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Script 61.12

Notes to broadcasters

Most farmers are looking for ways to improve soil fertility. This program discusses the vital role of earthworms in building soils. It is part of a series of scripts involving the characters Philip (Program Host) and Dr. Compost (Peter Composter). Philip is from the city. He has a weak stomach and is suspicious about farming techniques. Dr. Compost is from a rural background, but has a university education in agriculture. He puts science on a pedestal, but remains true to his humble roots. The dialogue between Philip and Dr. Compost is meant to be humorous and friendly.

Scripts 1 and 2 in this package are about making compost, another important method of improving soil fertility. Other programs you could produce that are related to this topic include:

  • Composting with worms.
  • A comparison of different livestock manures used locally for soil fertilization.
  • Mulch can protect your soil.

Script

Characters

Philip Kwan:
A city radio host
Dr. Compost, Ph.D. (Peter Composter)
Agricultural specialist in his 70s, somewhat forgetful. He has a farming background but also a university education. His problem is that, sometimes, he digresses from the topic. Nevertheless, the information he provides is always interesting, useful and practical.

INTRODUCE THEME MUSIC AND FADE OUT (10 seconds)

Philip
Hello listeners. Today we have special guest Dr. Peter Composter, an agricultural specialist known to many of you as Dr. Compost. He is here now to talk about soil.

Dr. Compost
Actually, I’m here to talk about one of the hardest workers on earth.

Philip
On earth? I’m very curious.

Dr. Compost
I should say one of the hardest workers in earth. Philip, what is your definition of a good worker?

Philip
I’d say that a good worker is productive, creative and efficient.

Dr. Compost
Right on! You have just described the earthworm!

Philip
The earthworm is the earth’s hardest worker? I know it is good fish bait, but…

Dr. Compost
Isn’t food one of the essential parts of life?

Philip
Of course.

Dr. Compost
And to grow food you need fertile soil. The earthworm makes soil very rich for growing crops.

Philip
Okay, I’m following you. Can you explain the work of the earthworm, Peter.

Dr. Compost
I can and I will. Worms grind up soil as it moves through their bodies, and make minerals and nutrients more available for plants.

Philip
Are we talking about worm stool? Yuck.

Dr. Compost
Exactly!

Philip
How do you bring earthworms to your soil?

Dr. Compost
Look around to find where most of the earthworms gather. Usually they can be found in rich soil in a shady place around the house, barn or shed. Dig them out with the soil they are in and move them to small holes in your fields. Cover them with compost. Have I told you about compost? Because, if not, I…

Philip
(interrupting)Oh, yes. But that is a topic for another day.

Dr. Compost
Well, cover the worms with compost, topsoil, grass or leaves. Very soon earthworms will multiply. All you have to do is provide some food and moist conditions, but don’t let the soil get too much water.

Philip
Do you have any warnings about earthworms and soil?

Dr. Compost
Yes. You have to remember that earthworms are sensitive to chemicals. The more chemicals you apply to your crops, the fewer earthworms remain in the soil. This is especially important in areas with poor soil structure.

Philip
Well, praise to the earth’s best worker!

Dr. Compost
There’s nothing better than earthworms to improve your soil.

BRING UP THEME MUSIC AND FADE OUT (5 seconds)

Acknowledgements

Adapted by Belinda Bruce, Vancouver, Canada, from ‘Earthworms and soil’ by Anna Konstantinova, Russian Rural Information Network, Russia.