Our Vital Earth: My Orchid “Growth Potion”

The following guest post is an interview with Bernie Moro, co-founder of Our Vital Earth. She and her husband are experts on orchid care and specialize in creating highly nutritious worm tea. If you’ve been wanting to get your hands on some worm tea, now is the time to try it. Be sure to check out their website Our Vital Earth to see all they have to offer.

By the way, OurVitalEarth is an OrchidsMadeEasy “preferred supplier” which means if you’re a Green Thumb Club member, you’ll receive 20% OFF your order. If you’re not yet a member, you can click here to sign up now and start saving money :-) Okay, now on to the interview…

A Little Background…

Ryan: Tell us a little bit about yourself…

Carl & Bernie Our Vital Earth Logo

Bernie: My name is Bernie Moro and I am from Apopka, Florida. My husband Carl and I are the founders of Our Vital Earth Inc. Carl and I are originally from Missouri and moved to Florida in 1960. We have been married for 62 years. We have a large family starting with our 9 children. Our Vital Earth is a family business with our children and
grandchildren being very involved.

How It All Got Started…

Ryan: How did you first get into your business? How long have you been in business?

Bernie: We were retired and had a 10 acre farm that had green houses that we rented out to various plant growers including orchid growers. When a greenhouse became vacant, a gentleman came out to visit us and wanted to rent one of them. We asked him what he would be growing and he said “WORMS!” We said, “for fishing?” and he said, “No, for composting.”

That really sparked our interest as we both are from a small farming community in Missouri. Our parents had vegetable gardens, fruit trees, flowers, and all was grown naturally. They even grew their own alfalfa, corn, and other grains that were used to feed their pigs, cows, and chickens. The food that we enjoyed in Missouri had so much more flavor than what we experienced when we moved to Florida. Now we know why—it was because it had so much more nutritional value. We looked forward to going back each summer to visit and enjoy that wholesome food again.

In 2002, we traveled to Australia for training in vermiculture and recycling organic waste—our family thought we were “crazy”. Now they feel we are on the “cutting edge”

The reason we sought training in Australia was that we were so impressed by how they were able to reduce their organic waste going to landfills by 65% in just a 4 year period (from 1996 to 2000). We thought, “why can’t we do that here in America?” Over there, residents were encouraged by the government to take care of their own organic waste at the point of origin. They developed a product called the Can O Worms and have now upgraded that model to The Worm Café.

Over the course of 3 weeks, we were taught how to process “worm tea” (proper name is Vermi-Liquid) that contains 77 trace elements and minerals, as well as live micro-organisms. The Our Vital Earth worm tea is created completely naturally and has a shelf life of at least one year.

What is Our Vital Earth Worm Tea?…

Ryan: What exactly are worm castings and worm tea?

Bernie: People often ask us what worm castings and worm tea are. To put it simply, worm castings are worm poop or worm manure. WORM CASTINGS are the excretions of the worm after eating your garbage. They convert your garbage to a very high quality plant and soil enhancer. It is completely natural and organic and highly concentrated.

Worm tea is produced by showering the worms with non-chlorine water. Worm urine is much like our perspiration so this is kind of like a form of worm pee. It may sound gross, but your plants will love it! I guarantee it! The best part is that Our Vital Earth worm tea can be stored for up to a full year. It does not have any additives and does not have to be used within 48 hours of mixing (like other brands).

Advantages of Using Worm Tea…

Using worm tea and worm castings on orchids

Ryan: What are the advantages of feeding worm tea to orchids and all other plants?

Bernie: Our Vital Earth worm tea is an extremely nutritious drink for all plants (including orchids). It nourishes your plants, builds their immune system, and the microbes help eliminate and control fungus and all sorts of pests that can harm your beautiful orchids (see our full list of benefits at the end of this interview). Our Vital Earth worm tea is an incredible product that serves as a 100% natural fertilizer, soil enhancer, insecticide and fungicide. No need to stock unsafe chemicals with long warning labels, just pick up a bottle of Our Vital Earth worm tea for all of your gardening needs!

Unlike other fertilizers that contain only NPK, our balanced product gives the plant what it needs on demand. If it needs boron—it can take it—if it needs Zinc—it can take it.

