Posted on

2024 Marks 10 Years in Business

organic landcare
2024 marks 10 years in business

2024 marks 10 years in business – The first job.

2024 marks 10 years in business
2024 marks 10 years in business

Where I’m at now…sort of..

2024 marks 10 years in business

Now, check out the rest of the website and subscribe to my YouTube channel for all kinds of organic urban landcare ideas and other stuff.

Posted on

Indoor Winter Composting With Worms

Indoor Winter Composing With Worms

Indoor winter composting with worms can be fun and easy. Especially if you have kids that are into crawly things, gardening, or the general health of the planet. If you check out the website, or have been following along with the journey at all, you’ll know we have a few worm composting bins. I think we maxed out at 6 at one point, but right now we have 3 on the go. 2 wooden, migration style bins, and one plastic, regular 1 compartment style, bin.

A third style pictured here. The one with the 2 grey lids. A two layer system meant to release more liquid. I have had issues with this particular bin configuration. So, it gets used when one of the other bins is too wet. I can transfer the compost into that one, to drain out a bit, if needed.

The wooden bins are made out of repurposed wood.

One is framed in with small lumber I had at the time, and finished with some laminate hardwood flooring scraps. They came left over from the floor renovations, at the old condo. The larger bin, is made from a cedar walkway I was contracted to remove after the 2013 flood. To be honest, I’m not even sure it was originally from the property I removed it from. But never the less, here it is.

There are other pages about the bins specifically, and a YouTube video on how to build one of your own.

indoor winter composting with worms

The Feeding

In the pictures below, the side with the shredded paper is the side I am “feeding”. The side without paper is the side that I am trying to harvest. The paper acts as a secondary defense against fruit flies. So, as long as I don’t allow food scraps to sit on the surface of the finished compost. I don’t usually have an issue with them.

Worm Composting Bins  indoor winter composting with worms
indoor winter composting with worms

The plastic bin and the small wooden bin, have come with me on a few occasions, to speak with school groups about compost and nutrient cycling, decomposition, that sort of thing. (The plastic bins are also available for rent)

indoor winter composting with worms

Found a group of them!! A happy little clew.

Indoor Winter Composting With Worms – The Finished Product

indoor winter composting with worms

After the worms have “all” moved over to the other side of the screen. Where the buffet is. Then I can collect the mostly worm free compost on the other side, and start the drying process. There are always some straggler worms after the harvest, so I have a container with me whenever I stir it around. I’ll pick out the ones I see and place them back in the nearest bin. The new ones are so small, you just have to accept the fact that you can’t save them all.

The Drying Process

The compost dries for a few days to a few weeks, depending on the batch. After that, I start the screening process. I am working on a process so I can offer my compost to clients and at markets. For the average gardener, this step isn’t really necessary. Though if you are adding it to house plants, this might be a good idea. Just to get some easy to work with, and aesthetically pleasing material. Any sort of screen that will be strong enough to push a little through will work. I have used a dish drying rack before. It was about 1/8″ and it worked. Not for large amounts, but again, for the average gardener, in a pinch.

indoor winter composting with worms

After the screening process, the left over bits go into the big composter outside. I could put them back into a bin, but there are some thicker stems from squash and the like in there, so it can go in the big one. I don’t want to sift it out again. Indoor winter composting with worms, fun.

Everything back in it’s place. I’ll come back to them in a couple of weeks. I only fed one bin, because I am going to block access to it to try out my pottery wheel.

Wait, what??

I’ll collect more food scraps in the meantime.

Check out the rest of the website for more!! Contact me with any questions, or if you have a group that would like a demonstration.

Posted on

Plant Relatives

Plant relatives

We are not that far from being plants

Plant relatives can mean a lot of things. What I am talking about is the thought, or theory, that we are just plants with more complex emotions. Sounds funny I know. But, when you think about it, and learn more about how plants interact with their environment. We can draw some pretty similar comparisons.

No feelings

Plant relatives

Before I start in on this, I need to point out one thing. I am talking about humans as an organism. On an ecological level. Nature doesn’t really have feelings. If it’s our time to “feed the soil”, Mother Nature deems us just another pile of organic matter, in need of some decomposers to start the process.

Plant relatives – Offspring

Its not news that plants have offspring. Research has shown though, that many plants can recognize their own offspring over plants in the area, even of the same species. They will favour those plants over others.

