Give up the world; give up self; finally, give up God.
Find god in rhododendrons and rocks,
passers-by, your cat.
Pare your beliefs, your absolutes.
Make it simple; make it clean.
No carry-on luggage allowed.
Examine all you have
with a loving and critical eye, then
throw away some more.
Repeat. Repeat.
Keep this and only this:
what your heart beats loudly for
what feels heavy and full in your gut.

There will only be one or two
things you will keep,
and they will fit lightly
in your pocket.

by Sheri Hostetler


…itsy bitsy, fuzzy wuzzy worms.

Over the weekend I recieved a shipment of red wrigglers. I ordered these little guys off ebay for just a few dollars. I want free fertilizer, I want free worm castings (soil) and I want worms to reproduce themselves for yummy chicken treats. So I ordered about a hundred worms and I set to making them a home. There are plenty of awesome pre-made worm compoting bins, but they cost money. Too much money for plastic, in my opinion.

A DIY worm composting bin just need three basic things; a large cavity that will hold the worms, scraps and the soil they make up, a basin to catch the good fertilizer that drips down and a lid to keep in moisture. You can add facy features like stacking bins, for more than one stage of compost, or a spout for removing and using the liquid fertilizer easily.

I started with two rubbermaid bins. Any size is fine, as long as they are the same size:

Two large well used rubbermaid bins.

Next, one bin will need small holes drilled in it. Large enough to allow liquid through, but small enough to keep worms and soil in. Lots of small holes. Like seen in this poor quality photo:

This part will be filled with shredded wet newspaper. Shred as much as you can, wet it and squeeze the excess water out. Fill the holey box with moist newspaper, place the lid on top and set aside.

Wet newspaper in holey box

Next, I made a small device to keep the weight of the holey worm box from caving in on the bottom box. The soil, food scraps and reproducing worms will get quite heavy.

device? well, just four pieces of wood and 4 nails. I used the power saw all by myself.

Once this is in place, put the holey box on top:

Finished DIY worm composting bin.

Fill with purchased worms and feed them your kitchen scraps.

There are so many resources for learning more about worm composting. Learn more and reduce your kitchen waste by turning it into good soil.



Or check out this great book on Vermicomposting: Worms Eat My Garbage

No really! I spent yesterday hauling car-fulls of manure from nearby horse country. 28 cubic feet, to be exact. Yes, I did the math. Including cylindrical volume equation googling.

To haul 28 cubic feet of manure in a mid sized Saturn, one needs large plastic boxes or tarps, or a heavy duty vacuum, I guess. I used rubbermaid bins, the kind with a lid that you store your Christmas stuff in all year. Except mine are caked with dumpster goo and manure, year round. To haul manure: bring wide shovel, fill boxes, struggle to lift and take home, rinse and repeat. Well, the rinse is not so much necessary.

So, what do you do with all that manure? You make compost! And lots of it. I happen to have two large bales of straw that was [oops] ruined in the recent unseasonal desert rains. So to make waste useful again, I layer a nice base of rotting, moldy straw and then layer the dry crispy manure nuggets and the straw and manure and repeat, like a really disgusting lasagne. Spraying with water all the while, of course. You need moisture for rotting.

I will continue to spray and turn this pile with my pitchfork daily, or as much as my back can handle, until it all turns into beautiful black soil. Hopefully it will take no more than
18 Days!!

This is the finished lasagne pile:

Notice how much larger this pile is compared to my kitchen and dumpster waste piles.**

**Close up of the colorful compost pile back there: beautiful dozens of roses and other flowers I collected dumpster diving in the days after Valentines day.

Most of the flowers become compost, but some become money saving post-valentines gifts to mommy from son:

Local Gardening Resources

I’ve put together some local gardening classes, programs, help and more available to Las Vegas and nearby residents. Please comment with any other Mojave Desert gardening resources I may have missed. Enjoy the links, connect with local resources and let your garden grow….

