Garden Lore Friday 25 April, 2014

“It is something of an urban myth that a worm will be perfectly happy if you cut it in half. It may continue to wriggle for a while (so would you after you had been shot or stabbed) but it will die not long afterwards. Only if you nip off just a little of its tail end does it have the capacity to repair itself.”

The Curious Gardener’s Almanac by Niall Edworthy (2006)

048Garden Lore

Today’s Lore is brought to you from an intensely irritated husband here who despairs at the ongoing affectation of referring to “worm wees” and “worm poos”. We are not juveniles struggling with potty training though I guess we should perhaps be grateful that we have not yet descended so low as to talk about worm “number ones” and “number twos”. Worms do not urinate and defecate in the same way as humans. Perish the thought, we would not want to put our hands in the soil. What worms produce is correctly referred to as vermicasts or worm casts. They pass the soil and decaying vegetation through their gut and in so doing aerate the soil, create better drainage and make the nutrients more accessible to living plants. The resulting vermicasts are rich in accessible potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. Can we cast out the baby talk now that we grown up gardeners? Please.

Sydney daughter lives in a local authority zone that, in return for attendance at a free half day course, supplies free of charge to inner city residents either a worm farm or a compost bin. The choice is dependent on what best suits the individual’s circumstances. It seems an innovative initiative to tackle the huge problem of urban household green waste. I have not heard of local authorities following suit in this country.

First published in the Waikato Times and reprinted here with their permission.

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6 thoughts on “Garden Lore Friday 25 April, 2014

  1. Anne

    I live in Oz too, south of Sydney, and my local council also has a similar program (but only for compost bins) for residents. Such a great initiative.

  2. Jennie HH

    Kia ora Abbie

    Thought you might be interested that, over here out-east in Gisborne district, the Council offers us for $20 (subsidised) the Bokashi composting bucket set and starter bag of the bokashi compost mixture.

    Bags from then on are $5 and takes months to use up a bag.

    Since using it (and continuing to use weekly recycling bin, I only put a rubbish bag out about every 4-6 weeks!

    We don’t have to go to any courses to be eligible, and can buy as many sets as want.

    Plants grow much bigger where have dug in the compost buckets contents – which disappears within a week or so into soil.

    Nga mihi

    Jennie

  3. meganp

    The Queenstown council also subsidise Bokashi bins and up to about four years ago, worm bins too – complete with worms and bedding to get you started. I still run both systems for disposing of kitchen waste.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      I feel I should be contacting our local council to advocate for this sort of constructive approach to educating people on dealing with green waste. It is good to have some NZ examples, thank you.

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