worms, composting, organic gardening, and nature

White Rock Local Market


This Saturday is the grand opening week of White Rock Local Market at Lakeside Baptist Church (on Garland Rd.).  This new location will be open the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month, while the Greenspot location will continue on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays.

Texas Worm Ranch has been a vendor at WRLM since it’s very first market in 2009.  Both the market, and the exposure to customers it has given us, has been a large part of how the Texas Worm Ranch grew from a hobby business in my garage to a 12,000 square foot warehouse with outdoor garden space today.  Sarah Perry, the executive director at WRLM has become a friend, and someone I admire for having the persistence to get major projects done.

You might think there would be competition and bitterness between the vendors at the market, but I can honestly say I enjoy and appreciate them.  My organic farmer friends are people I want to help succeed, so that we might have a healthier food system and planet.  The Texas Honeybee Guild are dear friends and peaceful warriors protecting our precious pollinators.  Their honey is local (which helps with allergies) and delicious, and I can attest to the magical healing power of their hand lotion bar–you won’t believe how it can heal cracked hands!  The artisan bakers, cheese purveyors, jam makers, etc. are all great to share stories and trade goods with.  Our community supports each other and it’s mission for good, local food.

Everything Markets bring local crafters, which is another element of fun.  Live music, food trucks, Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots (sinfully delicious Chicago style dogs with homemade condiments and fluffy, addictive buns) and Pop Star Handcrafted Popsicles  are calorie-worthy treats well worth a walk, jog or ride at White Rock Lake afterwards.

Bundle up, come check out the new location, and count your blessings that we will now have local, naturally grown food and fun 4 weekends a month.  I can assure you, we appreciate your support of local business.  We return the investment with taxes, building leases, employees, and buying from as many local owned businesses as possible to keep our local economy healthy.

We will have a limited amount of 100% naturally grown produce this week, but we are expanding our garden space and getting ready to grow like crazy for you for the rest of the year!  The extra dates for WRLM have given us the opportunity to do this–without a “marketplace”, it is much harder to take those investment risks.

In honor of the first market of the season, we are going to offer our customers that pre-order for this Saturday a one time deal:

Pre-order by Thursday at Noon (which helps us gauge how much product to bring):

Worm Wine:  Regular Price:  $7 Preorder Price:  $5

10 lb Bag Worm Castings:  Regular Price:  $20  Preorder Price:  $15

We can’t discount worms or worm bins, but if you want either, it is best to secure your order by preorder by Noon Thursday also.

Please Preorder by email:  rancher@txwormranch.com

Thanks!

Heather Rinaldi and Steve Clary

Texas Worm Ranch

 

 

“Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.” ~Letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington (1787)

Texas Worm Ranch has new adventures in store in 2013.  We have new seeds to sow and new garden canvases to paint our hopes on. 

 Our first news is that the worm ranch is expanding into a building almost twice as large.  This will allow us to increase our ability to help our large scale organic farmers and ranchers with bulk worm casting orders to improve their pastures and crop lands.  The best news, for us, is that the new building also has growing space in front of the building, and the possibility to begin a roof garden in the future.

 The other news to share with you is that we will work in conjunction with White Rock Local Market to begin a working garden and teaching lab for organic and sustainable gardening.  White Rock Local Market has gained access to an urban garden space.  Texas Worm Ranch will provide day to day management and expertise.

 I’m very excited to expand our ability to provide more access to fresh, local, and naturally grown food right here in the city!  To be honest, selling produce isn’t the modern way to financial success.  Most consumers don’t understand the true cost and risk of growing food.  As a small, urban and organic farmer, we don’t apply for government subsidies or insurance like the big agribusiness conglomerates.  I’m perfectly fine with that, since I prefer my conscience to be at peace.  That makes it harder for us to make a financial profit off of growing food than a large scale, conventional farmer that is subsidized in their growing.  However, if we can accomplish two things, I think we will feel like the richest people in Texas:

 1) Teach others the joy, benefits and expertise to accomplish sustainable gardening—reducing water use and eliminating toxic chemicals, welcoming beneficial insects and pollinators. We will promote the building of healthy soil ecosystems which result in nutrient dense and safe (and delicious) food.

