Alfalfa house has six worm farms that are looked after by our team of volunteers. We compost our all our food waste to produce rich usable worm juice and castings. Liquid gold for your garden!
Free worm juice
We’d like you to know that there’s oodles of worm juice available free of charge to members at Alfalfa House – find it in the glass bottles & jars out in the garden by the back gate.
What is worm juice?
Worm juice (or worm wee) is the liquid run off produced by the worms digesting and transforming organic matter fed to them. Worm juice is rich in good nitrogen fixing bacteria, liquid minerals and trace elements for immediate plant uptake. A wonderful tonic and rich fertiliser for herbs, veggies, plants, and soil.
How to use Worm Juice
Dilute to the color of weak tea & then water your garden beds and pot plants. Apply it to the soil and leaves.
Why is the worm juice sometime different colours?
If it’s rained then the worm juice will be diluted via the rain, hence the different shades of brown.
What do we feed our worms?
- Organic vegetable & fruit scraps.
- Some coffee grounds mixed in with the food scraps.
- Tea leaves (without the tea bag).
- Small cut-up vegetable and fruit scraps. Cutting them up allows the food to break down more easily, and the worms then feed on the broken down food.
- A little bit of moistened shredded paper, cardboard, and/or straw.
What don’t we feed our worms?
- We don’t give worms any forms of grains, dairy, oils, and animal products. These foods also attract cockroaches & rodents.
- Worms also don’t do well with onions, garlic, chili & other spices, pineapple & citrus.
- Eggs shells are a little harsh for them unless they are crushed into a powder.
- Leave your tea bags out of the worm farms. The tea leaves are good but the bags are mostly made with plastic.
- This blog is a great reference about plastic in tea bags: http://our-permaculture-life.blogspot.com.au/search?q=tea+bags
Tips for a healthy worm farm
- Follow the guidelines for what to feed & not feed them.
- Keep your worm farm moist. When collecting worm juice you can pour it over the worm farm first & then collect it when it drains through.
- Keep your worm farm on a slight forward tilt so the worm juice always runs to the bucket. Best to keep the tap always open to avoid worms drowning in juice.
- Keep your worm farm is a shady spot.
- Worm farms should smell sweet and earthy. If it smells off then more carbon is needed. Add damp shredded paper, cardboard, and/or straw.
Bugs in the worm farm!
Bugs are part of the worm farms’ ecosystem.
- Cockroaches indicate there is unwanted matter in your worm farm. They will be attracted by grains, meats, & dairy. Removing these foods and keeping your worm farm environment healthy & smelling earthy will help. Inner city living unfortunately means cockroaches are not too far away.
- Ants indicate your worm farm is too dry or has sweet food. Keep sugar and honey etc out of your worm farm.
- Slaters, mites, black soldier flies and such, are all beneficial.
What are worm castings?
Worm castings are the worms’ poops. They are also called vermicast. We harvest them about every 6 months and add them to Alfalfa’s garden beds. Balanced castings smell neutral or sweet and earthy. They can be diluted in water for a stronger worm juice. You can also mix with compost to grow seedlings. Or add a little bit directly to your soil to add microbes and other nutrients. Adding castings to the soil also aerates and improves its overall structure.
If you’d like to start your own worm farm, or read more about them, here are some great links: