Upcycling through Nature
At Islands in the Stream Vermiculture we aim to utilise the magic of worms to create products which maximise the health and vigour of soils and plants.
Our philosophy is regenerative. Where sustainability is the ability to keep doing what you’re doing, we want to see things improve, too! We take ‘waste’ products and turn them into something useful. We want to help our customers grow healthy plants, which will in turn grow healthy animals, healthy people, and a healthy planet. We want our customers to feel good about using our products! We believe that Nature knows best, so our efforts are merely to enhance her good work, not to engineer something new.
Who we are
Islands in the Stream Vermiculture is an Australian, family owned and operated business on the mid north coast of NSW. We run an industrial compost and worm system, with the liquid biostimulant Biocast+ as our signature product.
Islands in the Stream Vermiculture was founded by Lee Fieldhouse in 2013. His original plan for the land on Oxley Island (near Taree) was to run a market garden. The soil was dreadful though, and in learning about how to improve it Lee’s passion for vermiculture (worm farming), soil health and microbes was ignited. He has been learning all he can about them ever since, building on his formal training in horticulture, permaculture… and carpentry. Lee runs the worm farm with semi-trusty kelpie sidekicks Mango and Dash. Lee is also available for composting and vermiculture consulting, and healthy soils workshops.
Lee’s partner Kirsty also works in the business, adding from her experience in ecological restoration, environmental education, holistic management and wellness coaching. Their daughter, Coralie, and Lee’s daughter Juno can also be found at the farm ‘helping’ dad out from time to time.
What we do
Vermiculture is the farming of worms. All our products are derived from the activity of compost worms. We see our job as enhancing and promoting their work. Our farm has an estimated 1.5 – 2 million red wriggler, African nightcrawler, Indian blue and tiger worms. They are kept in two large cast harvest beds and 30 stacking beds, protected by a greenhouse. We also have compost bays, a microbial review lab and a brew shed. Our flagship product is Biocast+, a concentrated liquid vermicast biostimulant. For a full list of our other products and services, see the ‘Other Services’ page.
How we do it
All our products are made start to finish on site at Oxley Island.
All raw material is sourced locally from ‘waste’ materials, including paunch from the abattoirs, cardboard boxes, and coffee grounds. We compost these to Australian standards before feeding it to the worms.
The worm beds are kept moist and off the ground. There is no leachate – i.e. there is no liquid dripping from the worm beds which people typically refer to as ‘worm wee’, ‘worm juice’ or ‘worm tea’. Instead, we harvest the fully finished worm castings (poo) using a continuous flow cast harvest bed system. We create the liquid Biocast as an extract of the worm cast that we produce.
All of our processes are designed to ensure quality and maximise micro-biological diversity and stability. Biocast+ is a standardised product, using set amounts of ingredients, water and time; ensuring that you can trust you’ll get the same reliable product every time.