 2)  Increase our local Metroplex food security.  There is very little food grown directly in our city.  There are a few community gardens, but not everybody can garden in their backyard or in a community garden.  These people still want access to healthier food choices, but may have time, disability or expertise concerns that prevent them from gardening on their own. Our naturally grown food will be free from GMOs, free from chemicals, and will be safe and nutrient dense.  Instead of traveling hundreds or thousands of miles, it will go straight from field to farmer’s market.  In the event of local or national disturbances (frozen roads, terror events, salmonella scares, hurricanes, etc.), we will not be barred from eating, because we will be growing right here in the City, and not dependent on transportation from other regions.  Furthermore, White Rock Local Market (where we sell the bulk of our produce) accepts SNAP benefits, so that families who need a hand up can feed their children fresh and healthful food also.

If you believe in Thomas Jefferson’s missive to our first President—that you would be richer, more moral, and happier from getting a little dirt under your nails—we have plenty of volunteer/learning opportunities coming up.  Send us an email at:  rancher@txwormranch.com, and we will see what interests you have and where you might like to unplug from the trappings of modern life, travel back in time, and become a gentleman or gentlewoman farmer.

 Thanks for your support as we grow!

 

 

 

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Therapy Worms?


Our modern world is full of constant multi-tasking and information overload.  Texts, emails, phone calls, etc., never give your brain a chance to just have a little reload.  Personally, the demands of family and business feel both exciting and overwhelming, with rarely a 2 minute break from one function to the other.  Actually, it all pretty much melds together.  I’ll find time for that phone call while cooking dinner, bring the kids to the Worm Ranch to do homework while I work, or any number of times I have tried to squeeze it all in to be the best Mom and business owner I can be.

That constant demand usually has my wits and nerves sauteed to a brown crisp.  Trying to figure out sales tax and finalize two science fair projects in the same day just might throw an Einstein-minded Zen Master into orbit.  What seems to help?  A little unmindful task called worm harvesting.

Harvesting worms is something that takes time and concentration, but there is not a whole lot of brain power needed.  Truly it is the “wax-on, wax-off” of mind clearing.  My business partner and former employees might like to rock out while harvesting, but I prefer solitude and silence.  Since I haven’t been able to use the bathroom uninterrupted by myself for the last 10 years, I hold a lot of respect for solitude and silence.  My minds is hungry for it, and my entire central nervous system is desperate to be turned on low volume.

The worms don’t talk back.  They don’t fight with their sister.  They don’t lovingly start sentences with, “What you really should do is…”.  They don’t even have a brain (just a couple of neurons up there).  Harvesting them is just a simple, mindless, repetitive task that allows your mind and nerves to relax.  After 20 minutes of that, you would be amazed at the things your mind can come up with.  Sometimes, you just need a break from the constant noise in your life to stay calm and carry on.

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The Tao of the Worm?

When I hand over a local box of worms, or tuck them in to ship…I think to myself, here they are–they’ll eat your scraps and bring you peace of mind.  My favorite thing to say is, “yes, I can give you worms.”  Little do my customers know that they are getting so much more.

 

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New Year Offerings

 

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How much food waste does your family throw away?  Down the drain and in the trash, food is truly wasted.  Put in a worm bin and decomposed in an aerobic matter, it is a totally different story.  Start worm composting today, and you’ll never waste food again.

I started worm composting nearly 5 years ago.  As an organic gardener, I was researching ways to reduce my nursery amendment costs.  Worm composting seemed too good to be true, but I decided to give it a shot.  It was much easier than I imagined.  The worms became the easiest members of my household.  I could simply feed them a handful of food scraps every few days and they were happy.  After approximately 8 weeks, I was ready for my first harvest of worm castings.  It took quite a while, but I harvested about 2 gallons of castings.  This wasn’t going to be enough to help all my vegetable gardens, so I decided to make an aerated worm casting tea and apply that to my beds.

