Friday, 10 January 2014

Manger c’est bien jeter ça craint !

Manger c’est bien jeter ça craint  !

Thus being the new slogan adopted by the french government after a worrying report on how many tons of food are wasted in France every year. Indeed, this month the big issue that was posted on the front pages of all good newspapers was highlighting how much we all waste.

Coincidentally though, I was far from feeling guilt tripped by all this bad news - nope ! I had a squeeky clean conscious whilst reading all these frightening  food facts, why ?

Quite simply because this month I had devoted an hour of my free-time to making my own worm farm…

To help you all stay guilt-free too, here’s my step -by-step easy peasy lemon squeezy guide on how to make your own Lombricompost !

1)   Head to your local market (there is a fresh market at least one a week in every arrondissement of Paris.) Go and chat with that friendly looking fish monger and ask him for 3 of his polystyrene boxes that you can stack one-on-top of the other.
2) Head home and grab your knitting needles…Ahem ! Sorry I mean…grab a screwdriver, a pen or something with which you can poke plentiful of little holes in the bottom of 2 of your boxes!

These will be the holes through which the worms can move and change compartments within your worm farm. And also, any juice will drain to the bottom compartment and this you can collect and use to water your plants - a right treat as this liquid is high in nutritional goodness and ideal for giving your home-grown tomato plants an energy boost ! (We’re students right ? Money save by growing your own !)

3) Get some earth and pop it in the top compartment of your stack of 3…

4) Head to Decathlon ! Yes that’s right ! Strange as it seems, this sports shop does sell worms ideal for starting your Lombricompost ! Stroll down the fishing isle and pick out some “Vers de composte” which costs a meger four euros…


6) Voilà ! The last step is ‘Be patient !’ You’ll need to wait a good long week before you can start feeding your worms  with your apple skins, old-left-over rice etc because they’re fragile creatures and need to get used to their new environment: it’s a big change from their previous home in a plastic Tupperware Decathlon box !

Turn the earth gently every so often with a wooden spatula or a chop stick so that you oxygenate the soil without hurting your worms ! If they are mainly at the sides of the box, it’s a possible sign of suffocating worms so reduce the amount of peelings you feed them and make sure to rotate the earth more regularly !

It’s a no go for onion peelings, lemon and any agrumes ! Worms are very sensitive to acidic things, even our skin can burn them when we touch them ! (Hence, the use of a wooden object to turn the soil, bare hands not allowed !)

Don’t go piling in all the rice from a dinner with 10 friends, a little worm farm is a delicate ecosystem so make sure not to over do it and limit the amount of waste you pop in !
Contrary to popular rumour: you’re Lombricompost shouldn’t smell in the slightest as long as it’s well oxygenated ! 

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