Worm Houses Enrich Farm Soil
We talked about worm “manure” last week. As the enzymes and digestion residue in the worm castings break down, they create a liquid. We have holding tanks near the worm houses for the liquid from the castings. That liquid goes onto the fields through the irrigation system, sometimes through spray units that you’ll see.
But we also do one other thing. This is one of our composting yards. We do composting worldwide. We have another 5,000‑gallon tank, because as the compost breaks down, it liquefies and the liquid goes into that tank. Then we take the liquids from the compost and worm castings and mix them together. Oh, my goodness, what incredible, incredible fertilizer for our plants—and it’s all organic!
Recently we received three organic certificates for the farm in Ecuador after six years. This doesn’t happen by going out and standing on a stage and doing marketing hype. This is work.
Now to weed control. Essential oils used in sprays for weed control have proven to be very successful. I have spent—Mary can tell you. How many years since you’ve known me, honey, have I been doing this? As long as she can remember. Well, that leaves it kind of vague doesn’t it? For 20 years, yes.
I believed that if weeds grow, there would be a weed that would control a weed. So I went to work looking at that idea. Although essential oils are more expensive, they are better than commercial sprays. Here are the main oils we use in our herbicide spray: Cinnamon, Palo Santo, Basil, Idaho Tansy, and Pine, plus neem oil and castile soap. Now we’re using Ecuadorian Oregano [Plectranthus Oregano] as well. We found it has tremendous benefits, particularly on the fungi that grow on plants.
I wish I had the time to also explain summer fallowing, breaking out fields, planting cover crops, and field rotation.