Plant relatives

They (plants) also communicate with some other organisms (bees, as obvious example) outside their immediate family (or species), more than others. When something new is added to the garden, it takes some time for the flowers, roots and leaves to form relationships with the surrounding beings in the garden. The more foreign the origin of the new addition, the more time it takes to form those relationships, in the new garden. But, over time, most things (plants in the garden) will form relationships with at least some neighbours (insects, bacteria, fungi, other plants, etc.,) in the garden. And sometimes, more often than one might think actually, there is never a “good” relationship with the new addition to the garden. (Think misplaced plants, like trying to plant a cactus by a swamp). This sounds pretty similar to when someone new moves into the neighbourhood, doesn’t it?

Plant relatives – Things out to get ya!

As humans, most of us do not have to deal with predatory animals like lions and snakes. Most of us. For the vast majority, the “humanivores” are much smaller, microscopic in most cases. Why? Perhaps because Mother Nature knows the best attack is the one they cant see coming. We can guard against big cats. Bacteria and viruses are a little harder. They are Mother Nature’s population control for us.

Our plant relatives have to deal with diseases, bacteria, and viruses. In the garden, the damaging entities, be they insect, bacteria, or anything else, always go after the weak, sick, and old plants first. In the “human garden”. The same is true. Like it or not these things attack us the same way as a field of grass, or a tree orchard. They are Mother Natures way of keeping our population in check. We have tried, and continue to try, everything in our power to fight these things off. We are even sending messages in to space, to other humans outside of our garden (Earth) asking for help. Plants will send signals asking for help from neighboring allies. They are hoping help is out there, just like we are.

Helping our plant relatives & Helping ourselves

If you want your plants to avoid the attacks of herbivorous organisms, then you must keep your plants healthy. Not with chemically artificial fertilizers. With the everyday, nutrients and minerals that are available, for free, in the soil. Healthy soil that is. Soil that you are adding organic matter too in the form of compost, or plant matter for the native microorganisms to then convert to compost for you, in the garden. If our plants do not get the adequate water, sunlight and a steady supply of all the nutrients they need. They will not be able to fight off the herbivorous bacteria that just landed on it. Also, without the relationships to the neighboring organisms, the fight is much harder for the plant as well. Sort of like your neighbor bringing you some chicken soup, when they know your sick.

If we want our humans to avoid “humanivorous” organisms, then we must keep our humans healthy. Not with chemically artificial “fertilizers”. With everyday, nutrients and minerals that are available, for free, in the soil. Healthy soil that is. Sound familiar yet? We are not that different.

Plant relatives – Mother

If we could possibly trace our lineages as beings on the Earth. Both us and plants. And, yes there are people working on it. We will see, we all come from the same Mother. Mother Earth. We come from the soil. We take in our nutrients from the soil our whole lives, rather you realize it or not. Then, when we die, we return to the soil. The only real difference between us and plants is that we can walk around. We have more in common than different. Click the pictures below for more information.

organic landcare
SOUL logo Organic Urban Land Care
Posted on

Grounding / Earthing – Literally Our Connection

Grounding / Earthing is literally our connection to the Earth

I Had An Epiphany!

surprised worm

The other night I watched a film about Grounding, or Earthing, that made me realize something.

Since I started down the path of Organic Urban Land Care (and kind of the reason I started in the first place). I have noticed that the people that tend to their garden with a more natural (dare I say organic) mentality, seem to be the ones that enjoy their time working in the garden. They are also the more “laid back” population of gardeners and land care people, it would seem.

I used to attribute this to just personality differences. Then I thought it was chemicals absorbed from traditional landscape practices that made some people uptight, and worried about the bottom line. Because of the money they spent of the chemicals no doubt. Now I think the difference is grounding.

I have also noticed in my own experience. The days that I feel achy and sore, but spend some time in the garden. I improve quickly. When I am walking on grass or soil, my back doesn’t hurt nearly as much as when I’m on concrete or asphalt. I have always been a barefoot walker, and big proponent of it. My kids are often barefoot, and not because I have told them too. They just do it. I thought it was the fresh air, my country upbringing, maybe some acupressure. Now I’m wondering…

grounding / earthing

There has been a Grounding / Earthing Disconnect

2 really.

I have trying to figure out what is the ONE thing that connects us all in the importance of organic urban land care.

Some people do not want to grow their own food.

And, some people do not want to plant all native plants.

Some people are deathly allergic to bees, or generally hate bugs, no matter how important they know they are to the ecosystem and the planet.

grounding / earthing

A great population live in high rise apartments in downtowns.

And so on.

