Posts Tagged ‘vermicomposting’

Vermicomposting in Legoland and Donovan State Prison

Monday, March 26th, 2012

What does, Legoland the theme park, and Donovan State Prison have in common? Although both locations are from opposite parts of the San Diego County, both areas share the same interest when it comes to vermicomposting. Both locations actually have the same knack for vermicomposting despite being two completely different social constitutions.

How common is Legoland and Donovan State Prison?
One of the many similarities that these two structures have is that they serve fresh-made food. Although Legoland’s food presentation may be more pleasing to eye, the ones that are harvested and cooked from Donovan’s jail kitchen will always look plain. But food servings are still offered with all the essential nutrients to it. Other than that, both structures have performed the same process of disposing their food wastes using just compost worms.
How do earthworms help improve the environment?
One of the most amazing things that compost worms can do is to have the ability to breakdown decomposing organic materials. Red worms are capable of enhancing the bionetwork by providing each of its properties the nourishment that it needs. Moreover, soils can be amended using worm castings (a healthy soil will be able to retain more moisture and nutrients into its system). Worm compost can also be used in fertilizing plants, and is a great alternative to chemical-based products.
Of course, in a bigger setting, composting organic wastes can also help reduce landfill buildup. Moreover, Legoland’s Bryan Pastor even believes that by composting, do they contribute in minimizing the need to burn fossil fuels for garbage pick-ups and transports. Carbon footprint can also be minimized in this kind of undertaking.
How Donovan State Prison sees vermicomposting
The worms at Donovan’s literally eat the sloppy seconds of the prison inmates. These slimy crawlers don’t mind, and neither do the prisoners. And just after a year of worm composting, the prison has come to notice the amount of organic wastes these worms have been able to consume. In span of a year, earthworms have consumed about 2 tons of leftovers in just a month alone. The state prison actually sees this as an opportunity for their prison food wastes to be gone and be eaten away by these worms for another extra year.
Vermicomposting not only gives the inmates of Donovan State Prison a sense of purpose. It also provides a different kind of fulfillment for Legoland. Moreover, knowing how one can benefit from ones trash is already a great achievement on its own.

What does, Legoland the theme park, and Donovan State Prison have in common? Although both locations are from opposite parts of the San Diego County, both areas share the same interest when it comes to vermicomposting. Both locations actually have the same knack for vermicomposting despite being two completely different social constitutions.

How common is Legoland and Donovan State Prison?

One of the many similarities that these two structures have is that they serve fresh-made food. Although Legoland’s food presentation may be more pleasing to eye, the ones that are harvested and cooked from Donovan’s jail kitchen will always look plain. But food servings are still offered with all the essential nutrients to it. Other than that, both structures have performed the same process of disposing their food wastes using just compost worms.

How do earthworms help improve the environment?

One of the most amazing things that compost worms can do is to have the ability to breakdown decomposing organic materials. Red worms are capable of enhancing the bionetwork by providing each of its properties the nourishment that it needs. Moreover, soils can be amended using worm castings (a healthy soil will be able to retain more moisture and nutrients into its system). Worm compost can also be used in fertilizing plants, and is a great alternative to chemical-based products.

Of course, in a bigger setting, composting organic wastes can also help reduce landfill buildup. Moreover, Legoland’s Bryan Pastor even believes that by composting, do they contribute in minimizing the need to burn fossil fuels for garbage pick-ups and transports. Carbon footprint can also be minimized in this kind of undertaking.

How Donovan State Prison sees vermicomposting

The worms at Donovan’s literally eat the sloppy seconds of the prison inmates. These slimy crawlers don’t mind, and neither do the prisoners. And just after a year of worm composting, the prison has come to notice the amount of organic wastes these worms have been able to consume. In span of a year, earthworms have consumed about 2 tons of leftovers in just a month alone. The state prison actually sees this as an opportunity for their prison food wastes to be gone and be eaten away by these worms for another extra year.

Vermicomposting not only gives the inmates of Donovan State Prison a sense of purpose. It also provides a different kind of fulfillment for Legoland. Moreover, knowing how one can benefit from ones trash is already a great achievement on its own.

Vermicomposting Workshops: What to Expect

Saturday, February 11th, 2012
Workshops are great venues for acquiring new knowledge, skills, and other trainings. Vermicomposting workshops for instance offer activities that will teach you on how to handle compost worms, how to harvest finished compost, and to know how to care for your worms habitat (amongst other things). A worm compost workshop will certainly help you create a hobby that you can call your own. More so, potentially assist you in building your own business from scratch.

