Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

A ton of worms living up and down...mounds, moats and plungers.

Oh I was going to tell you about my worms.Squirmy little buggers always under foot. No matter where I dig in my fingers there they are. Poor souls. Wriggling in the dirt, heading off...well, wherever worms go. 

Fat too. The sort of worm that makes a man proud of his labours. I can see it now: the epitaph. 'He grew good worms.'

'How do I do it?' you ask...Let me explain.

First up you build a sort of sand castle....

Click on image to enlarge view.


But the thing is I've been fiddling and tweaking this mound making business with worm hospitality in mind. Because, you know, earthworms can tell you a lot about the good life of the soil. pH. Water saturation..Aeration. Soil Temperature. Carbon content....

The measure of a man is his worms.

If they are happy little campers you know you are green thumbing it.  

I knew earthworms appreciated my terracotta pots as they hang out around those like groupies. And in all weathers. When I converted my 'paths' into composting passage ways by layering them with a rich carpet of manure I got a upstairs/downstairs thing going.

Then when I started drenching the mounds with my aloe vera brews I'm a bit taken aback with the population explosion.

Worms. Worms. Worms.

Once upon a time there were none...

Mixing and churning my soil. Turning sand into loam. Ferrying stuff about and saving me the exertion.My little helpers. 


The mounds, my worms and I have come a long way together with our trusty flowerpots. 


Just as we  were celebrating our partnership together I solved the terracotta pot  conundrum: how to remove the lid off the pots without bending down to do so. 

It's simple: a plunger!

Push down and the plunger suckers onto the dinner plate. Move/lift the plate aside. Fill the clay pot with water. Replace the plate. Un-suck the plunger.

Easy peasey. 

Hose in one hand. Plunger in the other. 

I extended the handle so there is no bending. So long as the plate lids are upside down the sucker sucks. Even if the plates are wet it sucks even better. 

What wonderful happenstance! If I was using lid material other than china/stoneware the rig would not be working. 

I can even hear the worms applauding....

Oh Wiggly, squiggly, squirming worm,
Most brilliant of creatures under terra-firm,
Builder of tunnels exquisitely round
Creator of dirt so deliciously ground
Engineer-builder without college degree
You eat up your work--
and do it for free.


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Comment by Dave Riley on May 12, 2016 at 10:23

A little pivot to the side seems to work. I'm using a plunger that doesn't have a super strong suction ($2.50 it cost me) so I'm not trying to draw blood from a stone...ware. 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 12, 2016 at 10:09

Super idea! How do you 'un-suck' the plunger without bending?

Comment by Dave Riley on May 12, 2016 at 8:08

Keep them coming?

That's it...I think.

I'm spent. 

Until the worm turns.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on May 12, 2016 at 6:04

You do your best writing around 00.10am and 01.00am. Love the Poem, but best of all your article is great. I have happy worms too and it is such a great feeling to see them there whilst gardening. One thing I hate though is when I am using a cutting tool and don't see the little squirmmers, and I have caused death, I feel so bad for quite a while, like it was part of the family (call me crazy, many do).

Your system sound like a very easy one to follow, with great diagrams to follows. Thanks so much for the ideas, keep them coming.

Comment by Lissa on May 12, 2016 at 4:49

Good straight forward article Dave. Great diagrams. Love the plunger solution.

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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

Place your business add here! ($5 per month or $25 for 9 months)

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