Ether Bourke-Wright is a hero and the best worm expert around!
As part of our grade 9 science year at Springfield Convent, we have to complete and enter an experiment into the annual Eskom Science Expo. This is a well known and prestigious event in which budding scientists can showcase their original experiments and learn loads about the world of science and its different facets. The emphasis of the expo is that your experiments have to be original and relevant. I immediately wanted to do something ozone-friendly and geared towards eco issues.
After a large amount of research I decided on my experiment topic: Vermiculture, recycling organic waste using Esienia Fetida worms. However I knew nothing about about it and was having trouble formulating an experiment on this topic. Out of complete luck I found Esther at Eco Worm Farms. I went to her house where she has all her worm products and a few huge worm farms in her back-yard. She was so helpful, gave me a complete lesson in Vermiculture and even went into all the technicalities of it in order to help me with the scientific side. I was finally able to decide on my experiment.
Esther explained that worms could recycle a variety of matter as their “food” in order to produce incredibly rich compost. This food includes plant and vegetable matter as well as newspapers, cardboard, paper and egg boxes etc. which is fed to the worms in order for them to produce “perfect” vermicompost. I found that this “mixed diet” can quite definitely be split into two groups : natural recyclable materials and plant vegetable matter. I decided to test whether perfect Vermicompost could be produced if the Eisenia Fetida worms were not fed this mixed diet, but if the two food groups were separated. Esther assured me that this would not hurt the worms and so I went about setting up three experiments. I learnt so much through this experience and would definitely recommend worm farming as an excellent project to do at home! It is as eco-friendly as you get and is actually incredibly easy.
Esther can set you up with everything that you need and is an invaluable source of knowledge and help, GET FARMING! I was lucky enough to win the expo competition at my school and then get through the regional round of the official Eskom Science Expo, where I received a Silver medal. However, I could not have won it without Esther! Throughout the entire process she was an incredible help! She went out of her way to make sure that my experiment was as accurate and scientific as possible and that my results were valid and reliable. If ever I had a question or needed help, Esther was there with her extensive knowledge and overwhelming passion for horticulture and worm farming. Thank top Esther at Eco Worm Farms!
Robynne Hoyle
Dear Esther From the very first email that I sent you, your service has been outstanding. You have the wonderful knack of replying to emails and questions within 15 to 30 minutes. Such a pleasure in this world of ours where service leaves so much to be desired. You welcomed me into your home and gave me so much solid, sensible and caring advice. Your experience and knowledge is so widespread that anyone who gains from it will only become wiser. Thank you very much for all your guidance and your prompt responses. I have come home newly inspired. With your help I hope to do my tiny bit towards making this world a better place to live in. I feel as if I have gained a friend.
Hello Esther I would really like to thank you for all your assistance you gave me when I had a problem with my newly acquired worm farm. It was so pleasant to see that even on a Sunday it did not deter you from assisting me. Your help and advice was very helpful and interesting. Keep up the good work and we will talk again Pat Burgoyne
Grade 10, Springfield Convent High School, Wynberg Cape Town Firstly, let me thank you most profusely for the generous way in which you gave me your precious time this morning. A booked 30 minutes turned into a profoundly interesting 1 hour and 45 minutes. For that I will be forever grateful. No question I asked was too much for her to answer in great detail. Your tour of this fascinating business you expertly run was a true inspiration. In limited space you have achieved so much tremendous value to our planet. The invitation to visit on any Saturday even if only to chat means so much to me. Please accept my sincere thank you. Your website is truly amazing and very easy to read. After “worm farming” for over four years and now I realise just how much I still need to learn.
Mrs Lotter
We have found Esther very knowledgeable and helpful in all respects. With a keen sense of worms and humour No problem too big and one may call at all hours for assistance. Under her help, our worms are flourishing Cyril Glaser
Hi Esther Thank you for getting back to me so promptly, many people shy away from after sales service, so I really appreciate your call. I did as you suggested, pouring the Vermatea over the worms and since yesterday, I have not seen one worm in the reservoir. Therefore Esther, my husband and I do not think its necessary that you come all this way to replace the womery. I appreciate your concern I will keep in touch as questions are sure to arise over time. Take care Barbara
