Feed #109 - Flowers can stop drivers speeding & gardening makes you happy... Even if you're already happy!

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Are your worms feeling the heat?

It’s winter in Australia right now, but we’re feeling for our Northern Hemisphere family – it’s been capital ‘H’ HOT the past few weeks. With all this blistering weather, a few composters have reached out for tips on how to care for their worms in the heat, so we’re sharing them here!

Normally, compost systems that use worms can completely fail in extreme weather - hot or cold. That’s because they often lack insulation and air circulation, and the worms are trapped inside the system, unable to escape to well-insulated soil. Luckily, if you compost with Subpod, you don’t have to worry about that.

But there are still some things you can do to make your worms more comfortable, especially if you notice they’ve been looking a little sluggish or are leaving the Subpod for a few days at a time:

  1. Add a shade structure over your Subpod to block direct sun

  2. Place a frozen plastic water bottle into each bay of your Subpod (on top of the worm blanket) each morning – this is DIY worm airconditioner!

  3. Add moist coconut coir into your compost every few days

If you want to learn more about these tips, hit the button below! The comment section of the article is full of even more useful suggestions right from our community. If you're thinking of starting to compost during summer, these tips will help your worms get settled in a little faster, and encourage them to feed!

Tackling speeding by... planting flowers?

A small village in Britain has recently found that the most effective way to stop motorists speeding isn’t more signs or lower speed limits – it’s wildflowers.

The village of Long Newnton in Gloucestershire has had an issue with fast-moving traffic as they pass from nearby towns for a long time. According to their council, 90% of the drivers who move through the area frequently break the posted speed limits, and extra signage or lowered speed limits hadn’t had an effect.

But when officials first planted flowers along the roadside during the pandemic to help improve biodiversity, they noticed something interesting. As well as attracting more wildlife, motorists also slowed down when they passed the flowers!

They’re not exactly sure why it works, but one cabinet member at the Cotswold District Council believes it may be because motorists feel they’re coming into an area that’s looked after.

Sometimes, though, we don’t need to know why something works. If planting flowers along curbs and roads encourages drivers to be more considerate, that’s just another reason to make our streets greener!

Gardening can lift your mood, even if you’re already happy

A new study has shown that the deep satisfaction people get from tending a garden is so powerful, it can lift the spirit of someone who’s already happy!

The study compared randomized and controlled indoor-group gardening classes with art classes, to see if the moods of healthy women with no history of prescriptions for depression or anxiety could be improved. It’s pretty uncommon for a study like this to look at healthy individuals with no mental health symptoms – and the results were quite surprising.

It found that even though the margin for improvement was very slim (how much happier can you make a happy person?) they still discovered positive benefits for the women! This means that if you are someone who struggles with anxiety, depression, mood swings or more, gardening has the potential to drastically improve your wellbeing.

If you’re stressed or feeling burdened, it can be difficult to work up the momentum to do basic tasks - let alone get out in the garden. But the study found that the more the women participated in either activity, the better they felt. Investing a little time everyday in something can have a big impact on your mood in the long term, even if you can only manage 15 minutes a day right now.

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