The second disconnection is between us and the planet. Literally, our connection..

rock mulch garden

Our cells are held together by electromagnetic forces. Elements and particles pass from one thing to another by positive and negative forces. The synapses in our brain, and our heart beat. Controlled by electrical pulses. These pulses and electrical reactions all need to be grounded. Just like a television set or computer screen. If it’s not properly grounded it will work, but it will have static. In our bodies, that static is in the form of inflammation. That can cause all sorts of other health issues, if left unchecked.

I’ll only mention the cell phones, Wi-Fi, radio waves, and the Earths own electromagnetic properties that we are surrounded by everyday. We are bombarded with charged particles constantly.

Traditionally Grounding / Earthing would happen naturally.

In order to rid yourself of those extra electrons, you need to be in direct contact with the Earth. Something we are surprisingly, not doing enough of. Or at least, get rid of the electrical insulation between our body and the Earth. Rubber soles, as an example, insulate us electrically from the Earth as we walk. The easiest way to become grounded is to walk barefoot on the ground. On a regular basis. Hang out on the grass. On a regular basis.

The Grounding / Earthing – Organic Urban Land Care Connection

Where the importance of Organic / Regenerative Urban Land Care practices comes into the picture is when we consider our feet. The soles of our feet (and palms of our hands) do not produce the waxy protective coating of sebum the rest of our skin does. So, as our extra electrons are draining, we are absorbing things through our feet. This is what keeps most people from walking barefoot I think. If we didn’t have to worry about the chemicals being absorbed, we could focus on the energy transfer happening.

organic landcare

So no matter who, or where.

Grounding / Earthing is something we all need to do. And, we need to be able to do it in an environment that we only absorb good things through our skin.

New Online Learning Opportunity

Contact me or check out the front page of the website for the new online learning opportunities. I will explain the importance of organic urban land care. And, go through the seasons with tips and ideas for what we can do to bring balance back to the garden.

Posted on

Build Your Own Worm Composting Bin in 5 Steps

Worm Bin Rental

Supplies You Will Need:

Build your own worm composting bin in 5 steps

Build Your Own Worm Composting Bin In 5 Steps.

Large Durable Plastic Bin.

Size will depend on your needs. The first one above is 75 Liters. The second one is 55 Liters.

Window screening.

I keep the old stuff when I replace a window screen on the house.


I recommend vents meant for building fascia, available at most hardware stores. Different sizes are available. 2″ – 2.5″ are what I use.

Cutting board

Scissors or utility-knife

Hot glue gun

Drill and appropriate bit size for vents.

Build Your Own Worm Composting Bin in 5 Steps

Step 1 – Cut The Screening For The Vents

The easiest way I have found to do this is to lay the screening on a cutting board, and use the vent as a guide. Either with a sharp scissor blade, or a utility knife, cut around the vent. Don’t use the good scissors. This will dull the blade in a hurry. They don’t have to be perfect, but the closer they are to a circle, the better for gluing.

Step 2 – Add Screening To The Vents

The vents are added for air flow, temperature and moisture control. The screening is to keep what is in the bin, in the bin. And, to keep things out of the bin, as well. When the light is on, everything wants to hide. When it’s dark, little beings like to wander, or wiggle, or slither as the case may be.

I like to use a BBQ skewer, or toothpick, to help center the screen inside the vent. It helps to set the glue as well. I have used silicon in the past, but a hot glue gun works about the best. There is a trick to it, so take your time with the first one. The good and bad thing about hot glue is the set up time is quick.

The main goal being to keep the worms in. They don’t really care what their windows looks like.

Build your own worm composting bin in 5 steps

Step 3 – Measure location for the vents

Uber important step here. You want the vents somewhere above the half way mark on the bin. Too high may not get the air flow needed at the bottom when the bin is less full. Too low and the vents could be blocked by compost and, that’s bad for a few reasons. No air flow and a place for any excess moisture to escape.

Be sure to take into account the lip on the vent and the lip on the bin (if any). I forgot in the pictures below. I had to trim the vent. No big deal. Just learn from my mistake. Measure twice and cut once. Oi.

Step 4 – Drill holes for vents

Build your own worm composting bin in 5 steps

This is the only special piece of gear you’ll need. A hole saw drill bit, like the one attached to drill above, the same size as the small end of the vents. The tight the fit the better. Individually, they are not very expensive at the local hardware store, but there is an alternative. If you have normal, small drill bits.

