the worms crawl in the worms crawl out… Sometimes, doing things in a new way, means going back to the old way of doing it. The way it’s been done for eternity. Our crossing over the millennium doorstep without tripping, should not let us grow complacent. Continued determination to put ourselves in tune and harmony with everything around us, must be kept alive. By taking a look at how nature gives countless examples of recycle and renewal we might pick up a few hints, and maybe get some willing help to take care of the “dirty work”. One case the OpenMinder looked at this issue, is vermeculture.
Vermeculture is the method of using worms to speed up the composting of organic materials. -It is faster cleaner, and has fewer pests than traditional outdoor compost heaps. In can be done inside the home or apartment, doing away with the hassles of a frozen outdoor compost at this time of year. Worms ingest microorganisms and organic matter and excrete castings that contain a wealth of nutrients. The castings increase the amount of nutrients and minerals in the soil by ten times the value of the original plant debris. It is said that one acre of worms can move twenty tons of earth in one year! Local worm expert Eva Anthony introduced us to these natural recyclers on a one-on-one basis OM: Have people been involved in vermaculture a long time? EVA: As far as I know, and have read, it has been going on since the 1950’s. OM: How big of an industry is it? EVA: It is quite a large industry. There are commercial outfits that produce castings for sale. The castings are used as a nutrient rich organic fertilizer for houseplants and gardens. I know that there are several landfills now that are buying hundreds of pounds of worms to speed up the process. OM: Can this be done on a smaller scale that someone at home could do? EVA: Yes, very easily. Some kitchen kits are available for under the counter requiring approximately a 2-foot by 2-foot space. A cool basement or garage is an ideal site, anywhere it will not freeze. On a larger scale, you can use an outdoor pile. My outdoor pile is 4-feet by 8-feet. OM: What do they eat? EVA: Well, any organic waste, but variety is essential. You do not want to give them too much of one thing. You can use animal products, (meat & dairy), but there will be an odor problem. They like eggshells and sand, though, because the grit helps the digestion process. They have an orifice where they ingest; their whole body is a digestive system and their mouth is at the front end. They do not have teeth. The grinding process is done by the grit, which you have to supply. Also, enzymes are produced and secreted by the worms that breakdown matter. When you feed them, do not spread it all over the whole bed. Put the waste down the middle where the worms can come to it and feed. They like to eat it, not live in it. OM: What kind of maintenance is involved? EVA: Worms are mainly water, therefore they do need moist beds, or else they will dehydrate. Also, the pH must be checked from time to time. You should avoid using wood chips for bedding because it raises the acidity. Shredded newspaper and cardboard, straw or even dry grass clippings can be used for bedding. Make sure the grass is not fresh, though, because the heat released by the breakdown process will harm the worms. The pile should be turned once in a while for air circulation because after a time the bed becomes compacted. OM: Do they reproduce abundantly, or do you have to replace the worms after a while? EVA: They reproduce regularly. You will often find cocoons throughout the bed. Worms are hermaphrodites. Each worm is both male and female. They mate by joining end to end, resulting in both worms being impregnated. OM: So everyone gets to experience the miracle of birth! EVA: Yes that is right. A perfect world! OM: What is it like to handle worms? EVA: It is really not that bad, you get used to it after a while. They kind of tickle the palm of your hand. A lot of people have this squeamish feeling about worms, but they usually get over that quickly. OM: How do you harvest your worms? EVA: Well, there are several methods. If you are into it as a big operation and you have got hundreds of feet of beds, you buy a commercial rotary type harvester. But you are looking at thousands of dollars for one of those. So, the simple way of doing it is you just pile mounds of the composted bedding on a table where there is lots of light. It is best if you can do this outdoors where you have lots of room. The worms will just dive deep into the piles to get away from the light. And so you scoop off the dirt and then they go deeper, and when you get down to the very bottom, you remove all the castings. You get this mass of worms at the bottom, it is just beautiful; you just fill your palms with it! I tried the screening method. Underneath the screen you put a layer of moist burlap. You have to give them a period of time like up to half an hour to complete this or else you have these worms dangling from the screen and you have to pull them out, possibly damaging them. You have to leave a space between the screen and the burlap so that they can not get back up. I’ve never really timed