Truth be told, that sounds like a line from the movie Men in Black, but there is method to this madness.
Once I had relocated to the farm, I quickly realized I needed help managing the farm. I had been toying with the idea of hiring a farm manager for a while. I needed to get serious and do this professionally.
The farm manager was promptly hired and arrived on the first day of the month. It was time to churn out the ideas that would generate us the ever-elusive income and finally make this a profitable venture. I wanted so many things out of this. I wanted to farm organically; I wanted to farm for the export market; I wanted it done sustainably through the use of ethically formulated fungicides and pesticides. I wanted a farm that we could all be proud of. I wanted a place my workers and I could call home. I wanted customers who got healthier from consuming our produce. I wanted a lot!
One of the first things the farm manager proposed was that we kick off a vermiculture enterprise. For a number of reasons. It would give us pure organic “worm juice” to use as fertilizer, and when the worms were done converting all the cow dung, goat droppings and and vegetable waste into “juice”, they would have created extremely nutritious worm casting for use on the farm.
I had so many questions. Do worms pee? Where does the worm juice come from? What do they do with all that food they eat? How do they reproduce? But most importantly, where does one find earthworms that have been schooled in the art of creating worm juice?
My dear farm manager had answers. He had a number of a guy who knew a guy who farmed well-schooled worms that would meet all our needs. So I was sent off to find said worm farmer, and purchase two kilograms of worms. I found him and I did. And then I carried the delicate package back to the farm is a well sealed bucket. I spent the entire journey hoping I would not get pulled over by the police and asked to explain a bucket fill of cow dung and worms.
Once the vermiculture set up was done, the worms started producing juice. Oh joy! Now we had a source of highly nutritious organic fertilizer to use on our farm. The initial quantities were small, but enough to service our vegetable nurseries. We are now heading to doubling the quantity of worms and starting a second worm farm.
What have I learnt? There is peace and joy in dirt. All nature has value – even the slimy worms. The chicks are still here, the chickens are getting bigger, the vegetables are “high” and happy on worm juice and yet another week has gone by without me shutting it all down!