Questions from an Alternative Lifestyle Lodge

Readers, Farmers and Friends – Please give some valuable input on this letter i have received


vermiThank you for your web info, 

I  live in Jhb Southern Suburbs and hve established a small alternative lifestyle lodge, with solar, water harvesting etc. have a few chickens which eat most of the food scraps which dont get boiled for the dog. So the worms only get the pumpkin inners and vegies that have gone soft or rotten,  

!)    I know they like pumpkin and one of the ones I grew last summer went soft so I put a couple dozen worms into it and turned it upside down on some oranic compost for them to toilet in.

However some two weeks later on checking the pumpkin now very soft I discovered not one worm was in it and nothing had been eaten.    W H Y  –  do you think the Pumpkin had grown from a GM seed,  (it popped itself up in the wormery & I transplanted a few –  Wow the pumpkin seeds grow like crazy in the

wormery, I feed the seedlings to the chickens, they look really crisp and tasty but the chickens dont seem to like them – I wondered are they nutritious to eat them as salad or stirfry) –  

2)  My main wormery is a beer crate lined with cardboard stacked on a second crate filed with a soil compost mix. I sprinkle lime once a month and layer any rotton veggies with a bit of cardboard and oranic compost, but I have a problem –  Mice or small rats like to get in and I dont want to encourage them.

I dont put any meat bones or fat into the crate so what attracts the mice ?  I have shade net and distbin lid on top – I can find something which fits more tightly but what attracts mice? verm

3)  I add water but sparingly, how much water need I add to get worm tea ? 

4)  I get the kids to sort out the bottom crate to remove all the worms once a month but how does one know when its vermicast –  it just looks like the same compost I put in originally.    

Thanks for any help you can give

and happy worming



2 Responses to Questions from an Alternative Lifestyle Lodge

  1. Farmer A sê:

    Thanks for visiting this site, and writing this letter.

    Your chickens must have enough to eat if they aren’t all that interested in the seedlings! Give them to any caged chicken, and it will be a diffirent story. I don’t see why you can’t eat the seedlings yourself. Unless it is bitter at a young stage?

    The only way to get rid of mice and rats, would be to do your wormery as explained in the ‘Make your own worm bin’ post on this site.

    That way you can keep them out without any doubt.

    If you have abovementioned bins, you don’t need to water the content to keep it moist. Once your wet paper goes in, evaporation takes place in the closed bin (with holes for air!!) and keeps the lot moist. Worm tea will only be visible after about 3 months. Just be patient. The composting and breakdown of the contents of the bin takes time. But one morning you see that no newspaper is left, all looks like soil, and you know that things happened! Worm tea = worm pee, not water. So be patient. Quality things takes time to develope it’s quality.

    Your compost heap obviously had something much nicer for the worms to chow, that’s why the pumpkin was left alone. Just put it in the centre, cover it up, and they should return at some stage to chow there.

    I should put some pics of my bin – the worms gathering underneath the butternut slices are something to see.

    Yes, seeds grow like the clappers inside these bins. Even in complete darkness, the nutrient rich grow medium does magic.

    Hope you get more tips and valuable advice.

    Best wishes!

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