14 September 2012

Taking advantage

One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is having the flexibility to take advantage of gorgeous weather when it comes. Today is sunny and clear. It's warm in the sun and cool in the shade. Just about perfect.

So we started with the library after lunch, where Mr. Beeb got a shiny new library card (in our family, the magic age is five though the library will issue cards earlier). Next, we picked up a few things from the Co-op, followed by a trip to our favorite bakery. However, today we got our doughnuts to go and headed to the park.

As a bonus, we have the state park almost to ourselves. We can listen to the birds, climb the "mountain", look at the trees and flowers, talk to the bugs, build fairy houses, throw rocks in the lake, or just sit quietly and knit a sock and enjoy the view.

13 September 2012

New...residents? employees? pets?

Last night, I scurried up to Madison for a class at Olbrich Botanical Garden about Vermicomposting. It was an interesting class. She demonstrated setting up a worm bin using a small storage container and talked about caring for and maintaining the worms and bin, as well as finding supplies around town. With her description, it would have been quite straightforward to get the parts together and set up a worm bin, but she had sample bins for sale for $10 at the class. I figured that the convenience of not having to run errands up in Madison to collect parts and to find the time to put the pieces together made the price seem like a pretty good deal, so I came home with a worm bin complete with worms and a first bit of food for them to eat.
The bin:

and one of the residents:

We added some coffee grounds and scraps from prepping tomatoes for canning tomato today. We will still be feeding our compost bin in the yard, but picking out the choice bits to feed the worms. Especially this time of year when there is a whole lotta canning going on, we generate a ton of compost! All three kids are pretty excited about it, but my bug boy Beeb is especially taken by them. Before bed last night, he came up to me and said, "Thank you for getting us worms, Mommy."
So are they merely new residents in our household? Employees who are producing some fantastic soil amendments in exchange for room and board? Or pets that we have to check on and talk to regularly throughout the day?