October 4, 2017
Beginning with four bathtubs, Roshan and Vi - neighbours to the farm - recently created a worm farm extravaganza to turn crop residues into liquid gold fertiliser. Below is the process from start to finish in case you want to make your own at home.
To begin with, the bathtubs were raised up enough to fit a tray under each drain to catch the worm wee. Roshan and Vi used bricks but you could use besser blocks or even tree stumps, as long as the end result is a level bathtub. There was a lot of checking with the spirit level on the day.
The next step involved making a raised platform inside each bathtub to keep the worm bedding off the bottom of the tub so the liquid could drain out properly. Roshan and Vi collected old pallets and cut them to size to use for this step.
A frame around the bathtubs, held in place by star pickets was then built to provide extra support and something to attach the weedmat barrier to. The weedmat, or any strong but porous fabric, allows liquid through but not the worm bedding or the worms. The bedding used in this case was very aged wood chip mulch that had decomposed almost to sawdust, but you can use shredded paper or even old potting mix.
Food scraps, crop residues and diseased crops were then added into each tub, along with red wriggler worms from Roshan and Vi’s healthy home worm farm. More crop residues will be added each week, including fennel and leek tops, diseased radishes and old cabbage and broccoli leaves.
Old woollen blankets were laid over the top of each tub for insulation and to keep moisture in. An A-frame above the tubs provides support for an old tarp to keep heavy rain off. The holes previously chewed by rats in the tarp are actually beneficial in allowing wind to pass through without lifting the tarp right off.
Each day we lightly water each tub and collect the liquid that passes out through the drainage holes. This liquid can be diluted to the colour of weak tea and used directly on crops. However, we also have plans to collect and aerate the liquid in a drum to create an active microbial brew which will have even more benefits for the plants. I will keep you up to date on the progress and the benefits to the veg – you may even be able to taste them.
Yours in veg,