Let’s Get Dirty!

Person Author: Sojali Farm Calender December 28, 2014 Posted Tags: , , , , Comment No Comments

Gardening is fast becoming the new ‘thing’. More and more people are putting their names on allotment lists, planting at home, and sowing seeds in all varieties of containers and pots and sometimes more unusual holders to grow their fruit, veggies, herbs and plants in.

We aim to bring all the delights of Grow Your Own (GYO) to children and adults alike. To do this, we need to start at the beginning. The Soil.

Most horticulturists and gardeners know that if your soil is perfect, you can grow literally anything. The exception of course being anything that requires certain conditions like high alkaline or high acidic soil, but for now, let’s show our little ‘angels’ all about soil and the importance that worms have in creating the perfect base for plants to grow in.

Wormery.

It is actually extremely easy to make a wormery using only a jar with a lid and a handful of soil. Armed with this, your hunters can venture into the garden to hunt for worms.  Whilst the real wormeries require Tiger worms and various layers of different ingredients, our little jar wormery is enough to show our children what role the worm plays in our ecology.

Step-by-step guide

1. Ask your children to cover their work surface with newspaper. They will need to wash their large jar carefully so that it doesn’t smash. You may want to help younger children with this.

2. Help your child to put a layer of sand at the bottom of the jar, about 1cm (0.4in) deep.

3. Add a thick layer of soil, and then add another thin layer of sand, then another thick layer of soil. Ensure there is about 5cm (2in) of space at the top.

4. Now for the fun part! Ask your children to go and find some worms. Before they put them in their jar, ensure they have a good look at them. Can they tell which end is which? How? Can they guess how a worm moves? Can they see the hairs on the worm’s skin?

5. They need to put the worms in their jar, and then add some old leaves, vegetable peelings, tea leaves and overripe fruit if you have any.

6. Then they can put the lid on – with a couple of holes in the top – place black paper around the jar and put it into a cool, dark cupboard. Leave it for about a couple of weeks and then observe what the worms are doing.

7. What has happened to the vegetable peelings?

8. What patterns have the worms made in the earth?

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