Tea Time for Mimi’s Worms
- Posted on September 07 2010, 9:31 pm
- Posted by Patd
Mimi has a universe of microorganisms in a handful of compost
New life in an old dairy tank
Turning and stirring
Look at those fat juicy red worms and tiny white thread worms
Fill the tea bag
Immerse the tea bag in the tank, turn on the pump, aerate vigorously for several days,
and voilà, you have miracle tea.
This time last year Mimi convinced Ted to buy an old dairy tank where she could grow compost for the vineyard. They filled the tank with llama manure and some straw, and then tossed in a rich starter collection of soil dwelling organisms of all sizes and descriptions, now known collectively as Mimi’s worms (even though a lot of them have legs).
Mimi feeds her worms regularly with sacks of over-the-hill vegetables that people are always leaving on her desk. The worms seem to like giant zucchini and other squashes above all else. Their population has now exploded to the point where the whole tank seems to writhe with life when you stir it up a bit. And it doesn’t smell like llama poop any more – it has turned into sweet-smelling compost.
Now comes tea time: fill a bag with the magic compost, fill the brewing tank with water, stir in a concoction of natural nutrients, immerse the bag in the water solution and turn on the mixing pump. Aerate vigorously for several days and voila, you have miracle tea.
Three weeks ago the magic tea was sprayed on the Flat Block, soil and leaves. Of our four legacy blocks of own-rooted Pinot noir, the Flat Block looks to be the most in danger of attack by phylloxera. If the compost tea can give a boost to its immune system, as we think it will, we could have many more years of enjoying the absolutely unique wine that this 3-acre block of old vines keep giving us.
Read more about “Compost Tea, a Powerful Brew.”