Organic Worm Farm, You Ask?

07/15/2011

Animals, Local Farms

Yes, they do exist.  I am fascinated by this concept.  This may not be for everyone, but I found out I can buy worms on-line, as well as worm castings to make worm tea.  Yes, worm tea.  (It’s not for humans, it’s for plants.)  As worms move through soil, they ingest it and concentrated nutrients are “cast” off as the worms move along.  It’s not poop – it’s super condensed minerals and oxygen and stuff.  I have read about this in passing over the years… but recently got interested when I found the link to Organic Worm Farm, in South Carolina.  Great information; if you would like to learn more, check out the link to the right.

As a kid, I loved earthworms.  Every year, my parents helped me put in a little garden of tomatoes, squash, peppers, maybe some green beans.  We would turn the soil and the moist, pink worms would twist and thrash when exposed to air and sunlight.  I knew they were valuable to plants, and I would pick them up and set them in a safe spot.  Now and then I would accidentally cut one in half with a shovel and feel guilty, but Mom and Dad both assured me the worm regenerated it’s missing half and would live.  (Like those lizards whose tails fell off when you pick them up, but grew back later.  Anybody remember those?  The tails were bright blue at the end.) 

When we were going fishing, we’d get up early and go search out a wood stake to pound into the ground.  The vibration agitated the worms to the extent they surfaced in droves.  We would put some soil in a coffee can, poke holes in the lid, add worms, a tablespoon of water; grab a fishing rod and off we’d go.  Can you tell I am having a flashback?  I loved that my Daddy knew worm-raising secrets and taught me to put a worm on a hook.  Decades later, in spring I when go out and dig, I get joy from moving an earthworm to a safer spot.  And I will rescue worms after a hard rain!  When they wriggle up on our black top driveway, or in the parking lot at work.  I’m not nuts, I don’t try to save them all… but I’ll move a few to higher ground because it seems like the right thing to do and they give back air and nutrients to soil.  It leaves a little residue on my fingers, kind of silvery, and I don’t mind.  (For those of you who work at my office, I do wash my hands after said rescues.)

Anyway,  the Organic Worm Farm offer worms and castings (good for gardens, folks!) in the following varieties:

  • Red Wigglers – I believe these are what we used for fishing when I was a child.  I also believe they’re what got me that 4 pound largemouth bass in the Shapiro’s pond.
  • African Nightcrawlers are big things with an enlarged ring around them – they squish pretty bad when you put them on a hook.
  • Alabama Jumpers – new to me, but I love the name.
  • Mealworms – I know these, because I used to buy them to feed my green snake, Julian.  My Grandma was pissed about them being in the refrigerator in those Chinese white takeout boxes.  And they were there until Timmy Collins took my snake outside when it was too cold, and Julian died.  (Way to go, Timmy.  I’m still a little bitter, so don’t try to apologize now, 40 years later.  Just forget it.)

At the Organic Worm Farm, you can get a 1/2 pound of night crawlers for just $25.95.  Suh-weeet!  Grow your own super compost!  

I have to say, I’ve never met an Alabama Jumper, but the name intrigues me.  I want some!  Some day I’ll have a crop of them and protect them from the cold.  Check out this description from the web site:  Alabama Jumpers are a different type of composting worm and do well in the yard or garden area south of Chattanooga, TN. The worms grow up to 10 inches in length and will jump out of your hand as they wiggle. The Alabama Jumper or Georgia Jumper also make an excellent fishing worm.

Ten inches and they can jump out of your hand and take off into the soil or go on a fishing trip.  DANG!  Place your order now!

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9 Comments on “Organic Worm Farm, You Ask?”

  1. Siggi Says:

    Oh, do I remember. And I have to confess, I still rescue them after the rain…

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  2. mentalfarmer Says:

    Yay! It’s not just me!

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  3. LP Machin Says:

    I rescue them when they wiggle onto the driveway! It’s about the only “creature” bug like thing I will touch voluntarily. (?) (Do you have SPELL CHECK on this thing??)

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  4. Jennifer Richardson Says:

    jumpers? drawing the line there,
    although I’m a pretty big
    fan of the crawlers.
    worm tea, huh.
    I like it.
    I love what you’re doing with this Mary!
    -Jennifer

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  5. Sarah Says:

    Hey, my good friend and neighbor does compost worming and can get you started if you want. She’s given classes on it, sold starter kits at farmer’s markets, and loves it too. Let me know and maybe she can get us both started!

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  6. Dorothy Ward Says:

    I don’t remember the garden we helped you with, but Dad does remember taking you and John fishing. Grandma was usually pissed about something, so the worms in the fridge thing probably did get to her. (I do remember a snake of yours that got loose in the house, which Grandma did not love.}…Did I tell you about a service station sign in south Georgia that offered “Espresso and Nightcrawlers”…The times they are a’changin’! LOVE, MOM

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