Farm kids are known for their high tolerance of icky things. Birth, death, blood, poop, and dirt were regular parts of my life growing up on a farm with beef cattle and other animals. So, this week’s task, while icky, wasn’t too bad. Our plants like tea – it gives them a great nutrient boost and helps them grow. One tea, compost tea, is made by soaking compost in water for a few days, straining it, and using it to water plants. But this week’s recipe was even more potent – worm tea.
A few months ago we started a worm bin – just how it sounds – a plastic storage bin with about a pound of red wigglers (shared by a friend whose worm farm was overpopulated) and lots of food waste and newspaper. The worms like a moist (but not wet) environment, so the tub has holes in the bottom for excess moisture to drain. This liquid is worm tea. It is quite potent, so it is diluted with water before being used to water plants.
We’ll continue to feed our worms all summer. Last week they were eating excess pea shoots. This week they are eating weeds. Eventually we’ll end up with a nice bin full of worm poop (ahem, I mean casings) that we’ll use to fertilize our favorite plants. So when you see delicious, one-pound heirloom tomatoes at our farmstand you will know that it must have been the worm poop!