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Worm Farm

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Blog entry by Harold and Pam posted 1023 days ago 5965 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few years back, Pam and I enjoyed a day at Bok Towers in Lake Wales, Florida. It was October and they were having thier Boktober Fest including music and venders. It happened to also be the same weekend as Biketober Fest in Daytona. Being the loving (and smart) hubby that I am, I offered to skip Biketober fest and take Pam to Bok Tower. There was one condition, since I was giving up biketober fest, we’d ride the Harley. (I was told the hat is a fashion statement)

Now I say “smart” because I knew that she’d fine all sorts of things to buy and the bike has limited room. Little did I know that venders “saw me coming” and offered to ship anything she wanted. So this is how PJ and I became the proud owners of a worm farm!

That weekend we met the fine folks of Our Vital Earth. Bernie and her husband had a booth set up and were showing the wonders of what worms can do. I was amazed to see how these little critters take most kitchen scraps and turns it into rich compost and a liquid fertilizer – insecticide known as “worm tea.”

Pam and I have two coffee containers in the kitchen that we fill during the week with a variety of kitchen scraps.

Basically any waste from the kitchen except meat products can be used. Obviously much of our garden veggies and fruit scraps are used, together with egg shells & coffee grounds are all staples that we feed them each week. Essentially, if it’s biodegradable and not meat… it’s fair game!

We keep the farm in my workshop and interestingly (or surprisingly) there is no smell what so ever.

It’s funny, since many times the smell of the rioting veggies can knock me over when I open the lid of the coffee can. But once it goes into the farm… like magic – the smell is completely gone!

The jar is half filled with the worm tea.

After almost two years, I sensed something was wrong down on the farm. It seemed to me that the worms were not producing and reproducing like they should be. I contacted Bernie and she invited Pam and me to come out for a visit. So with that, we took a trip to Apopka, a small town outside Orlando, Florida. Bernie gave us some pointer to help us out. Basically to feed them more and to use bottles of ice during the summer to help keep them cooler. That has done the trick. Our little worms are just eating and reproducing like crazy.

Here are a few photos of our visit with Bernie:

Bernie (background) shows Pam some veggies she’s growing. These are planted in the compost and feed the tea all from the worms.

Bernie’s worm farm is on a large scale! This is just one bed, but there were lots more. This bed has shredded paper over top to help hold in the moisture.

And the worms in this bed are feasting on scrapes of fruit.

Should you decide to check out their site or call on them, be sure to also inquire about their special line of coffee made available on the site. If you enjoy coffee you will like this unique find. I for one enjoy a cup or three ever morning and find this blend to be exceptionally smooth – not bitter in the least.

A few more photos:

Here I am excavating the worms. There are three trays (could use more if wanted) in the farm. Once all three are full, you pull the two bottom trays and dump out all the worms. You then sift through the “dirt” and pull the worms out, placing them into the one tray still in the farm. Once you have gotten out all the worms from the dirt, you set that dirt aside for about 3 – 4 weeks. During this time the larva left behind will become worms. One more sifting to pull out those worms and the dirt is ready for the garden.


Happy worms down on the farm!!

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl



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Harold and Pam

253 posts in 1676 days
hardiness zone 10b

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13 comments so far

View sharad's profile

sharad

1631 posts in 1818 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 1022 days ago

Nice to hear your story of worm farm and to see various pictures explaining the process. I have been using wormy culture for quite some time with good results. I have however never made worm tea. Is it a continuous process as the kitchen scraps are broken down by the worms or you extract the tea every few days by adding water?
Your motorbike is fabulous. Must be a very enjoyable ride.

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Harold and Pam's profile

Harold and Pam

253 posts in 1676 days
hardiness zone 10b

posted 1021 days ago

Sharad – yes, the bike is wonderful. I’ve enjoyed putting many miles on it over the years, including a solo ride from Florida to upstate NY, near the Canada boarder (2600 miles round trip.)

