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