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whatwormseatOwning a worm farm is very rewarding; it will turn your kitchen scraps into a high-value, natural fertiliser. Being eco-friendly it reduces greenhouse gasses too.

Once you start feeding your garden with worm castings it will flourish like never before; your vegetables will be bigger and tastier, your flowers healthier and it will all be natural and organic.redwriggler.jpg

Once a worm farm is established, it is simply a matter of feeding the worms any scrap kitchen vegetable matter that you may have, it couldn’t be easier and you can expand it as you go along.

This ebook will guide you through your setup, maintaining and harvesting your vermiculture.

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Pronounced hoo-gul-culture, the name of this practice means ‘hill culture’ or ‘hill mound.’

Hugelkulturgardening

This practice makes use of dead branches, leaves and grass clippings by recycling them. To build a hugel bed, you must mound the yard waste, along with any compose, manure or other biomass you’ve got. Then, top the compound with soil and plant your vegetables in it.

One advantage that comes with this method is through the use of wood in the mound. The gradual decay of this wood provides long-term nutrients for plants. By using hardwood, a single mound can supply plants nutrients for over 20 years. The wood also generates heat, which allows for a longer, productive growing season.

hugelkulturgarden

Hugelkultur is a type of raised bed that does a fantastic job at holding moisture, allowing fertility, maximizing space and… well, I guess the list goes on and on!
With this post, learn more about the practice of hugelkultur gardening and the many benefits that come with it.

As longs and branches break down, soil aeration increases, which means that the bed will be no till. The logs also act as sponges, storing rainwater and releasing them during dry times. It’s quite common to never need to water your hugel bed after the first year, unless you live in an especially dry area. Otherwise, regular seasonal rain will provide more than enough water.


 This organic technique is part of Send a Cow’s training in sustainable agriculture and is a great home garden idea too. Keyhole gardens survive floods and arid conditions well as the raised bed holds moisture and is ‘fed’ grey water and compost via a central basket.

 


I was donated thousands/s of worms from a local farmer who had too many in their bath tubs. They started from about 1KG of worms, just 2 years ago.

I collected bags of them and quickly transported them back to their new home that had been prepared with car tyres. I found this the most cost effective way to make enough space for all these worms as tyres are collected for free from the local tyre dealerships in town. This is a very effective way to turn your waste into nutrient rich vermicompost. I used layers of brown and green leaf matter, soil, grass cuttingsand damp newspaper matter for a couple days before the worms arrived.

What and what not to feed your worms.

Do Feed Worms:

  • Vegetable scraps
  • Fruit scraps and peels (mold/rot is fine)
  • Bread and grains
  • Teabags
  • Non-greasy leftovers
  • Coffee grounds (and filters)
  • Crushed egg shells
  • Napkins, paper towels, cardboard, newspaper

Don’t Feed

  • Citrus
  • Meats,fish, poultry
  • Greasy foods
  • Dairy products
  • Twigs and branches
  • Dog/cat feces, cat litter


Firstly I need I have made a mistake. I have been confusing my donkeys names. So please say hi to
Tequila on the left and Cleo on the right. The Donkeys

Although they have been so wonderful to have on our farm. Very kindly donated by a local farmer. They have set us back many months of work by eating quite a few of our plants, mother plants and chicken feed. I could almost cry this week, when I woke up one morning to see that the wind had opened the vegetable garden gate and I found that the donkeys had got into the garden, eaten all the mealies, carrots and lettuce, aswell as hoofing up a few other seedlings. We were proactive about this, bit our lips and got the seeds out to plant what seeds we had left of these veggies.As soon as turning our backs they had eaten the last of our spinach seeds, mealie seeds, carrots and kind of just chewed on the beans. Packets and all.  They have also broken into the workshop and got hold of the chicken feed, ate about 5Kg of mealie cournals in one evening. Besides all this, it just teaches me to be a better farmer, keep a watchful eye on them, and also block areas that they should not go into. It seems to be working better, and they seem to be fine.

On a plus side they are wonderful animals, make me laugh, fit in well with the other animals and are good deterrents of snakes, aswell as can be good alarm systems. Donkeys also make fantastic lawn mowers and saved me roughly R1000.00 on gardening services. I also pick up their droppings each week and add to garden beds as a mulch aswell as add it to our growing compost heap. They are easy to maintain, really don’t require much maintainance except for attention and the odd treat of fruit here or there. Oh something quite funny to watch them eat is WaterMelon, their lips go red!!

They have been the first permanent residents on the farm, and look forward to many happy years with them. I might be in luck and get hold of a newly born stallion in the next couple of weeks.


In times of recession, and expensive taxes by governments to fund their travel trips, parties and houses its always good to know how we can save money and use our resources to make more.

Ramblers RestWater – Try and catch your rainwater and use in that your garden. It’s far better to use your rainwater than municipal supplied water with high amounts of chemicals, that can potentially damage your plants and your health. Also start reusing your grey water from baths, kitchen sinks and basins. As a previous article suggests, you can save up to 40% off your water bill. We are already using our grey water at Ramblers Rest. Just one note is to make sure you don’t use harmful chemicals in your water. Organic shampoo’s, soaps can be beneficial to the plants.

Soil – start composting, it’s a the best way to use your kitchen scraps, garden refuse, lawn clippings. Compost is important for your soil and provides much-needed aeration to your soil, acts as a mulch, and recreates a micro climate for little organisms to work their magic. Mulching is important and you can use animal droppings, shredded newspapers, old cardboard boxes, pine cones and retted lawn clippings to provide mulch.

Seeds – With doggie companies out there that run under multiple aliases, that sell genetically modified seeds ( Monsanto ) , now is a good time to start looking at seeds. Start saving your seeds, storing them in waterproof containers. They should be good on a shelf for five years or more. Also to propagate your seeds, use old egg cartons, empty tins. I also started cutting up old milk cartons to use as pegs with black marker to label y seedlings. It’s great to reuse and saves you trips to the dump.

Garden nutrients – Besides compost, there are other great cheap fertilizers available. Crushed egg shells add calcium to the soil and improve compacted soil. If you live near a racetrack/fairgrounds/riding stable, you can get free horse manure if you are willing to haul it away. Epsom salt is made up of magnesium and sulfate – both vital plant nutrients. Dissolve some Epsom salt with water and use it on magnesium-loving houseplants, roses, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes. Dry out your leftover coffee grounds and sprinkle them around the base of your acid-loving plants, such as azaleas, roses, rhododendrons and blueberries. Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, magnesium and potassium, and since they are acidic, they help maintain the soil’s acidity.

Weed Killers – pulling weeds by hand is much easier after a rain shower, you want to pull it out at the roots. Using a product called Roundup is possibly the worst thing you can ever do ever. Try not use anything produced by this company Monsanto, its expensive and taking its toll on our food production and soil quality. Mix some vinegar with kitchen soap and spray on weeds. The soap helps with getting vinegar to stick the leaves, and the acetic acid from the vinegar removes moisture from the weeds. To help with aphids, mites etc, you can make a simple organic repellent using kitchen soap, bioneem oil, cayenne peppers, crushed garlic, shake your bottle and spray on your plants.

I wrote this article and used content from another blog by Tara McAlistar from this website.

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