Local Gardening Education Resources:

http://www.springspreserve.org Phone 702-258-3205

Juinior Master Gardener Program
Local contact: johnsonk@unce.unr.edu
8050 South Maryland Parkway, Ste. 100 Las Vegas, NV 89123
Local Resources: JMG certification for ages 7-12, volunteer education all ages, outdoor classroom, lab, large test gardens.

University of Nevada Master Gardener Program
Ann Edmunds (702) 257-5501
Master Gardener Hotline 702-257-5555

CLUCK and tomato test garden hotlines: 702-490-5217 702-658-7585

LV Permaculture Meetup
LV Edible Organic Meetup


Every Saturday morning, 9-10 a.m. The Great Southwest Gardening Show. Don Davis, Horticulturist, solves your gardening problems on KDWN radio, 720 AM. This is a call in radio show packed with useful information for we local gardeners.

Las Vegas Farms:


Erbal’s Herbs: 681 Seventh St Boulder City, NV
Emily Beamguard (702)293-7369

http://dodoy.webs.com” target Dodoy’s Quail Farm in Henderson

The Farm: Sharon Linsenbardt 702 982-8000
7222 W. Grand Teton Drive Las Vegas , NV
Open Saturday 8am until eggs are sold out.

Nearby Las Vegas Farms and CSA:


Bryce and Lyndy Omer 702-864-2291

Overton, NV (702) 397-2021

Cotton BottomCSA: Lynda Hanks (702) 397-2119
525 W. Cottonwood Ave. Overton, NV


CSA and community garden plot: http://www.stahelifamilyfarm.com
Sherrie Reeder (435)229-5239
2020 So. Franklin Drive Washington, UT




This is a recent post on one of my favorite birth activist blogs, The Unnecesarean.

Despite the fact that this guide was put out by our wonderful government over 30 years ago, this is actually an excellent resource for parents to be. Whether you want to be prepared for the worst, able to handle anything that comes your way or just researching for making your birth your own, this article has something to offer. Not only is this guide handy to have in case of an actual emergency, but it contains important information for preparing for a non-emergency birth as well. Specifically, the detailed information on each stage of labor and how to handle it. The medical community should duly note the do’s and don’ts. 😉
For parents-to-be, it is wise to know that first time mothers are often scared, tense and nervous (duh!), all of which slows the birth, but more importantly, fear and tension also makes the labor pain harder to handle, because these emotions disallow relaxation and fight the natural processes of the body (oh, there’s the kicker!).

Simply being well informed; knowing exactly what to expect, having some experience with the progression and time line of labor and being prepared for the sensations of birth enables mothers to relax and work with the body to have shorter, easier and less painful births.

So for the love of your health, your self and your unborn child, give this a read and see how the midwife model of care and hospital care compares.

..is now halfway completed.  I have successfully started up a blog.  Now, the second half: Post regularly, meet people, learn stuff, conquer the world ermm I meant, conquer the worm composting bin.  Simple spelling error…. Yes, that’s it.

I do have more New Years Resolutions.  Ones that will also take time, effort and dedication.

I will eat less sugar.  I will eat more greens.  This is an ongoing mantra.  If I repeat it often enough and with enough gratitude, surely the universe will deliver.  That willpower thing, I keep working on it.

Despite ongoing struggles with my willpower, in 2009 I was able to lose over 30 pounds and keep it off.  I want to add to that this year, and I want more muscle tone.  Don’t we all?

Green smoothies are currently all the rage, but I have yet to make one that is as delicious as the enthusiasts make me believe.  Actually, I have yet to make one that is tolerable beyond a few sips.  So that is another resolution: Try to perfect a few green smoothies recipes and do it without the luxury of a vitamixer.

Most importantly, I want to have a real garden growing by this summer.  Not just chickens,  herbs and aloe.  I want my own pumpkin patch and an Autumn tomato orgy.  I want rabbits.  I want a cow.  Well, that will have to wait for a bigger yard.

What do you think?  Green smoothie recipes?  Easy exercise tips for the slightly lazy?