I was introduced to worm farming by Esther in 2013. It has been a wonderful adventure from the start, but not without hiccups. My first problem was the heat. I unfortunately had the farm set up in the wrong place and sadly my worms were stewed and I lost them all. Undaunted, I got more worms from Esther and started again, only to be attacked by ants. This time I was able to rescue my “kids”, took the necessary precautions against ants and continued without problems. The Vermitea was doing well and I was able to store what I had and start making more. Then the psycodidia flies arrived and and they laid eggs in the Vermicompost and I then had tiny black and white maggots. Undaunted, and with Esther’s expert professional advice, I have overcome this problem. The Vermitea has don wonders in my garden. My roses are beautiful and healthy, and I have Parsley to be envied. Recently I started using the specially dried rabbit manure I got from Esther as a treat for the worms. I had a stack of babies and within a week those babies have grown into really healthy young worms and the slightly older children are now looking a picture of health. As for the adults, well they are lovely, healthy and fat specimens. Many thanks for all your help
Steph from Pinetown
EstherEther Bourke-Wright A Local women worm farmer says her only means of staying connected to the world
– apart from word of mouth – is via the web. Esther Marina Bourke-Wright says she previously used the Yellow Pages to advertise her products and services. But, since starting her worm farm business nine years ago, Bourke-Wright had to find other means of advertising. “But that was then, and nobody looks in the Yellow Pages any more. These days, if you are looking for a particular service, you Google it. Everybody Google’s everything. That’s why it is important to have a good website. For me, my Eco Worm Farms site is my only means of connection to the outside world, apart from word of mouth. It sells the product” And, at 67 arrears old, she is living proof that small business success is not about how old or young you are, or about the type of business that you launch. She attributes the success of Eco Worm Farms to “knowledge, after sales service, and a good website.” “I started Eco Worm Farms nine years ago and it is still run from my home. What started out as a hobby is now a self sustaining business that is till growing by the day,” says Bourke-Wright who employs two full time staff to help her. A self confessed “encyclopaedia of worms,” Bourke-Wrights’s business sells compost worms which live off kitchen waste and in turn produce environmentally friendly overcomplicate (worm compost) and vermitea (liquid fertsisler) which will not burn plants. In addition, she also sells a variety of worm “farms” ranging in size from starter kits to those the size of a pool table. Her clients include game reserves, shopping centres and hotels, among others. “I eat, sleep and dream worms” says 67 year old Bourke-Wright from Cape Town. Quite an unusual confession – unless you actually own a small business farming with worms, and love doing it. Bourke-Wright has always has always had Green fingers which led her to obtaining a diploma in horticulture. She now has 35 years of horticulture and landscaping experience behind her and it is this wealth of know how that she has brought into her business. “ Through my knowledge and previous experience, I saw that there was a need for worm farms. I know and understand my product inside out, I continue to learn to this day and I enjoy passing on what I have learned. To Bourke-Wright, personal after sales service is of the utmost importance. “ Following up after selling a product and making sure that I am available to talk to my customers, is just as important as making a sale,” She says. The third factor that Bourke-Wright deems as an integral to her success is having an effective website. “I’m not very computer literate, so I contacted Webafrica (a one stop web shop) to set-up my site, which includes a monthly analytic report so that I can keep track of the demographics of my visitors, as well as which pages are the most popular. I also regularly optimise my site in line with this feedback.”
Small Business Connect — June 2015
Dear Esther,
Thank you so much for delivering our beautiful shiny new worm farm. The improved design lid is a triumph!
Thank you for the most wonderful and comprehensive lecture which you a guy’s gave us. BB Ndlovu was more than enthralled by the whole story, as indeed were we. We are all now so well versed in how to look after these amazing little critters – Nature is just phenomenal.
Nothing to eat that we would not eat ourselves although I must confess I have never been particularly partial to coffee grounds or for that matter egg boxes. Your enthusiasm and dedication is more than seductive – I mean who could not fall passionately in love with these “children” in one’s care having listened to you waxing lyrical.
The difference that the tea and the castings have made to our garden is beyond impressive, so happy about our plants that I feel tempted to start downing the magic potion myself.
Thank you for your interest and dedication to what quite obviously is your greatest passion.
It is much appreciated!
Penny Dobie
Hi Esther,
I would like to thank you very very much for your helpfulness whether I phone you or whether I arrive on your doorstep. You always make me feel more than welcome.
Your abounding knowledge is incredible. The fact that you share it so willingly with any of your customers is such a joy. No question seems too much for you to answer. You explain with intense

Passion and make even the beginners in us as worm farmers feel confident that we can do this. You always offer a follow up or even several without any form of pressure.

Its thanks to you and your sharing of years of experience and knowledge that i have succeeded in owning 2 worm farms and enjoying the many benefits of worm tea and compost

For my garden. Thank you for always being available and so helpful. I wish you many blessings.

Hope to see you soon. Hilde Lotter

THANKS to ALL our many and varied clients. We do what we do because we love worms, and know that you will too! Call today and get your worm farm started! Get in touch with Esther today!