Worm farming, where worms do all the work and you get all the benefits

June 6, 2019 0 Comments

So you might be wondering why someone would start a farm to grow worms. Maybe to use when they go fishing or sell to other fishermen? Well, there are some people who do it for that reason. But most people who decide to start worm farming are not really interested in increasing the worm population, although that will happen as a side effect. They do it to obtain the final product that the worms produce. While the entire procedure is generally called worm farming, the technical term for it is vermicomposting.

That desirable end product is called cast iron or vermicast, and it is literally worm poop. Don’t be intimidated by that. It is an earthy material, similar to humus, that does not smell bad, that is a fantastic fertilizer and an amendment for the garden. There are commercial worm farms that produce it and bag it for sale, but you can make it yourself with the proper worms and a minimum of other materials. Basically the worms only feed on organic material like that used in a normal compost pile.

To end up with the best quality molds from your worm farm, you need to start with the correct type of worm. If you just head into your yard and start digging for earthworms, you may be lucky and find a suitable species for vermicomposting, but it’s not likely. The typical worm found in gardens will tend to burrow too much into the ground, and will not be as prodigious a ‘processor’ as the type most often used in vermicomposting, called a red wiggler and technically known as Eisenia. foetida. . You can buy them from any worm farm supplier, many of which are online.

People have used many different materials to build the actual worm farm. Commercial operations often only create the farms directly on the ground in long lines known as ‘rows’. But for home use, you probably want to store the worms in some kind of container. You can build or take advantage of them yourself, or buy a commercial solution for less than fifty dollars. Some of the pre-made models are intended to be placed under the kitchen sink, where there is usually a constant supply of leftovers that can be used as food.

Speaking of food, what can you feed the worms? Almost any type of organic waste material will do, such as vegetable peels and scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds, egg cartons, egg shells, leaves, hair, paper, certain types of cardboard, etc. Most fruit debris is fine too, but some people caution about citrus peels, and pineapple contains an enzyme known as bromelain, which will dissolve worms, so it’s definitely out. Other things that should not be added are animal product waste, such as bones, meat scraps, dairy products, and dog, cat, or human manure. Adding these items can contaminate the final molds with pathogens or attract pests to the worm farm.

There are several different designs for worm farms, and these use different methods to harvest the molds. A popular arrangement uses several separate containers stacked on top of each other. The farm is initially started in the upper container with some newspaper or shredded cardboard to serve as bedding. On top of that, some dirt, the initial supply of worms, and some organic debris are added for food. Then put the lid on and try not to stare every day, as worms don’t like light. When the container fills up to a couple inches from the top, place an empty container on top and move the filled container underneath, removing large chunks of raw food. Put some bedding and food in the new top container, and the worms will migrate from their original home to the new one through the holes in the bottom, leaving the first container filled with only a rich dark, dirt-like material. ready to add. the garden.

The worm farm also usually loses some dark liquid that can be trapped in a tray placed at the bottom. This is called ‘leachate’ and it is also a great fertilizer, but it may be too strong for some applications. I would advise researching its intended use before using it.

Try growing worms. It’s like having a regular compost pile, but the worms do all the work for you. And how many people can put a compost pile under the kitchen sink?

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