Vermiculture Essay

832 WordsNov 16, 20124 Pages
Vermiculture or worm farming, is the utilization of some species of earthworm such as Eisenia foetida (commonly known as red wiggler, brandling, or manure worm) and Lumbricus rubellus to make Vermicompost (aka Worm Compost, Vermicast, Worm Castings, Worm Poop, Worm Humus or Worm Manure), the nutrient-rich, natural fertilizer and soil conditioner, end-product of the breakdown of organic matter. Unlike composting, worm farming can be carried out on the balcony of an apartment, if the bin is suitable and it is well maintained to avoid odors. Worm bins also: * can speed up the process by months * are often much smaller than compost bins * can take pure kitchen waste, without needing garden waste or soil once the colony has been established * can handle paper (e.g. paper with food on it, which can't be put out with paper recycling) How Worms Function in Our Ecosystem(s) Common earthworms (night crawler types) might be the “most efficient biological agents to be found anywhere in the world. They specialize in removing dead organic material from the surface of the land, greatly enriching it in the process, and then…carry the improved reside deep underground, right down amongst the roots of plants, where it is most needed.” Other than increased fertility, these worms aerate the soil and improve water retention. Red worms are the smaller, more active, surface-dwelling (epigeic) earthworms. The symbiotic relationship between the worm and bacteria is similar to that that vermiculturists experience with their worms: the worms’ digestion is dependent on the bacteria that live off of, in and around them; their guts provide an ideal environment for the bacteria to do their work; in the end, both worm and bacteria receive subsistence from the digested paste. Then their waste becomes the farmer’s useful soil input.

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