I like things that are free.
gumtree.com.au has a freebies section.
One time, there was a post advertising free “worm tea/wee”.
“Fantastic for vegies” it claimed.
“Just add water” it instructed.
“Litres and litres on offer” it invited.
“Great!” I thought.
I sent them a text message. I imagined my snow peas reaching proportions worthy of a Roald Dahl book.
I started to wonder about how one collects worm tea.
Worms are little creatures.
I couldn’t imagine them being particularly productive in that way…
There was litres of the stuff on offer.
The person who advertised the post must have a lot of worms.
I wondered what sort of person would keep so many worms…
I got a text back about the worm tea. It was from a different number. The text didn’t make a lot of sense, but I worked out that it was telling me to wait on another text from yet another number. It would tell me where to go for the drop off.
This seemed strange.
Apparently I was working with a worm wee syndicate. How did they feed all these worms? I wondered how many other amateur gardeners had responded to the post…
What sort of people had that much worm wee?
My imagination was starting to get the best of me. I decided to talk to a friend about it. I told her the facts but I did not tell her what conclusions I was grasping at. I hoped she would verbalise what I feared. I kept repeating, “How can any one have that much worm wee?”
The last text came in.
It gave me the address of the drop off location. They would leave 4 litres in milk bottles behind the front gate.
That evening, I set out to pick up the worm wee. The house sat outside the reach of the streetlights, with a high fence surrounding it. Curtains were drawn in all the windows. A single red light illuminated the front entrance.
The gate silently opened. I checked behind it.
There were no bottles!
Barking erupted next to me. In the faint light I could see a dog bolting towards me. The gate swung shut. The front door opened…
“BARRY! Barry, come here!”
A middle aged woman was calling the dog.
It was a poodle the size of my fist.
The woman looked up at me with a smile.
“I’m sorry about that. Can I help you?”.
I explained that I had come in response to a gum tree ad.
“Oh, the worm tea? Didn’t she leave it out for you? It’s my housemate’s thing. Sorry about that. Are you growing vegetables?” While loading me up with bottles, she talked me through the correct tea to water ratio, and suggested which vegetables benefit most from it.
She carried a bottle for me to the car. “Watch the gate, it shuts quickly to keep Barry in”.
Apparently friendly people with dogs have that much worm wee.