Confessions of a Basement Farmer with a Frisbee

Back to the Farm.

There is more to this little farm than meets the eye. And in the interests of honest and transparent discussion I feel I must tell you something. I have been hiding this from you. I have a confession to make.

In a very large iron bathtub, down there in the gloom of my basement I  keep .. um.. sigh.. Worms. (Gasp!).  I know.  It is a rather dark secret. I don’t tell many people because I am afraid they may look at me funny. Well, it is true that the moment I open my mouth and speak they look at me a bit funny (NZ accent) but no need to compound my problems.

Now there are a number of reasons why I have a Worm Farm. I drink a lot of coffee, it is all freshly ground every morning in Our Johns great grandmothers coffee grinder and it seems terrible to waste the coffee grounds after all the care we put into making the perfect cup and worms love those expensive coffee grounds.  Also I really hate junk mail which is  the only mail I receive, though I had to change my name  to  Miss T H E  Resident just to get this rubbish, so I find enormous satisfaction in shredding it all up and feeding that to the worms!

The real reason of course is worm tea. This stuff is magic fertiliser.  Really, really good fertiliser.  And it is free.  You can make it yourself.  My bathtub has a small bucket under the drain to collect any tea. Plus you can make liquid fertiliser from the worm castings when you want more than a cup full. We spray gallons of it onto my recovering  fields in the spring and of course the vegetable gardens.  (Our John tried to tell me that maybe I should be spraying it under a full moon, naked with a hat on in case I got cold and doing some kind of funny dance. I don’t know. Seemed a little far fetched to me.)

To make worm tea from the castings fill an old thin pillow case with worm castings, immerse and  suspend it  from a stick in a really big bucket of water with a cup of molasses added. Using a fish tank air pump bubble the air under the bag for 24 hours. Dilute with water into your sprayer and  use within the next 24 hours.  Dig the left over soil into your garden around your favourite tree!

Worms are easy, they stay in their pen and they don’t talk back. Feed your worms with equal amounts of green and brown and keep moist. Just like regular compost.  When I say green I mean, salads, peels, good weeds, anything really except dairy and meat.  When I say brown I mean, paper shreds, coffee grinds, tea leaves, straw, autumn leaves, etc. I always keep a layer of shredded paper on top – there are little bugs that are important to this mini  ecosystem  and the shredded paper seems to keep them IN.  Then a wet sheet of paper and your lid.

A wee worm farm is perfect for the small urban gardener.  You can turn your left overs into the most beautiful soil conditioner plus the liquid gold fertiliser. Even if you are in a condo, maybe you have a garage, or back entrance or somewhere out of your home, you can start a wee worm farm to fertilise your house plants and recycle your kitchen waste.  You can even use the worm casings to mix into your indoor potting mix.

Worm compost is made cold though (not heated like regular compost) so be aware that any seed you put in will grow when you bring it out.

And if you do start a worm farm.  Ssshh. I will keep your secret.

Today I am making Mama’s Tomato Chutney so stand by for the recipe. And I really must practice my frisbee technique.  TonTon has such a time!


36 Comments on “Confessions of a Basement Farmer with a Frisbee

  1. What? No worm pix! TskTsk 😀
    Tonton is lovely, though! And bringing a garden to life is an amazing feat, so bravo to the worms!

  2. I know there were no worm pics.. (difficult little fellas to shoot actually) but I grossed everyone out with the spider the other day so I thought I would be kind.. c

  3. i’ve been tempted to keep a worm farm – sadly, i don’t think my HOA would smile to fondly on such an idea. it’s one of the things i’d like to do when i have my own property and don’t have an HOA to tell me otherwise.

  4. Closet wormers of the world, unite and come out! Great post and love the pics of Tonton! We’ve started our own worm farm this year and looking fowrard to all the benefits, including fish bait! 🙂

    • Oh NO.. you are not going to let those big fat fishies eat your iddy biddy worms are you! Evidently if you feed them ground corn it fattens them for the fishies. Though you did not hear this from me of course! c

  5. C, when do you find time to sleep with all that you have going on every day – you are remarkable! I love your pics of TonTon!
    Have a happy weekend.
    🙂 Mandy

    • I get up really really early! And I go to bed really really early too.. ! have a great day mandy dahling.. c

  6. ah, fertilizer…my llamas provide plenty and then some…adding worms to my compost is a great idea, think, I ”l add it to my ever growing list.
    Love your border collie, I had one as a child named Tigger, cuz Tiggers bounce and so did she!


    • Thank you jessica, i must say our cows do their best for the fields, but the ground is recovering from being row cropped non stop for the last 60 years, now carrying grass, so every little bit helps.. i love your llamas by the way.. c

  7. You have a beautiful border collie! my daughter absolutely loves them but unfortunately we live in an apartment so we don’t have nearly enough room, but if we do move to a house i’ll try this idea for sure 🙂 thank you so much for sharing!

  8. We had a worm farm for a while. It was my daughters science project. She had to put different items in different spots and see what the worms liked, best to worst. Once that finished she forgot about it. We dumped it all in the garden. Never got any tea. I don’t think she kept it moist enough. We might still have the bins and could do it again.
    I like TonTon! So after Our John’s idea you didn’t knock him on his keester?! You must have a good sense of humor. My wife would really, I mean REALLY, not go for that. But if you do remember where I mentioned a video of the farm??? 😉 Just kidding!!! (I think) 🙂

  9. Like I told you when I first came to your blog: you offer me a window to a world I know nothing about. A bathtub worm farm. I’d ask what else you’ve got in that basement but you might tell me. 🙂

  10. Ive always wanted to try my hand at worm farming. A picture would not have grossed me out, though the frisbe adventure offered some fun.

  11. I love my worms too – love the pink, slimy, writhing, audible mass when I open the lid. And the mud-like castings are just begging to be played in; but I save them for the garden.

    • I will do some pics of the worms, they are lovely little fella’s if you like wrigglers. I will look out my stats on fertilising.. But I do a 1/2 acre at a time with the one pillow case full, diluted and sprayed. It is not an exact science of course! c

  12. Hi Cecilia! I think that Our John is onto something with the naked dance at midnight! Others may just join in and you may have a fertility cult springing up there in Heartland, USA. Anything is possible here in America!
    Exciting news at this end! We have teeny, tiny baby tomatoes!!!! Just can’t believe it! I guess the crooning to them finally did it! And, we have eaten 2 of our own cucumbers with two more almost ready to harvest (well, I should say pick, as it’s not nearly the harvest we hope to have next year), and about 10 Gypsy Peppers, with many more of them growing!!! Soooooo exciting!!!

    • Go ahead and say HARVEST! Diane. That IS SO GREAT.!! Eating your own produce is just marvelous and best just chopped and gobbled warm from the garden.. nothing beats it.. c

  13. I just started a worm farm yesterday! Really enjoying your blog and reading about your farm experiences…maybe living a little vicariously, too. As you can see, I’ve started at the beginning!

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