I do put a little water on the worms each time I feed them. This, together with their own digestive system produces the tea. At least that is how I understand it. Each day I open the spigot and drain out a little tea, and then add that to the gallon containers we have ready to use in the garden.

Glad you enjoyed the read and photos.

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl

View sharad's profile

sharad

1631 posts in 1818 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 1021 days ago

Thanks H & P for the answer. Your daring solo ride on your bike is formidable. What was your age when you did it? This is just out of curiosity.

Sharadi

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Harold and Pam's profile

Harold and Pam

253 posts in 1676 days
hardiness zone 10b

posted 1021 days ago

Sharad – this was just last year July 2010, I was 53. I loved it! Put over 600 miles in on the first day up. I rode the interstate up and took the mountain roads back. I was in 6+ hours of rain on the first day back. Can’t wait to do it again. Maybe I’ll go west next time.

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl

View NavyCop68's profile

NavyCop68

262 posts in 1893 days
hardiness zone 8

posted 1020 days ago

How long do you store the worm tea for? Is this an all winter activity for use during the next summer? A good blog article there!

-- Steve, Vancouver, WA

View sharad's profile

sharad

1631 posts in 1818 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 1020 days ago

You have done an amazing feat in driving 600 miles at that age and that too with such a challenging weather. I have made hundreds of trips on my Lambretta and Vespa scooter with my wife and I know the thrill of the rides. Even now at the age of nearing 77 I use my 1960 model vespa scooter for short distances. Wish you enjoy your bike ride for many more years.

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Harold and Pam's profile

Harold and Pam

253 posts in 1676 days
hardiness zone 10b

posted 1020 days ago

Navy Cop:

The worm farm is all year round and the tea is stored and used as needed. Currently, we have about 3 gals of tea. I expect to use that over the next few months in the garden while I continue to gather more each day/week from the “farm”.

Pam and I have not really used the tea as much as we should. This is due to the issues I had (low productions) mentioned in the blog. Now that the farm is doing better, I expect to be more involved and active on the tea and the compost the little worms produce.

BTW – we watch your show each week… NCIS!!! And thank you for your complement on my blog. I hope that you have looked at some of my others blogs and projects.

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl

View Harold and Pam's profile

Harold and Pam

253 posts in 1676 days
hardiness zone 10b

posted 1020 days ago

Sharad:

With God’s blessings and safety – I expect to enjoy my bike for many years and many more miles. Pam helped in the bloosom of my interest. I’ve had an interest for years but never acted. She helped me “act” in 2005 when we bought my first bike – a 1980 Yamaha 650 Maxim. Then in 2006, we bought the Harley. Glad to hear that you too enjoy the thrill of two wheels. Perhaps you can post some photos.

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl

View sharad's profile

sharad

1631 posts in 1818 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 1017 days ago

Harold, when I was enjoying my scooter rides digital cameras were not in the market and so I don’t have pictures stored in my computer. However I will try to scan some of them and post when they are ready.

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4296 posts in 1864 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 1007 days ago

Great story and photos, Harold. I looked into vermiculture before I moved into this house. It is the perfect way to compost all your kitchen materials and many of your non-shiny waste paper (shredded or torn into small pieces), particularly if you don’t have the room or inclination to have a compost pile. Think how much of our waste we could reduce if we all recycled our kitchen trimmings and excess paper! I decided not to raise worms here because, with the chickens and compost pile using all my kitchen scraps, my worms would starve.

And I think all your road trips should be on that cool bike. : )

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2381 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 1006 days ago

I totally enjoyed reading this blog Harold.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View Napaman's profile

Napaman

51 posts in 2157 days

posted 400 days ago

we are waiting for worms to arrive any day…starting with a set of plastic bins I made using plans on you tube…thanks for the blog…confirms everything I have learned so far…

-- Matt

View Harold and Pam's profile

Harold and Pam

253 posts in 1676 days
hardiness zone 10b

posted 399 days ago

Napaman – glad to know my little write up was of help to you. Certainly hope that you post a story about your farm in the future

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl

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