This Month’s Meeting:
The next meeting of The Cape Cod Organic Gardeners will be Thursday, November 17 at 7:00 p.m. at The Whelden Library on Rte. 149, West Barnstable. This will be a sharing meeting. Maggie Cole will give a brief presentation on the final class in the Real Food Campaign course and the results of her first year using crop density techniques. Hope to see you there.
A meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 9, 6:00-8:30 p.m. at the Falmouth Public Library to assess interest in forming a Cape Cod Storefront Cooperative. The meeting will be facilatated by Dr. Joyce Young. RSVP to Paula Manzi at 508-280-5144.
Mass Audubon is looking for a farmer with goats and sheep to manage early successional habitat at Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary in Cummaquid. We are looking to practice managed intensive grazing within approximately 8 acres of land on the Sanctuary. For more information please contact Sanctuary Director Ian Ives at 508-362-7475 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Month’s Meeting: Vermicompost
Dave and Kathleen Girelli of Mashpee gave a presentation on their worm farm and vermicomposting.
They originally became interested in worm farming after watching the movie No Impact Man, about a family in NYC who, among other things, started a worm farm in their apartment as part of a plan to leave no net environmental impact for one year. At about the same time, Dave and Kathy began juicing, so they had about 2 lbs of pulp every day to use as worm feed. Their first worm farm was just a plastic bag; their second was a colander inside a soup pot, with a loose cover to allow air circulation. Next they started using plastic window boxes, placing a layer of newspaper at the bottom of the window box, adding a layer of soil, a layer of vegetable pulp, another layer of soil, and a piece of wood cut to cover the top of the box.
They are now using a product called Worm Factory 360, which has multiple tiers that can be rotated as the worms progress upwards, eating as they go. This allows for very easy harvesting of the worm castings and composted material. The Worm Factory also features a spigot at the bottom allowing for easy removal of the compost tea created in the process, which is an excellent fertilizer for plants. The harvested vermicompost is spread around plants or combined with regular soil to make a rich potting soil.
Dave and Kathy also grow wheat grass for juicing. They place the vermicompost produced by the worms into a window box, sometimes adding regular soil, sprinkle the surface with wheat berries, and cover with a sheet of damp paper. The grass can be harvested multiple times if it isn’t cut all the way down. They juice the wheat grass, and the leftover pulp goes back to feed the worms. (Only an auger juicer will work for juicing wheat grass.)
Worm Farm Facts
- Red wiggler worms eat 3x their weight per day
- Unless the worms are overfed, the worm farm has no odor
- Worm farms are best kept at 60-80% humidity and 40-80 degrees
- All organic material is okay to use as worm food except oily substances (pine needles, citrus fruit, eucalyptus leaves) and fresh grass clippings (become very hot as they compost)
- vermicompost contains 5x the nitrogen, 7x the phosphorous and 11x the potassium of ordinary soil
Click here for the meeting handout provided by the Girellis: worms handout