant then I’d learned as a regular, American consumer. Perhaps I was missing out by just eating the head. Perhaps the rest of the plant was edible too. Who knows?
- Turns out I was right! Broccoli leaves are completely edible and there are numerous recipes online regarding their preparation. Here are some of the sources I found:
Broccoli Isn’t the Only One Whose Leaves You Miss at the Grocery Store!
- So far, I have discovered that garlic greens can be used in the place of regular garlic! It tastes exactly the same, is easier to handle in the kitchen, and, from previous research I did on it for a class report a while back, it contains more of the active compounds that garlic is reputed for than the bulb!
- Additionally, cauliflower leaves and brussel sprout leaves (pretty much any relative of the wild mustard) can also be consumed.
Waste Not, Want Not.