The results were phenomenal; my plants blew me away with their health and productivity.  Other members of our community garden took notice too, and asked me to make some of the tea too.  We had a spot of brown patch fungal disease in our lawn, and after one application, the fungal disease was in remission and healthy grass came back into the dead zone.

A cycle of health and wellness came from plants and people, and it improved our budget as well.  My family ate, we fed our scraps to the worms, the worm ate, and we fed their “waste” to our gardens, which we ate!  A full circle with little waste, and lots of wholesome food for our family could not be beat.

Now, you shouldn’t expect to be able to give all your food waste to one bin of worms.  It would simply overpower the system.  That’s ok.  We hot compost too, and use that to fill our garden beds with good planting material.  The worm castings are much, much more nutrient and biologically rich.  That is what we use in small amounts to add to our seed starter mix, amend our soil, make worm teas from, and boost unhealthy plants back to vigorous growth.

Here are a few other reasons to add worm composting to your 2013 resolutions:

Fact:  The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that each U.S. resident throws away 7.2 ounces of food waste each day. Dallas County had an estimated 2008 Census Population of 2,412,827 people. That population would produce 1,085,772 lbs. of food waste a day! Families or individuals that vermicompost remove that waste stream from the landfill.

Fact:  A typical cubic yard of residential waste weighs 225 lbs/cubic yard.  A typical garbage truck can hold 25 cubic yards of waste.  If all food waste was vermicomposted on site, 193 garbage truck trips could be reduced every day in Dallas County.

Fact:  In a healthy worm bin, the worms and beneficial microbes work together to neutralize odors.  Worm bins are suitable indoor composting systems.

Fact:  Vermicomposting is not only important as a space benefit, but it also removes the danger of harmful methane gas being produced by the food and leaf waste in the landfills, which is then released into our air for decades to come. Worm composting does not produce methane.

Let us know how we can help you get started vermicomposting…give us an email at:  rancher@txwormranch.com or order from our website and we will help you get started.

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Our mission at Texas Worm Ranch is to:

  • Reduce the local waste stream
  • Create beautiful and safe landscapes and gardens
  • Promote the use and enjoyment of local, sustainable, organic agriculture

The TOFGA conference is right around the corner, and we look forward to seeing all of our friends there.  We would love to schedule a time to talk about your program and see if our worm castings or aerated worm casting teas might benefit your production.  Please let us know if you would like to schedule a time to meet with us in Austin.

Worm castings and aerobically aerated worm casting teas have been a key ingredient in the success of organic and natural programs from vegetable gardens to grass fed beef operations.  We can help you increase the yield of your pastures, fields, and gardens. 

 Now is the time to think ahead about applying worm castings or an aerobically aerated worm casting tea to your property in timing with the last expected freeze date for your area.

 

Want more info?  Contact:  Heather Rinaldi or Steve Clary at info@txwormranch.com

Texas Worm Ranch is now taking bulk orders for premium worm castings.   In an effort to make it more affordable for our organic…Image partners, we will offer reduced pricing for bulk pre-orders placed a minimum of 10 weeks in advance of needing castings. A 50% deposit is required.  Pre-orders help ensure you will have the castings for application when you need them, and get an affordable price to inoculate your soil with the gold standard of beneficial soil microbiology.

This opportunity allows us to partner with our Texas farmers and ranchers in a way that helps us meet your demand, while helping you determine the best way to use our product to your farm’s health and bottom line benefit.

 ***We can also help you partner with Texas’ best applicators of soil biology inoculate field spraying***

Here is information about our product and what we hope to help you accomplish.

Feed your soil, naturally, with Texas Worm Ranch Premium Worm Castings and experience the profit and performance benefit from improving your soil ecosystem through our high quality worm castings or worm casting tea applications.

