Vermicomposting Pancakes!

Friday is “Daddy-Daughter Day” at the Christie household – the one day during the week when my (almost) three year old stays home from daycare and hangs out with ol’ pops (and often “grandpa” in the afternoon). This time of year it’s always fun to get outside to “play” in the yard, while I try to sneak in a bit of garden/worm maintenance, but today, I thought it might be fun (and different) to do the Worm-Head’s version of “arts and crafts”!

This post is definitely dedicated to our good buddy Larry Duke, since he provided the inspiration with his recent Vermi-Pizza video! Rather than being TOO much of a copycat, I thought it might be fun to try some other recipes instead (haha). It just so happened that we had some oldish apples and blueberries in the fridge, basically just waiting to be added to my food scrap collection (some people collect stamps and coins – I collect food scraps!) – so pancakes seemed like a natural choice!

After “good ol’ pops” chopped up the apples (along with some watermelon, and old baby carrots for good measure), I got my daughter involved. She loves to “help daddy”, and seems to appreciate daddy’s “wormies”, so needless to say she was pretty fired up about the opportunity to “help daddy makes yummy pancakes for the wormies”!

Start ’em young, I say…start ’em young!

Once we had a lot of cardboard fairly well shredded, I put it into a larger tub and we added some rainwater.

It was still a pretty sloppy mix, so I thought it could benefit from having some coco coir mixed in as well. It took some time to pry apart the wet coir brick and get everything broken up and mixed together, but we persevered! We ended up with what could have been the starting place for a very nice batch of homemade manure! It was definitely time to make up some pancakes!

I transferred some of the cardboard/coir mix over to a mixing bowl containing some of the fruit melange, and then, as per Larry’s recommendation, I poured in some cornstarch to (hopefully) act as a binding agent.

Once the batter was ready, all we had to do was smoosh the material into pancakes (OK, so they definitely look more like “home burgers”! haha).

It was getting close to lunch time, and the thrill of vermi-pancake making seemed to be waning in my daughter’s mind, so I decided to call it a day and put our little batch of flap jacks out on the deck to dry a bit.

On my own, I ended up adding the rest of the fruit mix and a fair bit of cornstarch to the rest of the cardboard/coir, and pressed it all down to make a sort of fruit cake (just like me!). This was also put out on the deck in the sun.

I am quite curious to see 1) if these “cakes” are going to hold together at all, and 2) what the worms will think of them once they are dried out then re-hydrated.

Perhaps this might be a way to make up and store large quantities of homemade manure mix without worrying about it decomposing “too much”.

Anyway, I will be sure to keep everyone posted! Thanks again to Larry for the inspiration. We definitely had a lot of fun – and I know the worms are going to enjoy the nice feast we prepared for them!

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    • Tricia
    • July 16, 2010

    Your daughter is SO cute, great pics! I have been vermicomposting for about 6 months on my apartment patio. So its on a much smaller scale! I am totally in love with it! I’m amazed to see how much these guys can eat AND how much they like to reproduce! I’m always finding a ton of new babies! Thanks for all the info on vermicompost, you’ve been a big help!

    • Kim from Milwaukee
    • July 16, 2010

    Look at your girl getting her hands in that mess!!!! You should be so proud! Here’s to hoping she’ll continue the wormie tradition in the Christie family, eh?? 😉

    • LARRY D.
    • July 17, 2010

    Bentley,she looked like she had as much fun as you did.She was probably trying to figure out why we call them pizza’s and pancakes but they look like hamburger patties.

    So far,i have an interesting update.The left side of the pizza is either sinking down,or they are piling up bedding because they can’t get past the single sheet of newspaper underneath.And they are trying to reach the “good stuff”! But i do have a flowthrough type system, so worm activity can sometimes do neat stuff.

    Also i saw a post about using a paint mixer on a drill,It may break up the paper so more people can try it. I may have to try your pancakes and see if the worms can make a stack of them lean!

    • John Duffy
    • July 17, 2010

    Ah Bentley…Enjoy that little girl everyday. They grow up waaaay too fast! If she’s still intrigued with the worms by the time she turns 16, you can really count your blessings. My baby girl turns 26 tomorrow and still has no problems handling worms. I really miss my kids being little. But, Grandkids are even MORE fun! My grand daughter is 3 and is quite inquisitive about the worms.She stretches them out as if playing the accordian. She’s a great little bait runner when we go fishing
    Hope all you worm friends have a great weekend!

  1. Your making a difference in her life. It’s amazing how many kids grow up in families with no connectivity to the natural life cycles.

    • Barb V.
    • July 17, 2010

    Those pics of your darling little girl took me down memory lane [Mother of 4, grandmother of 4, Montessori teacher of many] IMHO, encouraging a sense of spontaneous enjoyment in the natural world, is the essence of healthy intellectual growth.

    • LARRY D.
    • July 17, 2010

    Okay. I want to add this one for those of you that may be interested in an experiment.This one is if you use lighting under your bin to keep the worms in. If you noticed my flowthrough is like Mark from Kansas.But this is a test on worm light perception.
    I’m building some disco balls to put under my bin,to try and test if it freaks worms out and keeps them up in their home.
    Sound groovy?

    • Barb V.
    • July 17, 2010

    Larry … So, will you play appropriate music? BeeGees “Stay’n Alive” or “More Than A Woman” “Cucumber Castle” “Life In A Tin Can”…disco danc’n worms.

    • LARRY D.
    • July 17, 2010

    More like”shadow dancin”.But stayin alive is good too! That’s why they need to stay in their home!

    • Barb V.
    • July 18, 2010

    I wonder what your daughter told her pre-school pals about helping Daddy make pancakes for his worms? And then what the pals told their parents? Like one of those games of GOSSIP … bet some funny ‘facts’ come out at the other end of a 3-yr-old’s news grapevine.

    • LARRY D.
    • July 18, 2010

    Here’s a little sample Barb.
    When Bentley’s daughter tells them about her pancake day it goes something like this.

    Gee your dad is the biggest kid out here! But why is he digging for worms,when the rest of us are on the merry- go- round? Does he keep those worms in his pockets like i do?And what kind of pancake did you say it was? I only know how to make mud pies!

    Then the parents!
    “You want a What inn for Christmas? Who’s Mark from Kansas?And just how am i supposed to order a cardboard pizza?Eisenia fetida? Is that even a Canadian word?How did you learn about disco?

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