it to see which harvesting method was the most efficient, time wise. OM: Can worms see? EVA: No, but they sense light. When I first got mine, I was warned to keep the lights on for a couple days, so they get used to their new home, or else they might try to migrate. Try to run away from home! OM: How long do worms actually live? EVA: Well, they can live a long, long time if the conditions are right. They are very polite. When babies are hatched, they will leave the tiny worms at the main food source. They will move away to feed off the already partially digested foods. So if the beds are not well maintained, they will eventually die from not eating enough. But, when the worms die, you would never know it. They just turn to compost themselves. OM: Is it true that when the worm is cut in half, it will grow into two new worms? EVA: No, not really. A worm can survive and repair itself if the wound is not too large. But it does not become two separate worms. OM: Are there different types of worms used in vermiculture? EVA: The Red Wigglers are the most common. They are the most efficient composters that I know of. Many people are expecting to see the garden worm, but the red wigglers will not live in the garden. They will only live in compost. Conversely, the Night Crawlers, which are the garden worms, will not live in compost. But, they will not live in a garden that has no organic matter, either. When I first moved to my current location, I had no worms in the garden. Because it was so depleted, but once I added organic matter to the garden, I had worms. Red Wigglers make good fish bait because they are resistant to drowning and wiggle on the hook. On the other hand, if fishermen are using the Night Crawlers, they are too big unless they are fishing for huge fish. And they have to cut them in half. OM: So it seems like vermicomposting is a win-win situation. Feeding organic waste, which was formally destined for the landfill, provides a rich organic fertilizer in much less time than traditional compost methods. EVA: Exactly. I used to get additional waste from a local restaurant, too. So, there is quite a benefit to the environment. OM: How do I find a source to start my own bin? EVA: Anyone who is interested in trying vermicomposting can call me, Eva Anthony at 442-5334.
Dear Betty: About four months ago my 13 year old daughter
informed me that she was now a “vegetarian” My husbands
response was to make a joke about the time he took her dear hunting
being the cause. Our family eats well and I have two other boys
and a husband to feed. Vegie girl now wants veggie dogs that
cost three times the price of regular dogs, and Tofu is not cheap.
I love my daughter, but I am not going to cook separate meals
for her. signed: Mother of veggie girl
Dear Veggie Mom Join the club, this is the age of experimentation. Check with her class mates you may have enough to form a support group. Seriously, I was raised in a vegetarian home untill I left for the big city when I was 18. We sometimes had the opposite problem, but the rules are the same. If your daughter wants to choose this way of living, she needs to make some commitments of her own. Things like growing a gardening, helping more with meals, and maybe contributing financially or in kind with extra chores. It could be the beginning of life long healthy eating habits or maybe not. P.S. sound like hubby should be helping out more in the kitchen as well.
Just a note from Betty. Thanks for the letters, keep them coming! I have had some questions as to why and how I summaries your letters. If you send your question to Betty in 100 to 150 words, It will be printed complete. I have received letters that are 3 or 4 hundred words long. In these situations I attempt to summarize the questions and keep the intent and the accuracy. If I miss the mark, please let me know. Ms B
On culture: editor While attending the multicultural event, mentioned on the cover, I came to realize that coming from a 4th generation of Canadians, I grew up without any definite cultural customs, like I was experiencing that night. No costume or dress, no coming of age, or rights of passage customs to help intigrate and link my mind and spirit to the family, community, and most importantly adulthood, not even any particular food, except our “Thursday night spaghetti dinner”. The side effects of this for me, meant a long time finding my own connections. After Friday nights event, I came away feeling a deep sense of sharing and gratitude towards those who have strong cultural ties, for something that I will never have, as well as a deeper understanding of myself.
openminder.com For those readers who visit the OpenMinder web site, you will have noticed a completely new look. You will also have noticed that it hasn’t been kept up to date. My appologies for that. The new look for the site was designed by Nicolia Strukoff, who certainly added some dynamics to it, an there has been a learning curve of a new web site program that I am experiencing as well as transfering a copy of the site to my computer, to keep updated. Every thing will be updated soon.Thank you for your patience and thank you to Nicolai Strukoff for a fresh look.
