East Sac Edible


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A New Composter!

As you may know, I have been battling some sort of rodent in my compost for awhile now. Small mice were living in my black stacked compost bin a few months ago so I took apart my bin to make an open air pile (taking apart my bin involved a lot of screaming from me and the mice and play out in a similar fashion to this earlier episode). So I thought taking my bin apart was going to allow me to turn the compost more often and discourage the mice from living there. I didn’t see any more mice, however each time I went out to put some new scraps into the compost I noticed large tunnels into the compost. Like tennis ball size… One tunnel even went under my compost, under my DG path and up into my raised bed! I tried to do some research about mice tunneling but I didn’t come up with much, plus these tunnels were huge. Every time I went to my compost I would just cover the holes and hope this would discourage whatever was making them.

DSC_0600About a week ago, I went to take out the compost and in the very corner was the largest rat I had ever seen. I almost thought it was an opossum it was so big! Unfortunately for this guy, he was looking rather poor and definitely on his final breaths. He didn’t even try to move away from me. He died right there next to a kale stalk and a spent pepper plant.

Well, even though he lost that battle, I am done battling the rodents! Enter my new solution: a 50 gallon tumbling composter!

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Isn’t it beautiful?

My plan is to put all my kitchen scraps in this bad boy so I wont attract any rodents and then when it is partially decomposed I will move the contents into my open air pile. I think this will be a good system going forward.

And since the death of my rat friend… no more tunnels!

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We are just on a break…

Finally some rain!

Finally some rain!

My garden and I have taken a little break from each other. After the hustle of the height of summer, I needed a little time away. The weather changed perfectly this week to provide some cozy time inside. Last week, we had our first “real” rain in longer than I can remember. You know you are in a real drought when you have a 16 month old and she has never seen rain fall from the sky before.

Deconstructed compost bins

Deconstructed compost bins

The new open air compost pile. It looks so nice because there is an obscene amount of coffee grounds thrown on top!

The new open air compost pile. It looks so nice because there is an obscene amount of coffee grounds thrown on top!

The garden seems to be happy with the rain. In Sacramento, the summer season really seems to extend quite a long time. Last year I was still harvesting tomatoes in November! This year I think I will take down the tomatoes earlier though to get my compost piles ready. Yesterday I pulled apart both compost bins and made one huge open air pile. I like doing this in the fall so that I can easily turn the pile and things seem to decompose much faster this way. Plus I don’t have room for all of my old summer plants in the bins so a huge open pile is the way to go.

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Synchronized Trombetta di Albenga squash!

Synchronized Trombetta di Albenga squash!

There is still plenty to harvest. Basil, peppers, squash, kale, and tomatoes are still coming in. I planted some fall seeds directly into the ground although I still have not fully committed to my fall garden yet. I am feeling a bit tired from gardening so I might take this season off just to plant cover crops, build up my compost piles and work on soil fertility. Sometimes the garden needs a break from me too.

Corn was replaced with some fall seeds

Corn was replaced with some fall seeds

Don’t worry though… I am sure we will reconcile after we both have our space.