Friday, July 20, 2012

Learning From Failure: Gardening, Composting and Frogs

Mistakes are only good if you learn from them. Well, it seems we've made some mistake with gardening and composting.

Worm composting - Great idea but semi-fail. It was going great! Until the summer humidity hit. I didn't realize the drainage catcher needed to be emptied so much more once the humidity started. It makes sense. I just didn't think of it. We have a bin with a really good amount of wonderful (wet) compost but no worms are left. Black Soldier Fly maggots took over the bin. It's not a completely horrible thing since they break down food too. They also don't mind the really wet conditions unlike the worms. Our plan is to let the maggots take care of what's left, let every thing dry out, harvest what is there and then get new worms and start over again (learning from our mistakes).

The Black Soldier Fly maggots were the cause of mr frog's death too. Our first tadpole had finished it's transformation to frog and he needed food. We caught flies that made their way into our house. We bought little crickets from the pet store. Then I discovered the maggots. I tried feeding them to the frog. He immediately ate it. The next day I tried again. I didn't see him eat it but didn't see it in the tank. I eventually noticed a bulge in mr frog. It looked like he ate a maggot that was a little too big. The bulge slowly started moving up until it punctured through his skin right by his front leg. Over the next few days the maggot worked his way through mr frogs's skin..or really, the frog's body pushed it out since it was dead. Mr frog died two days later. :( RIP mr frog.

Gardening- Our garden started out so strong! We had such ambition!
Here's how the garden started out:

We got a handful of strawberries, blueberries and peas earlier in the season. We're still getting lettuce and tomatoes. But that's about it. We've managed to kill a lot of what we planted. I think the main reason that lead to our failure is the location. Where we put the garden was great for sun light. However, that was the only thing over there. I can not see where the kids play in the yard from the garden. That majorly reduces the time available for me to work in it. That also increased the chance of us forgetting about it. We only go to that side of the house for the garden. Lack of water and weeding is just a recipe for failure. My butterfly garden is right outside our huge window in our living room. I see it all the time and am able to tend to it while the kids play in the yard. It's thriving. I think we just need to scale back some on the veggie garden and move it's location. If at first you don't succeed, try try again!

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