Firemans Park This past Monday
evening Brian Taylor, President of the Grand Forks Recreation
Society came before city council. OM: What was the purpose of the presentation to council on Monday
Brian: You know we had our first meeting of the Recreation Societies new Board of Directors last week, and in that meeting we identified three essential steps to getting back on track 1) Understanding the cities ownership and responsibility to the land and our need for a mandate to develope the site. 2) Understanding the involvement of the Fall Fair Society in the agreement with the A.L.C. 3) Creating an identity. So we had come to council to take the first step in reporting to the city, and we had also hoped to get there endorsement for the name of the park. This may seem like a strange place to start, but if you read Karen Heaber’s editorial in the Gazette, last week, you will recognise that the name confusion, on top of that, the enthusiasm of the voluteers, has added to the confusion. Are we the Rec Centre/Society/multi-multi what ever? A name is the first thing to establish, upon which a vision can be built, and a community rallied to accomplish great things.
OM: You were suggesting Firemans Park, why that name?
Brian: There is a rich history involved with the history of the Fall Fair, (Firemans Park, being there last real home) strong community spirit and in keeping with that historical, or heritage theme we began to refer to the old “Firemans Park.” We talked about how this was a return to the roots of our community spirit and how this fit with the Tourism Committies direction of promoting the heritage of the area. So many pieces fell into place.
OM: Were you disappointed by councils reaction to your proposal?
Brian: No, not at all, I think that council is some what overwhelmed by the complexity, but, I feel they were sympathetic to our need for a clear identity.
OM: What do the firemen think of this?
Brian: They are flattered to be recognised in the name of the park. As volunteers, they did remind me that the original aggreement, where the city promised to replace the park at a future date, was made with the firemen of Grand Forks. Great chance for this city council to fullfill a nearly fifty year old promise.
OM: OK, name, city support, can you tell me what else the society is doing?
Brian: Surveys are going out and more being prepared, we have been and are continuing to look at how other communities have addressed their needs, we are working on getting a scale model of the site. The Museum is getting involved to help us develope the heritage theme, and there are many groups ready to offer hands on help at the site, but we are aware of the need for a mandate from the city before we actually do anything at the site. We are even having lease enquiries on future buildings on the site.
Are You a Professional?
Below are a series of questions that will let you know if you have what it takes to be a professional in what you do.
1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?
Correct answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you are doing simple things in a complicated way.
2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?
Incorrect answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator door. Correct answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant, and close the door. This question tests your memory.
3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?
Correct answer: The elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator! This tests if you are capable of comprehensive thinking. OK, if you did not answer the last three questions correctly, this one may be your last chance to test your qualifications to be a professional.
4. There is a river known for its vicious, man-eating crocodiles. How do you cross it?
Correct Answer: Simply swim. All the crocodiles are attending the animal conference.
If you answered four out of four questions correctly, you are a true professional. Wealth and success await you. If you answered three out of four, you have some catching up to do but there is hope for you. If you answered two out of four, consider a career as a hamburger flipper in a fast food joint. If you answered one out of four, try selling some of your organs. It’s the only way you will ever make any money. If you answered none correctly, consider a career that does not require any higher mental functions at all, such as politics. Tax Tips -Did you know? Keep those reciepts! by Laverne Simpson Have you gone out of town for medical reasons? Did you know you can deduct meal, gas and accommodation expences? Keeping receipts for those expenses can pay off at tax time bringing down your taxable income and saving you money!
Phoenix Rises Centennial of
Phoenix, B.C. On October 11, 1900, Phoenix B.C., located at 4,500
ft. on a mountain top between Greenwood and Grand Forks, became
the highest incorporated city in Canada. Already established
with hundreds of citizens who were lured by the immense deposits
of copper in the area, it was a place like no other, prosperous,
booming and confident. Today Phoenix City is only a memory, but
we can celebrate the spirit and enthusiasm it projected in it’s
heyday as we recognize the centennial of incorporation. Boundary
Tourism Action Committee is co-ordinating Phoenix Days Celebrations,
August 4 to 6, (to coincide with the long weekend), and are issuing
and open invitation for people to return to the Boundary to take
part. Grand Forks and Greenwood will be the focal points for
‘homecoming’, and we hope both communities will offer many displays
and activities for the visitors. There will be a tour to Phoenix
site on the Sunday, with a picnic lunch in a hall an lots of
reminiscing. Communities and groups are also encouraged to become
involved with their own recognition of the Centennial, either
during the Homecoming or throughout the year. Phoenix was an
influence on all of the Boundary, and we are confident our communities
will participate in the celebrations with their usual enthusiasm.
