As gardeners, there's only so much we can do to improve the soil and then it's up to Mother Nature and her team of garden helpers like the earthworm.
Not only do they till the soil, but they also provide it with a rich, all natural fertilizer in the form of castings.
That's why Chris Gibson and his wife Page Shurgar started Fi Baax Na, an organic farm dedicated to earth friendly solutions including producing earthworm casting fertilizer.
Page: Earthworms benefit the soil in several ways, especially in your garden. They aerate the soil allowing water to percolate down and get to the roots of your plants. They also turn over your soil and produce castings in the ground that adds immediate fertilizer to the soil.
Chris: Our method of verma culture is called the modular method in which we grow our worms in buckets or individual containers as opposed to bed harvesting.
Page: So we always know exactly how many worms we have at all times, which is the greatest benefit. We keep a tighter control on production.
Chris: We end up with two products, actually the worms themselves for people to introduce to their gardens and also the castings, which are an excellent nutrient source as an all purpose fertilizer.
Page: One way to use worm castings is to top-dress your plants. You put it on the top of the soil and when you water it the nutrients filter down to the roots of your plants. Another method is to repot your plants. Usually we like to use about 1/3 castings to 2/3 part potting soil. Side dressing row crops in your garden is one of the best ways to apply worm castings, especially with large fields. You can just place it right along side your crops.