Harvest of the Worms

This morning, on a gorgeous and sunny Easter Sunday, we anxiously awaited the arrival of Darren Murphey, owner of Sierra Worm Solutions. Today was the day! We were going to harvest our first batch of worm castings from our large bin out back. When he first arrived, we unloaded the new Can-O-Worms that he also supplies us with. However, this time there was an extra-added treat. Instead of just bringing the bins, he had taken the time to fill them with worms and bedding so that they were ready to go for people to really see what the system was all about. He brought three “ready – to – go” with him, and two more for us to have on sale at the store.

After a brief demonstration of these in home/garage worm bins, we ventured out back to start the harvest of our bin. A large group had gathered by this point and everyone was excited to see the progress that had transpired since we installed the bin last September. This is where a small amount of disappointment came in. Just two weeks ago, we had been out to the bin after a class to show everyone how the worms had not only wintered over, but also thrived in their warm little habitat. We had thousands of them crawling around amongst the left over pumpkin skins and we knew that it was going to be a great harvest. When we opened the bin--------------No Worms---------on the surface area at least. This is where Michelle started to get worried. It seems that Darren had called her at the beginning of the month and asked her not to water or feed the worms anymore until we did the harvest. He was concerned that it would be to wet and we would not have good results. The one thing he hadn’t counted on is that Michelle had been taking extra special care of “her” bin, and that our worms were very, very happy. After the initial shock of not seeing any worms, he told us what happened. We had not killed off our worms, whehhh……..we had just sent them south…that is, and they had gone deeper into the bed in search of moisture and food. Once we started gently digging around the sides of the bins we saw large amounts, but with the way there were now arranged in the bin, it was going to make it very hard to harvest the castings. Darren made the decision to hold off on the harvest for another couple of months, and let them get fed and happy again. It would not be beneficial to stress the worms out so much just to try to get the castings at this time. While a small amount of disappointment set in, it was quickly turned to happiness when we realized that we had not damaged out growing population of worms.

Luckily, for us Darren had brought with him 10lbs. of worms to set up the Can-O-Worms, and to have some for sale. So we set up a table over in the shade, watered it down so the worms would not stick when we took them out of his plastic tubs, and conducted our own “harvest”. The main thing Darren was trying to show us was how to separate the worms from the castings without stressing them too much. It seemed like most everyone was anxious to get their hands into the piles, myself included.

We ended the afternoon with a talk on the benefits of “Worm Tea” and I will include some links at the bottom that explain it much better than I can. Oh, and the Can-O-Worms, four out of the five he brought are gone, the worms headed for a new home. We have one left for sale right now, and it is set up, filled with worms and ready to go. Darren will be getting us some more in the next week or so.

Have a great day, Susan