Tall Man Wanted The Phoenix Centennial Celebrations committee is looking for a gentleman who most resemble Magistrate W.R. “Judge Willie” Williams, who presided in court at Phoenix B.C. from 1898 to 1913. Judge Williams, at 6′ 6″ was know as the highest man in the highest court in the highest city in Canada. He wa in Phoenix from 1898 to 1913 and it is said he became a legend in his own lifetime. All we ask from the successful candidate is that he be a very tall man, with outgoing personality, willing to appear as the Judge at special Phoenix commemorative events in the Boundary, and to enter into the spirit of his role. Background material will be provided and we will try to assist with locating appropriate attire. The only payment offered is the pleasure of being able to portray one of the famous people of Phoenix and being a recognized participant at some of the great centennial celebrations that are planned. Entries must be received by Tuesday, February 29, 2000For more information contact Boundary Tourism Action Committee, Co-ordinator, Jean Johnson at ph: 442-3060 or fax: 442-3091 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sentinel on the hill High on the hill in the morning shade – An Indian boy and an Indian Maid – Sat with hands and heart entwined And pledged their love to a seedling pine. – Strong as the pine their love would grow – Through summer sun and winter snow ‘Til their bones be dust and their spirits free – Still that love would live in the Sentinel Tree. The year was 1832, – The sun was warm, the sky was blue, And the little tree stretched his roots and grew. The priest gazed out on the open plain – Fresh and green from the summer rain, – Wild willow thickets hid the timid deer – Where the bubbling creek flowed cool and clear. – Far to the south a thin smoke curled – Marking his home in this strange New World. – And the midday ringing of the Mission bell – Told him that all was secure and well. The year was 1863, “Thank you, lord for choosing me,” He prayed, as he knelt by a tall pine tree. The young girl stood in the sunset glow – Looking through tears at her world below, Her wedding day would never come; For young men must answer the distant drum, In a faraway land he spread his blood, Whispered her name as he died in the mud. – All through the night the young girl cried, And the Sentinel Tree understood and sighed. The year was 1917 – The sun still shone, the grass was green; But her world was dead and cold and mean. In early Spring on a moon less night – The old tree shuddered from the axe’s bite, – Soon the ring of death was deep all ’round And the lifeblood sap dripped down to the ground, – And the midnight breeze felt icy cold As the creeping numbness slowly took hold, While far away, on another hill, An Indian grave stirred once and was still.
WE’RE OFF! The Trans Canada Relay 2000 Canada’s largest Millennium Celebration has begun A team of Junior Rangers hacking through ice to draw water from the Arctic Ocean helped launch the first leg of the Trans Canada Trail Relay 2000 – an epic journey to celebrate the millennium and forge a trail that aims to link the whole country together from North to South and East to West. After months of planning and hard work, the Trans Canada Trail Relay 2000 got off and running on Sunday – even dogsled running. Teams of volunteers, chosen from thousands of applicants, will carry the symbolic vessel of Arctic Ocean water along its way through severe Arctic weather and across thousands of trail miles throughout the great North. In April and May similar trail blazers will scoop water from the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans and all three relays, unravelling like ribbons across the country, will converge in the National Capital Region for a grand celebration in Jacques Cartier Park on September 9th. They will pour the waters from the three oceans together, symbolizing a link from coast to coast to coast. It will be a bond of unity created by everyone who has travelled on foot, by dogsled, bicycle, cross county ski, on snomobile, horseback and wheelchair to carry the dream to reality. The premier send off celebration began under the great white northern spotlight in Tuktoyaktuk, NWT on February 19th with festivities featuring traditional games and contests on the frozen Arctic ocean, including igloo construction; drummers and dancers; a traditional feast of king salmon, moose, caribou and whale meat; fireworks; northern arts and crafts; and, of course, the ceremonial drawing of the water from the Arctic Ocean by a select group of Junior Rangers who had to drill through layers of ice with special equipment. In attendance were the three official territorial Relay 2000 teams – the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut – as well as local citizens and dignitaries. The Arctic water began its winter journey on February 20. From Tuktoyaktuk, the NWT and Yukon Relay 2000 teams headed south to Inuvik; while at the same time, the Arctic