Test results:  “Above expected levels of bacteria and fungi, great diversity (of protozoa) – good for soil functioning in all conditions, good inoculums of both bacteria and fungi.  Nitrogen Cycling Potential:  300 lbs/acre”– Earthfort Labs

 Want more info?  Contact:  info@txwormranch.com

 Why buy Texas Worm Ranch Premium Worm Castings?

Our Goal is to ensure that our castings are the premium standard for the industry, in both nutrient value and soil biology.  Texas Worm Ranch is committed to a quality product that will greatly improve your soil health and production, increasing your profit potential.

  • Unlike other casting producers, our worms are never fed peat moss (an unsustainable and antimicrobial food source) or just one food source of any kind. 
  • We custom feed a diverse mix of natural vegetative waste to produce a premium standard of abundant biomass of beneficial soil organisms and nutrients.
  • Our castings are tested by a SoilFoodWeb and Dr. Elaine Ingram approved laboratory for diversity and mass of soil biology and nutrient cycling potential.
  • We use our castings in our own organic yard and tree treatments and vegetable production.  We require the highest quality for our purposes and pass that quality on for our customers’ success.
  • Our castings are harvested weekly and kept moist and alive to ensure you get the highest quality and diversity of biological life when applied to your property or clients’ property.
  • We also partner with two other TOFGA members who are widely regarded as the state’s best applicators of organic treatments.  If you are within their service regions, we will be able to connect you with them to apply Texas Worm Ranch casting product on your property.

Most regions in Texas will experience their last freeze date in Mid-March.  If you would like to benefit most from our early order discount, the time to order is before January 10th!  Email us today and we will get you started for success in 2013.

Info @txwormranch.com

 

 

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Season Greetings from Texas Worm Ranch!
It’s the Holiday Season, and Texas Worm Ranch sends our warmest wishes to our friends! If you are thinking local, sustainable or organic–with a twist of fun, we can help you fill your holiday needs.  Whether you order online or email us to meet your local DFW shopping needs, we are here to help!
Here are a couple events we will be at and some items we are offering that can fill that stocking of your organically minded friend or family member.
  • White Rock Local Market:  Dec 8th,  9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  
  • Coppell Farmer’s Market:  Dec 8th, 8:00 a.m – Noon 
Local Offer:  Email us by December 6th to pick up a pre-made Working Worm Bin at either of these markets or our worm warehouse and receive a FREE! 2 lb bag of Texas Worm Ranch Worm Castings!
What is a pre-made Worm Bin you ask?    

   

Our Worm Bins are the perfect size for the home vermicomposter.  We set up a “working” worm bin with already established microbial activity and a habitat the worms enjoy and are adapted to.  The bin is a pre-drilled and properly ventilated 10 gallon container with compost, newspaper bedding and 1/2 lb of red wiggler worms.  Within 2 months (just in time for early spring planting!) you will be producing worm castings for your garden and worm cocoons to increase your herd. 

Cost: 40.00 per bin.

Just want the poop?  Here are a couple options for the black gold of organic gardening – 100% Premium Texas Worm Ranch Worm Castings!

2 lb Gift Bag of Texas Worm Ranch Premium Worm Castings:  $5.00
-OR-

Buy two of our 10lb bags ($20.00 each) and get a 2lb gift bag for FREE!

Worm Castings Large & Small

Freshly harvested, biologically rich and nutrient dense worm castings.  Perfect for potted plants, seed starting, veggie and flower gardens.  $5 for local pickup or free with Pre-ordered Working Worm Bin!
Yes, we can ship!  For an extra $6.75, we’ll gladly ship your order anywhere in the continental US!

To order, email us at:  rancher@txwormranch.com and we will send you a secure Paypal Invoice.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!  Like us on Facebook

Texas Worm Ranch | 10137 Shorview | Suite A | Dallas | TX | 75238