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Worms 150x150 Vermiculture Composting

Worms

Vermiculture composting, also known as vermicomposting or worm composting, is the procedure of using worms and micro-organisms to recycle food scraps and other household waste into a nutrient-rich black soil.  This rich soil (worm castings) is the product of the worm’s digestion.  Worms are capable of eating between half to their full weight in waste each day. The worm castings are a natural fertilizer that provides a wonderful source of nutrients to plants, flower beds and gardens.  The castings are extremely valuable to the texture and fertility of the soil and can add 10 times the nutrients back into the soil that have been taken out during harvests.  Vermicompost increases the water-holding capacity of the soil and improves the overall soil structure. Your plants will grow stronger and have deeper root systems for better drought tolerance and disease resistance.

Red wigglers, manure worms, tiger worms, blue worms and red hybrid worms are used in  the vermiculture business and the vermicompost process.  These worms can be purchased on the internet, in a bait store or from your local worm farmer.  A pound of worms is all that is needed to start a worm farm.  These worms will reproduce quickly.  They have big appetites so expect them to eat their weight in waste every day.

Vermiculture bins can be basically a box with a lid.  They can be made of wood or plastic.  A loosely fitted lid will allow the worms the proper oxygen they need.  Always have drainage holes in the bottom of the vermiculture bin.  Vermicomposting worms like moist, dark and cool places.  Without the proper conditions and temperature the worms will try to escape the worm bin. Building a worm farm is easy and anyone can set up a worm farm.

Commercial vermiculture is the breeding of worms for re-sale. For many years worms were raised solely to sell in bait stores. Now with the new shift to commercial vermicast composting in the past two decades, the demand for worms has greatly increased.

Worm Composting1 150x117 Vermiculture Composting
A vermicomposting business solves two very important problems.  It takes care of organic waste and it produces an enriched soil that is extremely helpful for plants, gardens and lawns. Vermicomposting, through the use of worms, changes organic waste into a product that can be harvested regularly and sold.  The need for more vermicomposting sites around the world will continue to grow.  Schools, institutions, military bases, prisons and other facilities can set-up vermicomposting bins right on their site to recycle food waste.

Vermiculture is an easy way to recycle food waste, help the environment, put nutrients back into the soil and make money, too.  One third of household waste can be recycled through a worm farm.  The environment is helped by keeping tons of waste out of landfills and vermicompost is an all-natural fertilizer that eliminates the need for harmful chemicals.  The worm castings add important nutrients back into the soil. This aids in stimulating healthy root growth, control erosion and enhance soil fertility. Worm composting can even be turned into a business with the right vermiculture technology.

Worm Factory 360 Vermiculture Composting

Worm Factory 360

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Red Wiggler Composting Worms Vermiculture Composting

Red Wiggler Composting Worms

Go to  Red Wiggler Composting Worms to find out more.

What are the major benefits of a worm farm?  It is a great way to recycle waste, it enriches gardens and plant soil, it provides other animals with food and it is an excellent project to do with the kids.

Having a worm farm is a way to recycle food scraps and other non-food waste.  Fruits, vegetables and starchy food scraps like bread, pasta and oatmeal are good to feed the worms.  Hair cuttings, leaves, paper items, cotton rags and soaked cardboard are things that can be fed to worms. About one-third of household waste can easily end up being recycled by worm farms.  This is one of the greatest advantages of a worm farm.

A worm farm will  produce a wonderfully rich soil that benefits gardens, plants, flower beds and lawns.  Worm composting is like a wonder-drug for growing things.  Plants and gardens flourish with this worm compost (vermicast) from the worm farm.    In turn the economy will get a boost by selling equipment and other supplies that will be needed in order to maintain land on the farm.  An important factor with a worm farm is that you are getting a soil free from chemicals.  Many other products on the market that you buy have been treated with chemicals.

Many animals depend on worms for food.  A worm farm complements chicken farmers, catfish farms, birds and many other animals.  Fishermen can use worms for fishing which in turn puts food on their table.

A worm farm is a great project to bring the family together.  The kids will love getting their hands dirty and helping their parents recycle.  In addition, when the kids need a project in school a worm farm is a terrific project that they can take to school and share.

As you can see, a worm farm has numerous benefits.  Both for the environment as well as for families.  It brings people together to share ideas.  Groups are formed to tell their experiences and dealings with worm farms.  People in other countries are familiar with worms and eat them as regular food.   It’s really interesting when you start to look beyond the usual and see how much worms and a worm farm really helps the environment.

The number one reason people start worm farming is because they want to turn fruit and vegetable scraps into an enriched potting soil. Great soil that can be used for their garden and house plants. Worm composting is like a natural wonder-drug for your plants and garden. It is a project that can be easily done year round by home owners and apartment occupants. It’s ideal for people who have limited space to set-up a compost bin but want to compost their food scraps. This is an activity that is not only good for yourself but for the environment. Everyone can worm farm!

To start worm farming you will need a strong plastic container about 7″ deep. I usually use one about 9-10″ wide and 14-16″ in length. The worms most suitable for worm farms are red worms (also known as red wrigglers or manure worms), blue worms and tiger worms. Nightcrawlers and earthworms should not be used. Place the containers in dark or well-shaded areas. Container, crates or bins can easily be stacked to take up less room.

In the plastic container you need to add shredded newspaper (not colored paper) dampened, but not soaked. Add a few handfuls of garden soil and a few crushed eggs shells to the newspaper. Keep the bedding material wettish but not drenched. Worms need the moisture for breathing through their skin. If the worm farm is left outside make sure that there is proper drainage in the container. The proper amount of water and temperature is critical to having a healthy worm farm. Eliminate placing the worm farm in direct sunlight and in colder weather bring it into a shed or garage to keep it from freezing. Don’t allow your worm farm to dry out because without water they will die. Temperatures between 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is good for worm farming. Be aware that any temperature over 90 degrees will cook your worm farm.

It is imperative that you know what to feed worms when worm farming. Worms will eat anything, good or bad, so you need to determine what may or may not be appropriate. Fruits, vegetables and starchy scraps (bread, pasta, oatmeal) are very nutritious. Worms prefer the scraps chopped and smaller so they are quicker and easier to digest Some nonfood articles like leaves, hair clippings, cotton rags, paper products and soaked cardboard may be given to worms. Refrain from feeding worms oily substances. And don’t feed them too many acidic foods, coffee grounds or tea bags. Never feed worms dairy products, meat, poultry or salty foods. These items should be eliminated because they create a rotting smell that draws unwanted pests to the container. Foods that have been treated with chemicals and medications should not be offered to worms. Worms in your worm farm will try to leave the container if you feed them onions, garlic or shallots.

When deciding how much food to feed worms remember that worms consume half their body weight each day. So feed them appropriately. New food should be fed only when the other food is almost gone. Never overfeed worms because it can lead to problems with unwanted odors and pests. When introducing new worms to your worm farm feed them smaller amounts of food. As they get settled the amount can be increased. Something that you must be aware of is that the worm population doubles every few months so be careful not to underfeed them.

The benefits of worm farming is that worms use leftover scraps and change them into castings or vermicast. Worm castings and vermicast are a rich soil-like substance that is great for feeding house plants, adding to seedling mixes and potting soil. Many people use it as a top-dressing around plants. Castings can be saved in containers with lids to be used at a later date. Worms reduce the amount of garbage that would otherwise go into landfills. About one-third of household waste can be recycled by worm farms.

A properly fed worm population can live for 5 or more years. You and the environment will benefit from worm farming. A worm farm is easy to set-up. Anyone can worm farm!