These 2 fellas come out every morning to our back porch, patiently waiting for their breakfast of black fly larvae that fall out of our vermicomposter. A buffet of larvae that keeps these fat guys from even having to work very hard for their breakfast…. Our vermicomposter provides worm tea which is a hearty nutritious plant food for our herbs and plants. Vaughan came home one day with this contraption from our local farmer’s market and our plants love him for it.
Worm Tea (Vermicomposter): This is definitely not a tea that you would want to drink but one that your plants will surely thank you for. Earthworms put out a by-product called castings (basically worm poop), worm tea is obtained as water runs off or drips through the castings in the worm beds thus picking up the nutrients of the castings. Worm tea is infinetely richer in nitrogen, phosphate, calcium, magnesium and potash then the upper 6 inches of top soil.
Some of the benefits of the tea include:
- a natural repellent for scale, mites, white flies, and aphids
- natural fungicide in soil and on plant surfaces
- increase in plant stem size and foliage
- acts as a soil conditioner
- will not burn plants
- creates healthy soil for healthy plants
- aides in the creation of colloidal humus
- grows healthier fruits and vegetables than those treated with chemical fertilizers
- improves water retention in soil
- reduces the amount of waste going to the landfill, because worms eat our garbage
We bought our vermicomposter from JollyGreenFl. If you so feel like it, you can even make your own through this tutorial. You’ll want to be particular with the worms you use because not all worms will produce the same compost or be successful in this environment. Red wrigglers are the best. We started with red wrigglers then black flys took over and now our vermicomposter is full of black fly larvae. They’re really creepy but work just as well as the red wrigglers.
We throw all of our kitchen scraps in the composter, from egg shells to paper towels.
This is our kitchen compost holder. I keep it near my food prep area in my kitchen and dump it into the composter every couple days. There is a filter on the lid that keeps the odor from seeping out of the beer.
The top of the composter has vents for airflow.
The bottom bucket holds the drippings (the worm tea). You can use this as is by pouring it on your plants or it can be diluted with rain water. DO NOT use tap water as the chemicals will kill any good bacteria in the worm tea.