Worm farms and the black plague

Worm farms are one good cost-effective way of preventing the spread of diseases like the black plague in countries where garbage collection is improperly done.

Worm farms are, at first thought, only for serious greenies, but in fact they may be the remedy to a very serious social problem; the non-collection of garbage from poor areas unable to pay for services.

These little red nematodes have an incredible ability to turn your kitchen waste into magnificent humus and liquid manure. The organic gardener has a perennial problem of too few minerals, but is unwilling to use chemical fertilisers. The solution is cow or horse dung, chicken litter, and a wormery; and a compost heap, of course.

What is a worm farm?

Red worms will eat their own weight of around a gram each day. So a thousand of them need a couple pounds of food daily. That could be potato-peels, rotten plums or uneaten rice; and even some meat, though generally anything cooked should be avoided. They love unfinished school sandwiches.

In short your worms will eat almost any leftovers from your kitchen, turning it into wonderful compost, rich in minerals; nitrogen is on the low side.

Rice on a chessboard.

Red worms have one other amazing ability; they double in number every month.

After four weeks you will have 2000 worms, and after two months, 4000. And how many would you have after a year?

Do you remember the Persian riddle about a grain of rice on the first square of a chessboard? The power of the geometric progression yields the astonishing figure of a couple of tons of nematodes, to give them their scientific name, eating an equal weight of garbage every day.

These worms are unable to survive on our harsh African landscape, so they are not a threat to the environment; they will not become an invader-species. But they do love the compost heaps that abound in every greenie’s garden; handfuls of them get thrown in regularly.

All that is needed is a discarded double laundry-tub or bath. I bought an old mold that is no longer of any use; as large as you choose. Fit two standard outlets and set your worm-farm up on blocks in a cool place in the shade in the garden so you can collect the liquid in buckets.

Here is one more thought; if you have chickens, the surplus worms provide a wonderful high protein food for your birds. At the rate they expand, you can toss them a handful every day.

But back to Sweetwaters where a Zulu friend tells me that the people are not planting mealies and pumpkins any more; they are devoured by an invasion of rats feeding predominantly on all the uncollected kitchen-waste.

I enjoy the produce from my green garden but it is a luxury; for them it means starvation if they are unable to grow vegetables. Who is going to be the first to start a pilot plant of a dozen worm-farms?

Let us also not forget that it was this very rat that carried the flea that is the vector for the bubonic-bacterium that devastated Europe about 500 years ago. We are sitting on a time bomb just as explosive as HIV. Prevention is better than a cure; worm farms and the black plague may just be the solution that will avert yet another tragedy.

As I write we are under lock-down because of the coronavirus plague. It is not particularly irksome for gardeners in general. There are always broad beans or peas to be planted, and worm farms to be attended to. I may be quite wrong, and researchers will come up with the data in the future, but I suspect that greenies with strong immune-systems will be far less prone to the disease.

Is it not interesting that up to a half of those with antibodies against Covid-19 never actually got sick; their bodies fought off the disease without them even knowing it. Blue Zone longevity confirms it; those who grow and eat their own food are far less likely to get ill.


Newsletter

Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself, your family and friends, and Mother Earth for future generations. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books!

Here are the back issues.

  • Mill your own flour
  • Bake your own sourdough bread
  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
  • Wear your clothes out
  • Comfort foods
  • Create a bee-friendly environment
  • Go to bed slightly hungry
  • Keep bees
  • Blue zone folk are religious
  • Reduce plastic waste
  • Family is important
  • What can go in compost?
  • Grow broad beans for longevity
  • Harvest and store sunshine
  • Blue zone exercise
  • Harvest and store your rainwater
  • Create a cyan zone at your home

Worm farms and the black plague

Our rainbow worm farm.

Worm farms and the black plague is one solution where garbage removal is ineffectively done; the rat that carries the flea that bears the disease flourishes. Small outbreaks like the one in Madagascar recently act as a reminder that cleanliness is next to godliness. We should dispose of our waste efficiently.

This small basic worm farm is a good place to start.

Get them from the worm wizzard.

When browsing use right click and Open Link in New Tab, or you may get a bad gateway signal.

Did you find this page interesting? How about forwarding it to a friend, or book and food junkie; or, better still, a Facebook or Twitter tick would help.

Address:

56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa

Website:

https://www.bernard-preston.com