Written and images on this blog are Judie Ryan's sole property unless otherwise indicated.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


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It never occurred to me that treating weeds in my yard or having my neighbors do it might cause an allergic reaction n my daughter. So after she had one (hives all over), I never used another pesticide or herbicide on our property (Unfortunately I couldn't get my other neighbors to do the same thing. For the last twenty years, my yard has been covered in dandelions and my husband has nightmares every year that the neighbors are going to murder him in his sleep. Everything's good? Nope. My next door neighbor killed his grass so that he could start over and have a more perfect lawn. I don't know what he used. We closed up the house. My daughter soon broke out in huge hives again. When I called our pediatrician, the nurse said, "It comes in through the vents." We had to take our daughter to the hospital.

"Of the 40 pesticides most commonly used in schools, 28 are probable or possible carcinogens, 26 have been shown to cause reproductive effects, 26 damage the nervous system, and 13 can cause birth defects." Pesticides Action Network.North America

To read more see their web address.  http://www.panna.org/resources/schools-playgrounds


Worms play a major role in breaking down plant matter and creating fertile soil. Earthworms eat fallen leaves and other plant parts. Their droppings, or “castings,” fertilize the soil. As they tunnel into the earth, they move leaves and other organic material downward, and bring deeper soil to the surface. This tunneling and mixing aerates the soil so that plant roots and water penetrate it more easily. Observe wonderful worm activity yourself by building a worm column! Never Underestimate the Power of a Worm!

• Two 2 liter bottles
• One large paper bag or sheet of brown paper for a screen
• 15-30 red composting worms. These can be ordered from a variety of sites online.
• Shredded newspaper (cut 8 –10 pages into thin strips, cut strips in half)
• Worm food: organic leftovers from your kitchen, garden or yard (plant material, egg shells, coffee grounds).
• Water

How to Make It::
1. Remove the label from your two-liter bottle and cut the top off about 10 cm below the top. If your bottle has a base, cut the sides off for better viewing.
2. Ask your parents to help you poke at least four holes with a large hot nail. Poke low around the base of the bottle. Poke a row of air holes toward the top of the container using a smaller nail.
3. Cut the brown paper bag so it encircles the bottle and extends about 4 centimeters higher. Tape the paper around the column but leave it loose so you can easily pull it up. Worms prefer the dark, so leave the screen on the bottle unless you plan to observe the worms. Cut the bottom off the second two-liter bottle and use as a top to your worm column.
4. Fill the worm column (two-liter bottle) two-thirds full with shredded newspaper bedding. Add about a cup of water to the newspaper then fluff it until the paper strips are well separated. Make sure bedding is moist, but not saturated with water! Place worms on top of bedding. Add organic food, such as kitchen waste and leaves, to the column every 3 to 4 days. Worms feed by sucking or pumping material into their bodies, so the food should be moist and cut into small pieces. After several months, you’ll have a rich compost product that you can use in your garden.

Ask your family to consider making a “worm condo” out of a five-gallon bucket, which can support a larger worm colony and can compost all of your family’s organic kitchen wastes! SOURCE: OSU
If you have young children give them some gummy worms to explore or make a Dirt Cup in a clear plastic short glass. Plop in chocolate pudding, ground chocolate cookies or graham crackers and gummy worms for lunch. YUM!

Go to: http://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/47/facts/activitybook.pdf  

856375-04-21-Tinkergarten_0.jpg (900×660)TO o see more fun stuff about the environment: See these activities from the OHIO EPA

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