Let me introduce the other workers in Missy’s garden – our worms.
The boys give us vermi-compost - castings, broken down organic matter, bedding, worms, worm cocoons, and other organisms which is intensely rich & loaded with good bacteria that the worms excrete when they digest their food.
They also give us vermi-extract or worm tea – a liquid extract which is one of the easiest methods of re-applying microbial life and micro-nutrients back on to leaf and soil surfaces. It’s an organic soil improver and a nutrient source. When collected it’s almost black and too strong to use on the garden. It needs to be watered down until it looks like weak tea. We use it mainly on the vegetable patch but can also be used on pot plants or anywhere else in the garden. Our veges have been much healthier since we started using it.
They get fed whatever vegetable scraps are handy. They are not a fussy bunch at all. As long as you chop it up, they will dispose of many things that the chickens turn their noses up at and that won’t rot down in the compost bins. I try to provide them with some variety.
- egg shells and avocado skins.
- teabags and coffee filters
- any vegetable and a majority of fruits. (not citrus) from the kitchen or the vege patch
- newspapers, cardboard. Be sure to moisten and tear into small strips
- any cereal or biscuits/cake that has gone stale or past its use-by date.
- bananas and the skins
- and, of course, leftovers - except meat! (unless you want a smelly worm farm and blowflies)
Other things to keep out – Fresh manures. These often have active vermicides in them so if you added these to your worm farm you would end up killing your entire population over night. Also avoid food with a high concentrations of fats, salts, vinegars or food that is heavily spiced.
Apart from feeding them and making sure they don’t dry out, they require little else. We keep them in the greenhouse under a bench to protect them from the heat and heavy rain.
Harvesting the compost with this worm farm’s multi-tray system is simply a matter of feeding them to attract as many as possible to the top layer, then removing the bottom tray.