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News Link • Food

Got Worms?, by Girl Raised in the South (GRITS)

I felt a sting of envy while admiring a neighbor’s tomato and pepper plants. They were lush and heavy with fruit, bursting out of their containers, while the straggly things in my garden struggled to produce an occasional ping pong ball for our salads. Our neighbor, Bud, mentioned that he had added castings from his aunt’s worm farm, and he figured that must be how come his plants were doing so well.

We have our share of earthworms in our home dirt, and knew they were beneficial, but had never seen the value of  concentrated worm poop demonstrated so clearly. That chance encounter sent me off to research how I could harness worm power to nourish my ailing garden.

Here in northeast Florida, our soil is mostly sand. It doesn’t seem to have a lot of natural fertility for growing good stuff, though impenetrable jungle growth will choke any neglected patch lickety-split. Besides that, I’ve been cursed with the brownest of thumbs. I have always pitied whatever plants had the misfortune to end up at my house. Contrast that with my dogs, who thrive and win championships in various venues. I’ve always felt more affinity for animals than vegetables.

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