Friday, April 16, 2010

My worm tea is a chick magnet

You can't make this stuff up.

A bit of background. I am fortunate to live in a neighborhood of very attractive moms, The Mrs. included. In fact, I recently I suggested to her that we petition the town to change our street's name to "MILF Island."

And the other day I finally carved out some time to dig into the worm bin and see if I had enough compost to make a batch of tea. I did, as it turned out. The worms had completely vacated level one, as promised, and had moved on to new food supplies on the higher levels. They'd left me a good 10 lbs. or more of incredibly rich castings, seeded with a few uneaten eggshells. (They don't eat them, I learned, unless you grind them up first.)

So once I'd finished cleaning and rearranging the worm farm, I had my compost ready for a batch of tea. I was well prepared. I had a mesh bag from the homebrew supply store, an air pump and aerator from the aquarium supply store, a clean, new garbage can picked up with hardware store reward points and a nifty brass spray head that had recently arrived by mail. (Really well-made product and it shipped free.) Most folks mix up a few gallons of tea at a time but I knew I'd need more than that. Big lawn.

Although some recent research has debunked the conventional organic wisdom, most in the community agree that compost tea remains an important component of the organic lawn protocol. The whole lawn needs sprayed once a month during the growing season. It both fertilizes the grass the treats the soil, encouraging the growth of beneficial organisms that keep the soil healthy and boost natural disease resistance.

A few days later my big-pot-o-worm-tea was ready to spray. It was too windy but I learned too late that you have to plan your tea brewing carefully: the tea is good for only 24 hours or so, then the bacteria and other stuff growing in there starts to die off. So it was now or never, wind or no.

I assembled my tea bucket and sprayer and started on the first of my sixty gazillion square feet. That's when my next door neighbor's big Cadillac Escalade pulled up. She hopped out and made a bee line for me.

"Is that the worm tea?!"


"Omigod - that is so cool! I've been reading all about it! How does it work?!"

I could scarcely believe how excited she was. Way more than I. So I showed her the whole works, the spray head, the tea, the bucket - a salvaged kitty litter bin. She was beside herself.

"Hey," I said, brushing my hair off my forehead. Real cool and suave, like. "I'm gonna have extra worm tea. I made too much. You want what's left?"

She was like an eleven-year-old on Christmas morning. "But I don't have one of those spray thingies!"

I smiled and looked her right in the eye. "No prob, sweet pea. You can borrow mine."

Am I the King of the 'Burbs, or what?

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