I am certain that if you have ever had children, grand children, babysat, or visited a friend/family member with children you can relate. Today as I was harvesting earthworm castings from my earthworm bins outside at my workstation, very loud voices could be heard from within the house. With only two children left at home, I certainly knew who was making all the ruckus. I, of course, assumed it was fighting and someone would appear and ask me to settle the dispute- unless a compromise or winner was determined.
More often that not, my kids will settle it themselves. I realized when the first two were young so much of their fighting and getting me involved as a referee was really a power play to see who I would side with in the altercation. Therefore, I removed myself and told them to sort it out themselves. I won’t deny that with the fiery temperaments of my daughters that fists sometimes came into play. No one died and they are better off for having learned to settle things themselves. I should also note that no bullying was allowed in our home and the playing field was pretty level- the older two are almost exactly 2 years apart and the younger had caught the older in size by the time she was 3 and they stayed neck and neck until the younger was 12- and passed the older sister. Often times, mothers need to be needed and want to be in the middle of the children’s scraps as they feed off of the sibling rivalry as it feeds their own emotional needs. I determined not to be that way and wanted my children to have an honest relationship with each other apart from me. No triangles in our family.
So anyway, I kept picking earthworms out of the castings dumped on the table wondering just what had set off the two of them. Soon, Sierra emerged from the house and began her sentence with “Mother” always the term she uses when she deems action is necessary on my part. But I must say that I was not prepared for what followed next. “Will you please tell Jonathan that he is not allowed to annoy me for no reason and this includes standing outside my door and clucking like a chicken at the top of his lungs!” Sierra says giggling and trying to look perturbed.
I burst out laughing, he was staying out of her room but had still found a way to bug her- a very creative way I might add. Of course, I did say that he could not come within five feet of her door, this distance would put him in his own room. In his room still meant that her could cluck like a chicken but that was the best I could do. As I type this, lots of noise is coming from the living room- all four kids are home and they are engaged in a wrestling match. The young bull (Jonathan) has grown quite strong and Cheyenne loves to wrestle him to see if he has passed her in strength. Siblings are funny.
The earthworms did get their bins refurbished with compost and shredded paper. Using earthworms to compost your kitchen scraps in called vermicomposting- a name which I dislike it reminds me of vermin. Now, the castings are fertilizing my garden boxes, making compost tea in the drum, and providing mulch for a rose bush that is trying to recover from being eaten by goats. I am amazed at how quickly the worms can eat watermelon or an old cucumber or anything else they find in their bin.
It was a full day- the master gardeners and I began our Earthkind demonstration plot. Today we removed a lot of Bermuda grass- that is hard work! I am the youngest member by about 25- 30 years and these little ladies worked like you wouldn’t believe. I am hoping to be so agile and sturdy at their age. Five pounds of earthworm castings went up to amend my plot. We are conducting an experiment- one side of the garden is done using synthetic chemicals such as round up and Miracle-Gro and my side is going the organic route. I am looking forward to see the difference.
Back at the farm, I mowed, weed-eated, painted signs, and mopped some really dirty floors. Needless to say, I am looking forward to my bed. Oh, and speaking of clucking like a chicken- we are getting our chickens this week! I cannot wait. I have missed having hens singing the “I laid an egg” song and pecking at bugs in the grass. I plan to get 6 hens and one roo- for now. Pictures to come.