Place the vent where you want it, and carefully trace out the circle again. With a small drill bit, drill a series of holes on the inside of the circle you just drew on the bin. Be careful that the outside of the bit barely, if at all, touches the line. Once you have done that around the whole circle, use the utility knife to finish the job and cut out the circle.

Step 5 – Install The Vents

Build your own worm composting bin in 5 steps

Depending on how tight the holes are to the vents, you may want to apply some hot glue around the back of the lip of the vent. Then just push them in, and your done.

Vents can be added to the lid as well. Depending on where you place your bin, and how active it gets, you can always add some later, using these same steps.

Build your Own Worm Composting Bin In 5 Steps

That’s it. Ready for worms. Visit the Worm Composting page for more info to take you from here.

Or you can always Contact Me for more info.

Posted on

Spring 2021 – Let’s Rethink How We Garden

spring 2021

organic land care EMS logo

Organic Land Care & Garden Maintenance


Residential backyard with pond in the foreground organic lawn spring 2021
Self-watering garden bed on a back deck organic lawn spring 2021


Land Care Organically for Spring 2021


The name Eat MY Shrubs came from the idea that we can plant beautiful gardens that are completely edible!  

Growing food does not have to be in a rectangular shaped, tilled-row garden.  In fact, the best gardens are interplanted species, or polycultures.  

This is because some plants are only there to benefit  the plants that we really want.  They may attract beneficial insects, or fool herbaceous animals away from other plants.  Also, all this can be achieved without the use of harmful chemicals. Practices that destroy (what we now have come to realize is) the delicate balance of life in the soil, can also be a thing of the past.

Spending time outside on your property, no matter the size or setting, has a positive effect on your health and well being. Choosing to practice organic land care is not only important if your growing food.  Ornamental gardens, meant to be a relaxing setting, can be anything but. Especially if your are spraying chemicals everywhere to make it look good and keep the mosquitos away.

Endless pulling of plants and spraying compacted ground is not going to keep the tap roots like thistle and dandelions away. But, relieving the compaction and improving the microbial life, that increase the water and air holding ability of the soil, that will. It just takes a bit of time.

Using organic, regenerative practices for Spring 2021

By using organic, regenerative practices, the soil begins to come alive once again. These rushed practices and instant remedies to our properties over the years have stripped most of the life away from the soil. There is endless evidence of this. However, every spring herbicides and pesticides, unnecessary fertilizers and enhancers, are sprayed and sprinkled all over the soil. Killing many beneficial animals, fungi, and bacteria. They then work all summer to recover their population. Freeze or go dormant in the winter, and be bombarded again in the spring with another dose.

Organic & regenerative gardening teaches that everything on the landscape is there for a reason. Once you realize what that reason is. Altering something in the land to discourage or encourage what we want, will be much less daunting, and deadly. We must then work with the garden to come to some sort of agreement. Give the microbes and fungi the food they need. And then deprive the microbes and fungi that we do not want of their food. Stacking the deck for the beneficial life to win. Then in turn, we get the results we desire, or some form of them.

“Not only are they beautiful, but you can Eat MY Shrubs”

SOUL logo Organic Urban Land Care


Posted on

The Goal Achieved!!

The goal map 2020

The Goal

Last January I set a modest goal of doubling the traffic on the website I had learned a lot in 2019 about website development and content, and I was sure that I could do it. The numbers are not large. There were 323 visitors and 705 page views in 2019. Probably the same number that Amazon has in the time it takes to type 323, but that is not the point. I am not competing with anyone. I started the website in 2014 and did not have an actual human on it until 2017, when I started to take it seriously and saw the use in having a website. That is when I started to learn about the inner workings of a website.

It can be a whole other world, with its own language and slang. When you get up in the morning to work on your latest addition, only to find the whole site is down. Trying to figure out why, how to fix it and prevent it from happening again, can be like falling down a rabbit hole at times.

The Modern Day “The Butcher, The Baker & Candlestick Maker”

Running your own business in this age is a daunting task even once it is established. Building a business is not for the faint of heart. After working all day and week doing the actual physical work, you then have to do the “business” side of things. Invoicing and estimating, planning and coordinating, marketing and sales. My wife (who also runs her own separate business) and I chuckle a bit at the mention of a weekend. Whats a weekend?

As an organic gardener with many years of landscaping and earthworks experience, website development and maintenance was not, and is not, my forte. Heck I used spelling and grammar correct twice on that past sentence, but here it is.