The balance comes from our feeding program with the worms and the adding of the supplements to their intake. By careful selection of the correct rock dust patterns put into the worm feeding program, the worm castings can have the effect of neutralizing Ph & increasing the CEC (Cation-Exchange Capacity) levels in the soil. This is what allows the plant to take what it needs.

Again, all of this is 100% natural and completely safe. People don’t have to be “suited up” or wait for a day with no wind in order to do their spraying of chemicals. More and more orchid growers are looking for ways to take care of their orchids and also be healthy for them and the environment.

I’d like to share an email I received from a client that was directed to us through your “Orchids Made Easy” book.

Daria Worm Tea Testimonial
Daria's Happy Orchids after worm tea

Daria's Orchids after Our Vital Earth Worm Tea

What Makes This Worm Tea Different From Others?…

Ryan: What’s makes your particular worm castings/worm tea unique?

Bernie: What makes our product different from other worm castings and worm tea is the formulated grit/supplement from various volcanic locations—this places the valued 77 trace elements and minerals in the end product.

All worm farms are not created equal. Some farms raise worms by feeding them a regular worm meal. That is not our focus at Our Vital Earth. We want to reduce the organic waste going to the landfills so our worms are fed anything that once grew from the ground. This includes paper, cardboard, and even lint from the dryer in addition to plant and food waste—everything except meat and dairy products. We are helping the environment and making organic plant food. (Want to watch us feed our worms? Check out our video at the end of this interview.)

How Do I Get Started?

Ryan: Can anyone start a small worm farm? What product(s) from your own store can you recommend if someone wants to get started and try worm tea today?

Our Vital Earth Worm Cafe Package

Bernie: Yes, anyone can start a small worm farm by using the Worm Café. It is very “user friendly”. You can start out with just 1 pound of worms, feeding them about 5 pounds of organic waste per week to start. You then increase the amount of food fed to them as the worms increase in population. The worms will definitely increase their numbers, thus increasing the amount of garbage you can give to them and the amount of castings and tea that you will harvest from your Worm Café. Your Worm Café can easily house up to 15 pounds of worms and of course your feeding and your yield is just multiplied.

The Worm Café regularly retails for $130.00 but Orchids Made Easy readers can order them today for a special price of $117 and FREE Shipping for the month of August only. Green Thumb Club members can also apply their special 20% discount code on this order. Click here to order Worm Café.

Our Vital Earth Worm Cafe

It will take approximately 1 month before you will get worm tea from your Worm Café to use on your plants and about 3 to 4 months to be able to harvest worm castings. The worm tea will be ready to use (it is not concentrated). If using it for fertilizing you can dilute it 3 to 1 ratio (3 parts non-chlorine water to 1 part worm tea). Full strength will not burn your most delicate plants.

Other specials we have in August include:

FREE SHIPPING for:

This is a tremendous benefit for all Orchids Made Easy readers and Green Thumb Club members!

Any Last Words?

Ryan: Anything else you want to share?

Bernie: Certainly! It is all part of “our life on the Worm Farm” and our mission to clean up the environment and have a healthier lifestyle. I go into the schools and it is so well received by the students. Already teachers are scheduling times for this coming school year!

Over the summer I was invited to do several programs at libraries and summer camps that were directed by Florida University and the County Extension Offices. It is so rewarding to see how the children receive this and we teach everything with humor so they readily remember. This also excites the children to be planting and caring for plants whether they are edible or are flowering to add beauty to their world. It draws them back to nature away from all the electronic games and brings them outdoors. The impact is far reaching.

Cassidy Gainsville Orchid Show Our Vital Earth 2013

We also attend various garden and orchid shows around Florida. Here is a photo of our sweet grand-daughter Cassidy, assisting at the Kanapaha Botanical Garden Event in Gainesville, FL., featuring many orchid vendors. She was working that show with our daughter, Rachelle. Our grandchildren are helping to pay their way through college with working the events with us. At the same time, they are developing a love for nature and the beautiful flowering plants. They are always selecting orchids that they give as gifts to someone who is lonely to lift their spirits or for a special occasion. I will ask them—who is that one for—and they tell me the reason why they feel this particular bloom will be so appreciated by their selected recipient. At the same time her brother, Dylan, was at another show in Melbourne with his Dad, Ron, Carl and I were hosting a show in Tampa. We do stay very busy!

