LauraLynn Jansen

trash for worms

Today I give gratitude for the worms and rain who nourish the garden so it can grow and nourish me. Harvesting greens (see very bottom for recipe for fresh greens) this morning (my third already) I am happy for this simple task. The week has been challenging as I have ridden the emotional roller coaster of the death of yet another friend.


“When the world wearies and society ceases to satisfy there is always the garden,” a favorite quote framed in the kitchen so I can read it often. The smell of dirt and growing things, blossoms promising fruits and veggies, mystery of optimizing  the ridding it of pests process (as naturally as possible of course) and seeing a plant double in size in just a few days. A place for remembering how simple life can be.


I take another bin full to the compost as well. They can be simple or elaborate. Mine is fairly simple made from the old sides of my dogs’ previous sun shelter in Texas. The wood found on a curb after a fence was torn down. I cut the previously assembled fence of two by fours in half for the 4 sides. I have attached them to each other to create a box. The front piece is kept in place with some rope so I can open up the pile and turn it easily. I cover it with an old tarp which I secure on all four corners with large rocks, so too much water doesn’t get in.


As suggested by Ken Thompson, author of Compost: the natural way to make food for your gardenI position it in one corner of the garden plot. This will allow any compost juices to flow directly into the garden and enrich the surrounding soil. Also making the ground rich next time I plant in that spot.


Over the last couple months I have been piling food, scraps, biodegradable containers (like what Whole Foods has at their salad bar), cardboard (yup! read the book), leaves (left from fall) and grass clippings. Ken Thompson outlines exactly what can and can’t go into a pile. During the winter months I like fresh flowers to brighten the cold, dreary winter days, so I add them to the pile as well once they are dried up or lost their luster.


The compost pile is a reminder of the cycle of life and death. Once it is of no use to me I let nature takes it course decomposing the ‘waste.’


I think of my dear friend who has passed her spirit having left her body and leaving us with many beautiful memories of her before cancer took her body down a different path. She too will recycle into the earth.


 I guess ultimately we are all trash for worms. Is this too morbid to say out loud? Is it dishonoring her or you or me? I don’t think so. This simple statement humbles me. My mission is to use up as much of what I am capable of physically so when my ashes are spread in the high Sierras, scattered into the Pacific ocean with the whales and a small bit in my own garden my spirit will be satisfied to give the rest to the worms.

Salmon Cakes on fresh greens           

1 T. vegetable oil

¼ C. finely chopped onion

¼ C. finely chopped celery

1 C. crushed crackers (aprox. 20 crackers)

1 T. Dijon mustard

¼ t. ground pepper

2 – 7.5 oz. packages Salmon (drained & flaked)

1 lg. egg, lightly beaten

1st Heat 1 t.  oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery, sauté 4 minutes (until tender).

2nd Combine onion mixture 2/3 C. crackers, mustard 1.4 t. black pepper, salmon and egg in medium bowl. Divide into 4 equal parts and create 1/2” thick patties. Coat with remaining crushed crackers. Cover and chill for 20 minutes.

3rd  Heat 2 t. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add patties; cook 5 minutes on each side.

4th Serve over a bed of fresh greens.

[4 servings]

Calories 306 (32% from fat) Fat 11g. (Sat. 2.6 g. Mono 3.4 g. Poly 3.9 g.) Protein 22.8 g.  Carb 27.3 g.  Fiber 1.1 g.  Chol. 55 mg.  Iron 3 mg. Sodium 1214 mg.

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