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Worm Tea

Oh for the love of worms!
They aerate the soil and poop up some awesome goodness that plants love and gardeners appreciate.  I whip up some worm tea for a nutritious liquid fast feed.
How to Make Worm Tea
…like I do
Vermiculture: begins with the appreciation of working with worms who decompose your kitchen’s organic food waste and turn it into awesome nutrients for your crops. Worms are easy to work with, odorless, quiet, rebuild the soil, are sustainable, save water, energy & money because your food scraps are transformed into plant food so you don’t have to purchase any at the store. Less waste in the landfills too!

Worm Tea

How to Make Worm Tea

Utensils:

Food Safe Container – I use @ a 2.5 gallon beverage dispenser. I previously used a 5 gallon food grade bucket. Using the current beverage dispenser w/faucet is so user-friendly.
Aquarium Pump – I use a pump with a 5 – 15 Gallon Aerating Capability
Aquarium Air Tubing
Aquarium Air Stone
Worm Castings – I used the worm castings from the worm composter and the bottom tray. The bottom tray castings are extremely damp, damper than the compost found in finished trays.
1) First I scraped the worm compost particles that had collected in the bottom tray of my worm bin. I also use the worm fines from the upper trays.
I’m using the Worm Factory 360
2) Next I wrapped about 3 cups of the fines very securely in cheesecloth, now I use old nylon stockings because the fines don’t seep out as easily as when I used the cheesecloth leaving a long tail at the end of the knot to easily hang later.
3) Then I filled the food safe container with rain water.
4) I assembled a 5 to 15 gallon aquarium pump, aquarium air hose and air stone; submerged the air stone at the bottom and weighted it down with a rock.
5) I tied the long tail of the cheese cloth, nylon stocking the bucket handle and submerged the worm tea bag completely under water letting it dangle. I moved the air stone directly under the worm tea bag to allow direct air flow up and through the worm tea bag for maximum aeration.
6) Aerate the worm tea bag for at least 24 hours or even a little longer.
7) Funnel into watering cans & spray bottles.  Apply.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

Leachate: An unfinished liquid that accumulates in the bottom reservoir of the worm bin. Leachate should not be used as worm tea. It has substances which have not yet been properly broken down and can contaminate the surface of food crops and other plants. I use Leachate for direct, into-the-ground root feeding. This allows the Leachate to enter the earth, finish safely breaking down while feeding roots that I don’t plan to eat at the same time. I never use Leachate directly on plants.

Worm Tea:Nutritious, fast feeding sustainable, liquid plant food. Brewed from steeped worm fines aerated in liquid for at least 24 hours, preferably rain water.
Additives: Some worm tea brewers include additives to further enhance the final worm tea product. This is an ongoing study/controversy. Additives, even the organic kind, have been found to increase the harmful bacteria and so I avoid additives, even the organic ones.

Read more about the improper use of leachate as worm tea & the adverse effects of adding additives during worm tea brewing from the USDA.

Urban farming? How do you make Worm Tea?

Vermiculture

What Is It?

Worm composting, or vermiculture is a quiet, nonchalant approach to composting on an urban farm!
Worm poop is a gardener’s best friend! Worm castings amend the soil and add nutrients at the same time. Use as a soil amendment and feeder. Make worm tea to use as a quick feed liquid fertilizer!
For centuries rural farmers used red worms to compost healthy materials for their gardens. Simple walls were constructed using almost any material to surround outdoor piles designated for compost adding eager red worms to eat the garbage to process into worm castings.
Today urban friendly, apartment sized, worm composters are being welcomed into the homes of city farmers everywhere. They are self sustaining, simple to maintain, odorless and dependable.