Back in October when I finally surpassed the views goal of 1410, double the 705 for 2019, I took a screen shot of my WordPress stats page. I had reached the visitor milestone a few weeks before, but I waited until both goals were reached to take the pic. Super Pumped!!

The goal stats page

Lets Not Stop There

So I thought at 864 in October, lets see if we can get 1000 visitors and 2000 views. The goal was reached already of doubling the previous years numbers, so why not right? I do think the 2000 views may be a bit lofty, but yesterday, with 11 days to spare!

The goal second stats page


1000 visitors. I can’t thank everyone enough. The coolest part of having a website for me is this below:

As one might expect, most of the traffic is coming from North America. Thank You fellow North Americans! But, of the 195 or so countries in the world. 61 of them are represented on this map. 61 countries!!! Thats so cool!


The Goal 2021

So what’s next? Well, we moved! Still located and based out of High River, Canada, we moved to a bigger location with room to expand both (Eat My Shrubs Organic Land Care & DJ Wellness Consulting) of our businesses.

Consider these some of the before pictures from our yard. Check out the website for future blog posts and follow me on Instagram to watch the development of this bare, canine destroyed lot into something (hopefully) beautiful, organic, and self-sustaining.

As far as website goals. Lets try for 2000 visitors from 98 countries in 2021. I think we can make it happen. Woo Hoo!!

If you are still reading this, happy holidays wherever your are, be healthy, and all the best in 2021!!

EMS logo for Terms and conditions page
Not only are they beautiful. You can Eat My Shrubs!
SOUL logo Organic Urban Land Care
Posted on Leave a comment

Composting for Small Spaces & Small Gardens

Composting for small spaces and small gardens can be tough. If you are a family that lives in an apartment or townhouse in an urban setting, your garden space, if any, is more than likely on the smaller scale. When this is the case, trying to squeeze in a 3-bin compost bin that measures 3m X 1m is pricey real estate to give up. Compost is by far the best thing you can add to the soil in your garden. Hands down. No argument. So what is a person to do?

Compost inside!?!

But, if you can’t fit a 3-bin system in your yard, can you fit one in the kitchen?

Just kidding. I am talking about composting inside, year-round, with worms.

worm close up composting for small spaces


Don’t Go!!! Just wait!

A lot of people I have talked to, love seeing the worm bins at the market and in classrooms. But, when it comes to having them in our house. Many people get a little…squeamish.

worm compost for small places

“How do I get the compost out? ” & ” Do you have to pick out each worm?” Are questions I get asked a lot.

If you have not seen them before, allow me to introduce you to the migration system for worm composting!

Worm Composting – The Migration System

The migration system of composting with worms takes all the squeamish work out of harvesting the finished compost. Though, I would still recommend a pair of gloves, it is a great way of composting in small spaces. The key aspect to this system is the screen divider that splits the bin in half. Because of this divider, the worm farmer (that’s us) can use the natural tendency of the worms to move, or migrate, toward a food source.

The inside is lined with a poly film to protect both the wood from moisture but also, I have heard the worms don’t like cedar, so its a double purpose I guess.

How it works.

Really, the migration system can be used in any worm composting container. Simply make a screen divider that will fit snuggly into your worm bin. I construct bins to have a permanent divider built in. This just allows for more aggressive turning of the compost as it is being made. With the divider in the midway point in the bin, it is easy to divide the compost bin into 2 halves.

The worms do not know the difference!

I have been composting with worms for about 12 years. I have looked at them under microscopes and collected eggs from under layers of plastic when a hole was found in a liner. My kids do everything but name the worms as we feed them, so I can say this with a lot of confidence.

worm egg compost for small spaces

I’m pretty sure the worms have no idea the screen is even there!

divider compost for small spaces

It’s just a way for us to divide the working compost from the finished compost.

Feed the worms on one side of the screen and then, when that side is getting full, start feeding them on the other side of the screen. The worms will migrate to the new food source as the old food source is eaten. This will leave finished compost, virtually worm-free.

Finished compost close up

Basically, once you get into a rhythm, just move the food source from one side of the screen to the other. It’s actually kind of fun to watch the worms move from one side to the other. It is as close to communicating with the worms as (I think) we can get.

Worm composting can be a great addition for kids around 10 years old as well. They can have a thousand little pets! They need to be fed once a week at the most, but can go 3 weeks once they get established. It all depends on the quantity of food. The worms will never run away. They will only survive for a few minutes out of the compost. And, every few months you empty their bin of some of the best, organic soil amendment money can buy.

For free!

Visit to learn more about composting with worms (and other methods)!