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Did you know that our worms are born in little egg sacks.  Each sack will contain 2 to 4 babies.  The baby above is two weeks old and is only about 1/8 inch long.  This worm will become sexually active in twelve weeks.
Swede Lake Vermiculture & Castings
Occasionally Volunteer Corn shows up in the worm pails such as these kernels.  What is most interesting is that this growth is in just 2 weeks without any sun light

The refractometer is a tool which measures the refractive 
index of a liquid. When light rays shine through the liquid they
 strike the carbohydrate, salt and other molecules depending
 upon the type of calibration used. When the light rays strike the 
molecules, they bend or refract. The greater the calibrated 
molecular concentration of the liquid in question, the greater 
the refraction.

High quality (High BRIX) produce, in the true sense of the word, will not rot. It will simply dehydrate with age. For some, this is a very difficult statement to acknowledge, since the majority of the produce in this county does rot if not consumed a few days after purchase.

“A plant with low brix makes an easy target for insects who sense the plant’s ill health, and will hone in for an easy feed.” That explains why healthy plants, registering a high brix level, indicate superior resistance to pests and diseases, which ultimately means less time and expense needed be spent on pest control measures. Moreover, for the consumer, produce with high brix levels have increased sugar, mineral and protein levels, and have improved flavour.

By in large, brix indicators are easy to translate: a low brix reading points to low nutrition, and a high brix reading indicates the higher nutritional value of produce.  Reprinted from BFA News - Winter 2001 edition, pp22-23.

A common misconception is that Brix indicates the sugar content (usually sucrose, glucose or fructose) of produce. While sugars may certainly make a dominant contribution to the juice extracted from sweet fruits like mangoes or pineapples, this is definitely not the whole story and anyone who claims otherwise is quite simply wrong. A simple Brix measurement shows all of the dissolved solids in the sample which includes soluble minerals, carbohydrates (sugars and starches) and other soluble chemicals such as amino acids, enzymes and so on. It cannot, by itself, distinguish between sugars and other minerals; you need a much more sophisticated, and expensive, apparatus to do that.

Difficulty in Determining the Brix Reading.  Sometimes the actual position of the coloured boundary line can be quite difficult to determine because it's very diffuse. In these cases, you should try to estimate where the ‘half-intensity’ position is and take this as the Brix reading. However this may not be a bad situation to be in as many biological farming consultants interpret a diffuse band as indicative of high mineral content in the sample (as opposed to carbohydrates) but we're still looking for an objective reference to verify this. Be aware that you can also get a diffuse boundary if the liquid sample has a cloudy or milky appearance (ie contains very fine particles in suspension) or is strongly coloured (eg chlorophyll).

Every farmer, wholesaler, retailer and consumer interested in the quality of food needs a refractometer. What consumer would not be willing to pay a little more for food with two or four times as much nutritional value? The smart consumer will demand an "excellent" Brix reading and farmers will be rewarded for quality as well as quantity.

Refractometer readings indicate that produce sold in grocery stores generally has 25% to 50% of the nutrients it ought to have. This suggests that even if you eat all the fruits and vegetables you are supposed to eat, your body will be starved for many nutrients. If you are eating this food, a good nutritional supplement is not optional.

Plants and foods with high Brix readings will dehydrate before spoiling (getting moldy). Therefore, we would suggest that high brix readings provide a strong  line of defense against mold, helping to prevent consumption of aflatoxi.


3 acres destroyed by Roundup and crab grass rebounded with a vengence.  After applying Roundup again to destroy the robust crop of new crab grass, area was re-seeded.  One week later, 100% pure worm castings (Empowered Earth) was applied over 1/2 area leaving remaining area to grow as nature would allow.

Three acres of beautiful, plush grass were destroyed by Roundup. 
Within days the weeds returned with a vengence!
After an another two weeks the area with castings definitely appeared more dense, healthier and weeks ahead of the area without castings even though seeding was the same in both areas at the same time
After two weeks, only slight difference was noticed.  In another two weeks, the area with castings was definitely progressing better.  
2 wks after applying castings
Same day (2 wks) without castings
5 Wks With Castings 
The photos on the right are at the same time, but lawn without castings.  These also were taken 5 weeks after  
applying castings and about 5 1/2 weeks after seeding.  The total time from the original destruction by mistakingly applying Roundup to the date of these photos is 6 1/2 weeks.  See the photo below that shows the lawn restoration from a point of complete terror to robust growth in less than two months -- greatly accelerated by the application of 1/2 ton of Empowered Castings per acre.  NO CHEMICALS