A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture, raising living organisms for food or raw materials. - Thank you Wikipedia! I am therefore by definition a farmer because as of today (tonight) i am raising worms for raw material - that being castings and tea. I know that this is not seen as such a big deal for some but for me it is one step further along the permaculture road i started last year.
A few weeks ago Aldi, God bless them, were selling Worm Farms for $49. At the time even this small amount was too much but my dear mother gave me $50 for my birthday and then my mother-in-law gave me more so i not only have the hardware but the software as well. That's one way to describe 1200 little wrigglers.
I have Tom with me today, telling me how i should do this post, so i am being careful to put all the instructions in full. Wink!
|Take the coir brick and place in bucket of 6.5L of water.|
|Enlist the help of one teenage son to first read the instructions - this is important essential training for a future husband. Then assemble as instructed - not what you think!|
|It looks like a worm farm to me.|
OK, its now 10.30pm and we can keep going.
Provide them with a small amount of food. Note that it will take a week for them to adjust to new food source and so you wont notice it missing for a while. It should be cut up smaller but it will be broken down by end of week the way it is. Then place blanket that has been soaked and rung out on top. My husband actually said "Goodnight Wormies". Cover with lid.
Its final resting place, just outside kitchen window so that i don't have far to add kitchen scraps (see menu below). My husband's last parting comment was "Welcome to the Family", followed by my parting shot was "you'll soon be fat like everyone else in the house". Sign of lunacy - talking to worms! Or is it that after a full day at work, 11pm is time for bed, not worm farm building.
The following information is intended as a reference for anyone who might be thinking of undertaking the same adventure. Its taken from the manual that came with the farm. Most of it i already knew as i had attended a council sponsored composting course with Shoestring Gardening and VEG - Very Edible Gardens in October.
Composting worms will eat anything that was once living, that means organic material. They like diversity of organic matter.
Fishing Worms - Make up a mix of 50% chicken pellets, 10% wheat or corn flour, 10% powdered milk, 20% bran, 10% lime or dolomite - sprinkle on food waste every couple of days and in several months you will have fat, tough worms ready for fishing.
Start out with only one working tray and when the casings have reached 2cm above the moulded line stop feeding them for a week to make sure that all the food has been eaten. Place the second working tray on top making sure that it rests on the castings. Worms cannot jump. Place food in second tray and cover with blanket and the worms will move up into second tray. When you reach the top of the second tray, the worms will most likely all be in the second tray and you can use the contents of the first tray in your garden.
Worm Castings and Worm Tea
The castings and tea have a neutral pH level of 7. Castings are the black bits in the soil and will help your soil breathe and hold water whilst encouraging more worms and microbes. It is excellent fertiliser that stimulates growth, colour and quantity of flowers, fruit and vegetables.
Worm Tea is a nutritious tonic (Yum - must try it for breakfast - LOL) and is helpful when your veggies and plants are flowering or fruit ripening. It also supports diseased and stressed plants, protects them against insects and helps establish young plants over two weeks old.
|Both these are now FREE FREE FREE|