Feb 28, 2011

Meet Your Farmers

My children and I went on a field trip to Griffin Farms, near Benton, Arkansas and met Ed Griffin and his lovely worms.  [When my son was about four, we had some pet worms that lasted until we went out of town for several weeks and they dried up and died...]
Ed's been raising worms longer that I've been alive.  He has a top-notch worm farm.  Seriously.  I was amazed.  Back in the prime of his farm, he had several barns full of worm beds.  He also raises day lilies in a green house plus extensive vegetable gardens.

Below is a picture of the worm castings, or "black gold" that some farmers are just itching to buy.  You can buy it, too, through ASN.  It's a spectacular organic fertilizer.

Ed explained that keeping a light on the worms keep them from crawling out of their beds.  Instead of dirt, the worms are kept in a moist environment of peat moss.  They start out in fresh peat moss are fed daily and the castings are harvested about every 30 days.  We were there on a rather cold day and he had a stove going in the barn for the worms.

Ed feeds his worms better than most American eat.  Daily the worms are fed fresh milled organic wheat (and several other grains I forgot) plus a dried molasses concoction.  These worms get a royal treatment, I tell, ya!

Below are pictures of the sorting process.  Ed scooped worms from the beds and they are poured into this sieve tube (my name for the contraption).
As the tube turns, the worm castings fall out first.  Further down the tube the screen is larger and extra peat moss falls out.
Isn't he a cute helper?  The baby was strapped to my body.  :)  You can see the worm castings on the wooden platform above his shoulder.

The worms wiggle and are tossed to the bottom of the tube where they're caught in a tub.
We bought a pound of worms.  I hope to keep these alive long enough to make black gold for my garden.
Below is a pile of black gold (I'm sorry for the blurry pictures taken with my phone.)
We really enjoyed meeting Ed, seeing his farm, and learning all about vermiculture.  I'm sure he'd welcome more visitors.  Give him a call and tell him Julie sent you: 501.776.1750

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1 comment:

  1. My children would love to go to a worm farm. Kids always love those things. It was interesting to learn more about it.



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