It’s all about the orchid leaves loving the worm jus (Balinese spelling, aka worm urine).
Growing (or enhancing) both orchids and worms can be a bit of a challenge. The orchids jump right into bloom-a-new-flower-mode, when the leaves are sprayed with the ‘worm jus’, aka, golden nectar for orchids. The dormant orchids almost perk up with the sound of the spray – I think they know a worm vitamin shower is imminent. As for the worms . . . easy, easy, easy to enhance procreation, (they’re hermaphrodites*), or endanger, to due exposure to heat, light, insects, or starvation – they eat a lot! I’ve been told the red tiger worms will thrive in a grease pit, so we’ve thrown some into the gray water tank at Bali Silent Retreat to see if they’ll dine on a little excess oil.
For years the staff has listened to beggings, pleadings, threats, and general western eccentricities all about the wee worms and the worm pee. A few staff directives from Ibu:
- Feeding the worms specially saved foods – “Must be raw; no prepared foods and nothing too acidic. MUST be fed every day.”
- The worm hotel: “Must be protected from the ants and keep it covered so the sun doesn’t get to them . . . OMG, they’re going to roast!”
- Special worm treats: “Collect a bit of poopook for them . . . they love that for desert!”
- Worm Gold: “Time to harvest the worm pee now. Just need a big plastic bottle.”
- 2 plastic boxes with lids (min size 20cm x20cm x 40cm) and a drill
- Spigot (goes into the bottom box)
- A piece of net for the bottom of 1 of the boxes
- 30% soil, 30% cardboard, 30% rotting greens, 10% cow poop (or just throw a bunch of dirt and rotting greens and they’ll be happy)
- Red tiger worms – Bali Silent Retreat is happy to give you some.
- Drill tiny holes in the floor of top-box (which will house the worms). Find some net fabric to lay on the bottom to keep dirt and worms from going through the holes.
- Drill small holes in the lid of the bottom-box (which will hold the worm pee). Usually the lids have a recessed channel/groove so the liquid can flow in between the boxes even if the holes aren’t exactly lined up.
- Drill a hole for the spigot and screw the spigot pieces on both sides of the box.
- Put the soil mix and the worms in the top box and throw in lots of old veggies.
Voila, you’ve got a worm farm!
Wait a week and there’ll be worm juice (worm pee).
Mix worm juice with 50% water and spray on orchid’s leaves and into soil.
I usually give my orchids a month rest in between blooms – everything needs a rest.
We invite you to take a rest at Bali Silent Retreat – in Silence.
Want to make your own worm farm? This video shows an easy tutorial to do so.