[Market-farming] Re: Compost/Worm Castings

Jackie Fisher splltrss at scrtc.com
Sat Oct 25 05:22:26 EDT 2003

> We are huge fans of compost as a soil amendment and want to add another
> dimension to this discussion.  Even after the failure of the worm schemes
> there are still many worm farmers around.  Each of them is searching for a
> market for their worm castings as well as for their surplus worms.
> I suggest that you research the many benefits of worm castings in seed
> germination, startings, transplants, etc.  Any project in which the
castings can be
> placed in contact with the plant roots will find benefits.  There is even
> interesting research in compost and castings tea for growth, hardiness and
> productivity.
> Neal Van Milligen
> Kentucky Enrichment Inc.

When a local worm farmer advertised worm beds for sale this spring, a light
went off in my head. I had been looking for a way to have raised beds at
wheelchair height so I could produce a test garden this year. He was
discouraged and wanted to get out of the business. I ended up not only
buying his boxes, but the contents as well: vermicompost, castings, worms
and all! It took a lot of work, but eventually the boxes were here and ready
to plant, rich with worm gold.

Yep, "worm gold" it is, because it is worth its weight in gold for what it
does for plants! I am still harvesting ripe tomatoes and peppers, I've had a
bumper crop of basil, parsley, chives, lemon balm, taragon, lavender, etc.
No matter what I have planted in this, it has outproduced anything I have
ever grown. Everyone that has seen this is amazed by the condition of the
plants especially since we haven't had such a great growing season.

Since this was to be a "Test Garden" everything was grown organically and
biodynamically. The plants are spaced extremely close together, yet you
wouldn't guess it from their output. The plants are huge, super robust, just
keep producing and producing! Love that "worm gold"! To give you an example
of what it will do, I had a woodframed-sides bed made 1 ft. wide, 1 ft.
tall, and 32 ft. long, and planted tomato plants 1 ft apart in it. I am
still harvesting lots of tomatoes from these plants, even though they really
didn't have much to grow from. The ground below the beds was not double-dug,
just cardboard laid on top of old pasture. Talk about "Square Foot
Gardening"! *G*

I bought this 61 acre farm that hadn't been farmed in over 15 years and
moved to Kentucky in Sept. 1999, then got very ill and am now wheelchair
bound.This year I became determined to not let that stop me from making it a
productive, organic sustainable farm. With the use of "worm gold" and high
dollar value crops in raised beds that goal is attainable. I can put folks
in touch with one of the Board members of the Southern KY wormfarmers group,
about 200 members, if anyone is interested in purchasing some "worm gold".

Thanks & Blessings!

Jackie Fisher
A Different Drummer Farm
South Central Kentucky

"Be good to the land and it will be good to you"

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