The year of the Worm

Posted on December 24, 2018 by WormBiz

A year after the website launch our family team have been kept busy growing, packing and posting compost worms and castings to their new homes in QLD, NSW, VIC AND SA. We have also answered many wormy questions sent in from fellow worm warriors. Of course, there are always lessons to be learnt forcing us to grow and adapt, with only one order not reaching its destination safely which we were able to quickly rectify. I’m sure the poor Aussie post guy is still recovering from the stench of dead worms in his van!

The Earthworks developed here back in Jan literally saved our farm from the harsh drought through winter. Our original dam dried up and we were very relieved to be able to access water from a full secondary source. We are currently spending our summer afternoons working on this area, establishing water plants and entertainment areas, the girls are enjoying swimming and jumping off the dock too! We have kept in touch with many of the workshop participants who shared some of the journey with us.

Pete travelled to Canberra in April to present at the Australasian permaculture convergence and even had lunch with costa from gardening Australia!

In May, WormBiz was open to the public for the Landcare farm gate tour, we ran four info sessions throughout the day and had some great feedback from our guests. We also demonstrated worm farming practises at workshops and garden clubs up and down the east coast and have even managed to get some groupies!

WormBiz has created trailer envy all over town with the new rig. The double axel hydraulic tipper trailer has allowed us to easily deliver commercial loads of worm castings, mostly to organic growers. The trailer has also created the opportunity to collect more waste streams for our farm to process and therefore flourish. 

We were very grateful to meet Marty from “Marty’s garden show” this year, he and his daughter Karin visited our farm and shot a great first video “Aussie worm farmer shares top tips” which really got the word out there. Together we ran a competition asking for the best worm fact and received some very interesting new info! “Did you know the ancient Egyptians were the first to recognize the beneficial status of the earthworm? Cleopatra (69 – 30 B.C.) recognized the earthworms’ contribution to Egyptian agriculture and declared them to be sacred. Removal of earthworms from Egypt was punishable by death. Egyptian farmers were not allowed to even touch an earthworm for fear of offending the god of fertility” the lucky winner of this great fact was posted our popular premium worm pack!

We purchased some European night crawler breeding stock to diversify our range to include bait worms. They have proved to be more difficult and slow growing than the traditional compost worms we already grow but are confident we can continue to build this side of the business.

Samples of our worm castings have been sent to the environmental analysis lab at southern cross university in Lismore for extensive testing to find out just how great this stuff really is and what we can incorporate to make it even better! We are waiting with great anticipation for the results and will be sure to report back when we know more. Tilly the tumbler was hauled out of the bush and transported down the highway to an engineering workshop where she will be brought back to life and put to work in the new year helping us to create amazing soils full of life.

As summer approached Pete had to psych himself up to the yearly task of rigging up the shade cloth on the new terraces to protect the windrows (worm beds) from the harsh sun. About 30 rolls of 20m cord and 300m of shade cloth later, its done! With only one spill off the side of the ladder the worms and Pete are very happy!   

On the home front

Our Lacey took out the ‘best trick’ category at the Killabakh pet show by perching her chicken moonlight (wearing a bow tie) on one arm while balancing on one leg, a well-deserved win! Her little sister Elke won “smallest pet” by entering… you guessed it- a can of worms. One of the yearly highlights for This off-grid mamma would have to be upgrading the twin tub washing machine, followed closely by a basin in the make shift bathroom, no more brushing our teeth in the kitchen!

The veg garden has been fairly productive on a home scale and our fruit trees are in good health. We are currently indulging on an abundance of white peaches and even some plumbs this year! Not much animal production this year, it was great to have a break from animal rearing, but we are definitely missing our home-grown pork at this time of year.

Big plans for WormBiz next year, hoping to deliver great video content, informative blog posts and offer high quality veganic worm castings! As well as continue to grow happy, healthy worms for all the future warriors out there!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours, best wishes for a happy and healthy 2019

The WormBiz team

Pete, Anna, Lacey & Elke