Vermicomposting...The Way of the Worm
When it comes to worm's..most folks think of slimey little wiggle creatures that are cringe worthy. That may be true for some. But if you're a gardener or farmer there is another entire perspective when it comes to the value and significance of the earthworm. Some avid growers and farmers refer to it as black gold. Worm castings are loaded with beneficial microbeasties that are a great tool to have in your arsenal to boost soil health as well as plant health.
The purpose of natural farming and low cost agriculture is to make your own inputs from your own property. Part of that process is too reduce waste that would otherwise be discarded and end up in crowded landfills. Many folks are aware of the benefits of composting kitchen scraps. But another way to make use of your fruit and veggie scraps is to start a worm bin instead. Now of course you can do both. Worms would love a shot at that finished compost as well to really super charge their castings. Most fruits and veggies scraps contain a lot of water. So some worm farmers like to add supplemental ingredients to enhance the castings and to fatten up their worms or to boost reproduction numbers.
Some use homemade worm chows from different ingredients like corn meal or ground corn, oats and barley grains. Kelp meal, alfalfa,neem meal or karanja cake, ground egg shells or oyster flour for extra calcium. We even use our rabbits manure for our worm bins. Remember it's about using what you have. Commercial large scale worm castings can be expensive. Sadly most just cannot compare to castings you can make on your own.
We will share our entire process on another blog in the coming weeks. This was just to give you a quick look and rundown to the benefits of worm farming. There are different varieties of worms for composting the most common is of course the red wiggler and the African nightcrawler. Do your research before starting your earthworm adventure. Some are better and faster at breaking down organic matter.
If you would like to learn more on vermicomposting please check out these books.
Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof
The Worm Farmers Handbook by Rhonda Sherman