Carl & Bernie with Our Vital Earth Supplies

It is so rewarding, sharing the things that we have learned, to assure a “better and healthier Lifestyle”. Who would have thought that the “lowly worm” could bring us good health and exquisite beauty for us all to appreciate!

 

 


Here are just a few benefits of using worm tea:

  • Turns organic matter into humus, storing energy for later use. This is the basic unit of soil fertility.
  • OUR VITAL EARTH Worm Tea applied, as a foliage spray will act as a fertilizer. Plants will produce more foliage and larger stems. This is a good treatment for plants that are stressed or lacking enough sun.
  • Our feeding program produces bacteria, protozoa, and additional live microbes into our already high quality Worm tea. These micro-organisms will actually eat Asian Scale (also known as Asian Cycad Scale or Asian Earth Mercalli Quake Scale) and keep it from reproducing. Asian Scale is mostly found on Sago Palms and some people think this is a fungus. However, it is actually an insect.
  • Use instead of insecticides and fungicides. The micro-organisms will eat fungus such as: Black mold on fruit trees, black spot on roses, scale on crape myrtles etc. as well as the larvae of white flies, aphids, mites etc.
  • Out performs chemical fertilizers. Increasing both plant size and yield. This is due to interaction of these micro-organisms with the soil’s microbes, (such as bacteria & protozoa) particles and the roots of the plant itself.
  • Used as an inoculate for potting soil will suppress airborne pathogenic fungi that can readily infect sterile potting medium. The organisms in OUR VITAL EARTH Worm Tea also produce hormones, vitamins, nutrients, enzymes, amino acids and minerals needed by seedling cuttings and young plants. Inoculation should be done two weeks prior to planting.
  • Plants grown in soil treated with OUR VITAL EARTH Worm Tea are healthier due to the symbiotic relationship between the plant and the microbes in the root zone. Plants feed the microbes. Then the microbes produce, and/ or make available, all of the food and medicine the plant needs to thrive.
  • Plants grown in soil treated with OUR VITAL EARTH Worm Tea are more nutritious than plants grown in soil treated with chemical fertilizer. The food value of these plants is increased due to the availability of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and amino acids.
  • Re-mediates soil that has been damaged by agricultural chemicals. With repeated application the microbes will adapt to the soil, convert and metabolize organic and inorganic chemicals. They will also sequester heavy metals not required by plants.
  • Treats lawns affected with thatch, which is a condition caused by sterility in the underlying soil. Chemicals usually cause sterility. OUR VITAL EARTH Worm Tea will repopulate the soil with microbes, enrich the roots and break down the thatch turning it into food for the grass.
  • Improves soil’s water retention. Many of the microbes manufacture protective mucus that acts as glue to agglomerate soil particles. Microbial colonies also make a bio-slime that is mostly water and is retained to protect the colony. The water retentive property of healthy soil can be 3-4 times greater than unhealthy soil.
  • Contains 77 minerals and trace elements.
  • Contains powdered minerals such as: granite, limestone and rock phosphate, which have been through the gut of a worm & is then immediately available to your plants. It will also supply 95% of everything the soil needs. The other 5% is organic material, such as mulch or litter on the surface of the soil, or as dead root material under the soil surface.
  • Feeds other organisms in the soil food chain. Protozoa and nematodes feed on bacteria and fungi directly, while worms ingest bacteria laden soil particles. All life in the soil depends on microbes, directly or indirectly.
  • Accelerates the breakdown of plant material, reducing the amount of time to make compost. It can also be used to re-inoculate the pile after it has gone through its hot phase, which inactivates and/ or kills many of the beneficial microbes. Re-inoculation increases the population of beneficial microbes, which continue to breakdown organic matter and form humus.
  • Tested to make sure it meets our high standard of excellence.

Bernie & Carl Moro are founders of Our Vital Earth Inc. To learn more about how Our Vital Earth worm tea can benefit your orchids and other plants, go to: OurVitalEarth.com

And remember, by signing up to the Green Thumb Club today, you’ll save 20% on the Our Vital Earth website. After becoming a member, you’ll get access to a special coupon code (not available to the public) which you can use to get the discount off the site.

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