This is the fourth and final entry into my 4-week series on Vermicomposting. The series shows you how to start your own bin, maintain it and harvest the worm castings. Click on the links below for each week’s post:
… all things have a role in nature, even the lowly worm. Gary Larson, 20th-century American cartoonist
Week #4 – Black Gold and Compost Tea
In four short weeks, the “lowly worms” in my worm bin have created something vital and very valuable from absolute garbage. It’s fascinating, really. Impressive. A quiet, unassuming army of spineless, tiny, blind soldiers took a discarded section of the Sunday Times and a handful of kitchen waste, and turned it into nutrient-rich organic compost that will enrich and supercharge the soil in my garden. Dang-near heroic. The annelid, better known as the red wiggler, is the original upcycler.
So, for less than $25 you too can start a sustainable, renewable and rewarding vermicompost system.
Garbage is diverted from the landfill, deposited into the bin, consumed, digested and excreted, then reapplied into the soil that organically fertilizes the vegetation that supports the process to begin anew. The best part is that you can “borrow” from my bin to start your own.
WORM COMPOST TEA
When I harvested the worm castings this week, there beneath the bin in the catch-pan I discovered an added bonus that I didn’t expect: worm compost tea. Compost tea is an organic, nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer made as a byproduct of the worm bin. It is liquid that has filtered through the compost and drained from the bin. As you can see in this picture, it’s nasty looking – OK, it’s downright vile.
But, once it’s strained and diluted with water (1:1), it makes for a very effective fertilizer for young seedlings and vegetable plants. Just spray it on the leaves and stalks, and it will not just fertilize the plant, it will also provide protection from fungal plant diseases because of the high concentration of healthy microorganisms in it.
All this organic GOODNESS from worm poop! What’s not to love?!
- Worms – the unlikely hero of greener living. (solargenltd.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: The Complete Guide to Working with Worms. (floweryprose.com)
Editor's note: Photo, courtesy C. Douros