Home & Garden

Failing the worm test. Now on to a house with chickens

So we did the test. The worm test. Vermicomposting worms. The kind that eat table scraps and leftover vegetable bits and human flesh. (No, I’m making that last part up.)

My wife said: “If we can keep worms alive then it will be a great test for how we’ll do with chickens.”

Chickens have been her dream for years. Laying hens. Big, fluffy fowl that you wear on your shoulder like a parrot. Who guard your house while furnishing you with eggs. Who bring love and joy and eat everything in your yard, down to the bricks, which they would also eat if only they had sledgehammers.

So first we did worms to see how we would manage. To see if we could do it. To see if we could keep them alive.  

And … well … we killed them all!

St. Augustine Humane Society's New Pet Calendar Fundraiser

St. Augustine Humane Society's New Pet Calendar Fundraiser

The St. Augustine Humane Society has launched its newest fundraising program to support the non-profit's mission to prevent pet overpopulation with affordable spay neuter programs and to eliminate the relinquishment of pets to shelters.

The organization's "Pin Up Paws" calendar fundraiser allows donors to submit a photo of their pet to be featured in the 2012 calendar. There is no charge to submit the photos and friends can vote for the pet for the owners to win prizes. Visit the website for more information and to view official rules at http://www.staugustinehumanesociety.org/pinuppawscalendar.html.

Fire Rescue Crews Move into Station 15 in St. Johns County

Fire Rescue Crews Move into Station 15 in St. Johns County

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- The fire station that has been sitting unoccupied is now operational.

Fire Station 15 is now ready to provide coverage to areas in north-central St. Johns County including Kensington, Walden Chase, Las Calinas, Pine Island and Nease High School along the U.S. 1 corridor.

According to St. Johns County Fire Rescue spokesman Jeremy Robshaw, the additional station will allow relief for areas such as the World Golf Village, County Road 210, Nocatee and Palm Valley since surrounding fire stations won't have to range as far out of their zones.

A SAFER Grant -- Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response -- from the Department of Homeland Security is providing the money to staff the station, 12 firefighters whose shifts will keep the station operating 24/7 for two years.

Writer Calls for Ban on St. Augustine Grass

Writer Calls for Ban on St. Augustine Grass

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The tough talk about turf is back.

Monday a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel wrote an article arguing that St. Augustine grass should be banned in Florida because of its environmental impact.

"Grass is destroying Florida," Mike Thomas wrote.

Many people think the fertilizers and pesticides needed to keep the grass alive cause too much damage to our waterways.

Multi-county Horticulture Agent for the Putnam and St. Johns County Extension Office Joe Sewards said the debate is not new. However, Sewards said a ban on the grass would be too much.  Instead, he believes landscapers and homeowners should regulate themselves with a simple rule: use the right plant in the right place.

Florida Power & Light Company Launches Online Virtual Home Tour

Florida Power & Light Company Launches Online Virtual Home Tour

To celebrate Earth Day 2011, FPL has launched a new online virtual energy-efficiency home tour at http://www.fpl.com/residential/energy_saving/resources_tips/house.shtml.

The tour takes you from room to room in the interactive house to learn new ways to save energy and money on their monthly bills.

Modern Day Milkman Comes to Town - Propane Tanks Delivered To You

Modern Day Milkman Comes to Town - Propane Tanks Delivered To You

Shane Sheffield and Todd Knowles consider themselves grill masters. But, they both had the same issue - empty propane tanks interrupting their grilling time.

Their frustration became a business idea...what if someone would come to their home to remove their empty propane tank and deliver a fresh tank? And, so Tank Swap Taxi was born!

Florida Department of Agriculture Warns Residents About Termite Season

Florida Department of Agriculture Warns Residents About Termite Season

Warmer temperatures are not only a hint of Spring, but also a sign of termite swarming season. Swarming occurs when large numbers of termites leave their colonies to search for new nesting sites. In an effort to help consumers avoid termites, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services urges residents to take five simple steps to protect their home. 

1.      Remove wood piles and other cellulose sources from under and next to the home.

2.      Direct water sources, such as air conditioner drip lines and roof downspouts, away from the structure’s foundation.