When we were at the Eco Village we lived in a magnificent house that is owned by a Dutch lady who spent the week in South Australia. While there, and walking around her beautiful garden, I noticed a structure consisting of round black plastic containers stacked on top of each other. Underneath was a bucket that contained a black molasses type of liquid that seemed to be oozing out through a tap fastened at the bottom of this multi layered structure. I thought at first it might have been a bee-hive. I opened the top lid and noticed it contained food scraps. I poked around a bit and soon found out this was a worm-factory. It was clearly something that would recycle food waste into soil by hard working worms.
There were whole clusters of shiningly healthy red coloured worms. They were clearly very hungry, squirming about. They reared their heads, looking at me as if in need of something. Were they giving me a hint? I went inside the house and told Helvi about my discovery. She knew something about people breeding worms for the garden but it was too early in the morning for her. I could not entice her to go out and share in my newly found animal kingdom. She preferred instead to sip her coffee and look at mums and joey kangaroos cavorting outside near our back balcony.
After our return from the delights of the Eco village at Currumbin, Helvi decided she too wanted to have worms growing by the thousands. We went to Home-Hardware and bought at great costs the basic worm breeding contraption. For unfathomable reasons this is called a ‘worm -farm’. When running this contraption past the cashier, she duly scanned it and we paid the amount that came up on the register. ($75.-) She was very friendly and asked ‘ are you planning to breed worms?’ Yes, I said, adding, ‘ how long does it actually take before you can ‘actually’ eat them?’ ‘I believe they make a good stir-fry’? ‘Oh no, this is for the garden only.’ She took me seriously. I was going to ask, if one is not going to eat them ,why call it a ‘farm’? Usually farms are where people grow edible things , either in vegetation or animals. Anyway, I wasn’t going to expand on my silly joke seeing the girl wasn’t into my school-boy humour at all.
The worms don’t come up by themselves. It can only be achieved by buying a ‘starter- pack’. A starter- pack costs $ 52.- for 1000 worms. A booster pack costs $28.- for a mere 500 worms. It is also suggested you buy a coconut fibre block. Apparently worms will simply refuse to cohabitate or mate, if denied the joy of this fibre ($ 22.-) . A warm fibre blanket on top of worms to give them privacy is also recommended. ($9.90) With all the costs adding up I was tempted to suggest the name from worm-farm ought to be changed to worm-hotel.
The good thing is that all the carton packing and wrapping in which all these worm related items came in can be put into the worm farm for the worms to convert in rich black soil. It is actually called ‘worm-castings’, as if the worms are elevated on some kind of theatre- stage.
Anyway. It has been four days now since two lots of ‘booster-worms’ ( $56-) were released on top of the coconut fibre and underneath the blanket. They must be busy mating like mad. (something I can only be envious off) I gave them some left- over Basmati rice and marinated chicken from last night and only hope they will do their job and convert it into soil for our Clematis and Hardenbergia which we planted at the same time.
I just wonder how they can sell worms in lots of 1000 and 500. Do they count them? When worms mate, how do they recognize each other? Are they faithful?
Someone is making a nice little earner in breeding worms.