Monday, September 15, 2008



No that’s not a typo. Wormpoop is one word in the world of vermiculture composting.

I have been giving great thought into venturing into vermiculture composting
, otherwise known as worm farming. Every year the garden seems to get bigger and next year will be no exception. I'm adding in a big herb garden and expanding one side of the vegetable garden. I have lots of food scraps which I throw in the trash. Food scraps that could be worm food.

A recent article in the Providence Journal spotlighted 2 ladies in the southern part of the state that raise red worms The Worm Ladies of Charlestown. This is what I learned from the article and from researching wormpoop online:

Red worm
some of the best natural fertilizer producers in the world. They are great for decomposing yard and household waste, in fact; you need red worms for composting to get the nutrient and mineral rich worm fertilizer called wormpoop or wormpoop castings.

A medium size worm bed with red worms produce
s several pounds of organic waste a day, creating organic fertilizer that will result in healthy soil for your garden. Studies have shown that as food passes through the worm's body, the worms have the amazing ability to eliminate pathogens and carcinogens in the soil. Wormpoop mixed with soil provides a natural organic fertilizer and a tremendous source of nutrients for plants that dramatically improves the texture and fertility of soil. This replaced valuable nutrients taken out of the soil when fruits and vegetables are harvested.

These worms have a big appetite, reproduce quickly, and thrive in confinement. They eat half their weight in food every day! Even in cool winter weather, where outdoor compost piles lie dormant, you can compost your food scraps indoors with worms and reduce the volume of your household garbage by as much as 25%. The end result is unsurpassed as an organic soil builder and plant fertilizer (worm castings.) This material has more phosphates, potassium and nitrogen than the material produced in typical grass-and-leaf composters. The worm castings or "black gold" are excellent for starting seeds and for houseplants. They can be put directly on top of your houseplants, vegetable and flower gardens. Worm castings will not need any extra nutrients. It is perfect for use on vegetables or flowers. Incorporate 1 part castings to 10 parts of soil for vegetables and a little less for flowers. As little as a tablespoon of pure worm castings provides enough organic plant nutrients to feed an 8-10 inch plant for more than two months.

Under proper conditions two pounds of worms will process about seven pounds of scraps per week. Two pounds of worms will be comfortable in a bin 2'x3' or an 18 gallon bin. One pound of worms contains anywhere from 600-2500 worms.

So I get a free garbage disposal, great soil and the kids will have around a thousand new pets! What could be more cool then showing off your Mom’s worm collection?
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