Millennium Project Relay 2000 headed east towards Paulatuk. The Arctic Millennium Project will carry a third of the Arctic Ocean water through Canada’s newest territory, and ultimately finished in Nunavut’s capital of Iqaluit. This portion of the Arctic water will remain in Iqaluit as a testament to the territory’s participation in the Trans Canada Trail Relay 2000. On February 21, the Yukon and NWT teams continue south towards Tsiigethchic where the Rangers will create a tent city to house both teams for the night. The following morning the water will be split in two, with one container travelling through the Yukon with the other through the Northwest Territories. The two trail ‘tributaries’ will reunite near Regina (having stopped through Fort Nelson and Fort St. John, BC) where they will meet up with the east/west pathway. Official water carriers included local mayors, citizens and schoolchildren each travelling the Relay 2000 route by dog sled, cross-county skiing, running or snowmobiling. The First Canadian Rangers, experts in Arctic travel under adverse conditions, guided the southbound journey. Each escort was specially equipped with multi-day supplies of food and water, camping equipment, flares, first aid kits, tow ropes and state-of-the-art communications equipment. Despite average temperatures of -40C, severe wind chills, scant road access and limited daylight in the far north, the participants were ‘fired up’ and their true Canadian spirit refused to be extinguished. April 7th will see the drawing of Pacific water in Victoria, BC. The Relay will weave through the province visiting over 66 communities with over 100 celebrations between April 7th and May 5th before moving into Alberta, continuing east to it’s final destination in the National Capital Region. In Greenwood on April 27th, the largest event in the Boundary area will be the official unveiling of the Tunnel of Flags. Politicians, special guests, media and the residents of the region, are all invited to the unveiling scheduled for mid-morning. Also on the 27th, in Grand Forks, the water will be brought in on the old Columbia and Western railbed and a horseback rider will be the water carrier as Relay 2000 comes into downtown Grand Forks. Late the same day, at Christina Lake again a horseback rider will be one of the water carriers taking the water along West Lake Drive to the Community Hall. On September 9th in the year 2000, the waters from the three oceans that border Canada will come together in our nation’s capital. The carriers will have traveled over 16,000 km through every province and territory and countless towns and communities to this symbolic finale. But what gives this relay its power and its everlasting legacy is not the end of the event, but the beginning it represents. Because to get there, those Canadians and thousands more, will have bound together their lives with an everlasting national dream. Trans Canada Trail Relay 2000 – making the dream a reality! For details call: Marilyn Strong, Community Animator, Trans Canada Trail Relay 2000, and ParticipACTION Ph: (250) 365-2662/Fax: (250) 365-6045 Email: email@example.com Community Organizers Greenwood Ernie Hennig 250-445-227830 Grand Forks Bev Wisnicki 250-442-2202 Christina Lake – John Mackey 250-442-2202
pavlovs monkey…. An experiment on learned rules & habits, was conducted using monkeys. The experiment consisted of placing a table in the middle of the common area, and above the table, suspended by a string, is a banana. Every time a monkey gets up on the table to get the banana, a water hose is sprayed at the monkey on the table until in gets down and then the rest of the monkeys get sprayed also. After getting hosed a few times the other monkeys start to beat up any monkey who tries to get on the table. Once this behavior starts, there is no need to bring out the hose. Over a period of time new monkeys are put in and old ones out until there is no original monkeys left that felt the spray of the water, but still, every time a monkey gets up on the table, the others grab him, pull him down and beat him up. …Next time you do something, ask yourself, am I a monkey?
Thank you!! Thank you Mola for putting me on the right track! Thank you Kal Tire for going above and beyond the call of duty.
trash talk Fillin, Pots Last Fall I was taking my annual potted plants out of their containers, when I noticed there was an awful lot of unused soil at the bottom where the roots had not even reached. After a bit of research, I found that this problem could be resolved by filling the first 2-3 inches of the pots with styrofoam chips reused from parcels. Filling the space with medium sized gravel can be just as effective. By doing this simple step around my home, I have had to use less packaged soil, which means less packaging to throw out. The plants also seem to have less mould and fungal problems, most probably due to increased drainage. Ideas & comments can be sent to email: firstname.lastname@example.org