Ann Arbor City will host a worm composting workshop

Two vermicomposting workshops will be held in the Ann Arbor city this coming February 11. And it will be accommodating its guests at the Materials Recovery Facility, by Platt Road. Now, the Materials Recovery Facility opens their recycling plant to the public every month for free. MRF’s monthly event encourages different individuals to learn significantly from their workshops. The program itself offers activities such as composting with red worms and building worm composters.
Other than that, a series of presentations can also be expected, particularly from Ms. Sarah Archer (an expert at worm composting). Moreover, worm bin kits that can be used indoors, will also be provided at the workshop. But only those who have pre-ordered will be able to get their purchase at the MRF (along with a few other worm composting goodies).

Interactive vermicomposting workshops

There are plenty of workshops in the country that are being hosted by different sectors, especially when it comes to worm composting. Composting is definitely a breakthrough. Moreover, several of these interactive workshops will also encourage you to ask questions on anything about compost. And by the time it ends, you will surely head home excited to start your own red wigglers composting structure. Some workshops may even have their own products up for sale. So expect to see supplies of compost worms, compost bins, composting tools for the taking.

What you can learn from vermicomposting workshops

Take for example Clean Calgary Association’s Vermicomposting workshops. They teach their participants/guests to know how to (1) properly compost indoors, (2) differentiate one compost bin to another, (3) distinguish which earthworms are appropriate for composting (learning the worm’s biology), (4) to know each worm’s functions, (5) to know the right organic materials to fill the bin, (6) to know the other elements involved in the entire composting system (such as good bacteria and fungi), (7) to know how to harvest worm casts, and more.

GardenWorms.com recommends the 1000 red wigglers

Start your vermicomposting venture by filling your worm compost bin with 1000 red wigglers. These crawlers will not only help convert your food and yard wastes into an organic resource. They will also produce castings that will help boost the quality of your garden soil and plants.
To know more about the product, check the 1000 red wigglers here.

5 Fascinating facts about Red Wigglers

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

There are a lot of things that you might not know about when it comes to vermicomposting worms, particularly about red wiggler worms. Now, these slimy creatures aren’t just your typical compost critters. You’ll be surprised at how much strange yet fascinating things these worms can live by on, on a daily basis.

Composting worms can still function without them having the usual body parts
Compost worms are born without bearing any of the usual body parts, so it’s not just the red wiggler kind. Worms have no eyes, ears, lungs, nor any teeth for chewing. So you might be wondering as to how they function without these vital parts. Well, worms are able to adapt to their surroundings. They may not have the pair of eyes nor ears for sensing the things around them. But they do rely on the vibrations and bright lights that come their way. As for the lungs, their skin has been its substitute. Worms breathe through their moist skin. So keeping them under extreme conditions (surroundings that are too wet or too dry) may actually lead them to experience health complications. Aside from all of these, worms aren’t also born with any teeth. But you’ll know how they go about their food intake on the next topic.
Worms don’t usually fed on food scraps
It all makes sense since composting worms don’t have any teeth in them. But of course, how do they feed themselves, right? Well, here’s where the good bacteria and fungi comes into the picture. The microbes and the fungi that are present in the worm composting system are the ones that are working into breaking down the organic scraps.
In a usual worm bin setup, composting worms are essentially provided with an organic bedding and organic food source. But the ones that feed off of these are actually the microorganisms contained inside the worm bin. That’s why it’s also important that the worms keep the bin contents aerated, so that these microbes get a steady oxygen fix. So, the next time you buy worms, make sure to remember this interesting fact.
Worms are invertebrates
Just imagine a red wiggler worm that has no bones in its body. But you can see how able-bodied these soil creatures can still be, especially when it comes to wiggling and crawling their way on the surface. But even if they have no bones, their body still requires some calcium flowing into their system. You can provide red wigglers with calcium rich organics, like eggshells for example (should be the crushed type).
Red wiggler worms aren’t called surface dwellers for nothing
Don’t expect your worms to burrow no more than 18 inches deeper. They’re simply not accustomed to that depth since they’re born as surface dwellers. Only earthworms such as garden worms can burrow at much lower ranges. Now, red wiggler worms are Epigeic. They are the kind of worms that only thrive when placed on soil surfaces. So note of this fact when you do decide to manage your own worm farm of red wiggler worms.
Pests inside the worm composter are more of a human disturbance than to red wigglers
Vermicomposting worms can be made into fish baits or as live food for birds, moles, raccoons, lizards, and other animals. But when they’re securely contained inside the bin, nothing can harm them (except for extreme and unhealthy conditions of course). Even if mites, black soldier flies or ants are found inside the worm composter, you can be assured that these won’t harm nor feed on your compost worms. They will be more of a disturbance to humans, since these can contribute to spoiling the contents of the bin, or even overpowering the worm population.

There are a lot of things that you might not know about when it comes to vermicomposting worms, particularly about red wiggler worms. Now, these slimy creatures aren’t just your typical compost critters. You’ll be surprised at how much strange yet fascinating things these worms can live by on, on a daily basis.

Composting worms can still function without them having the usual body parts

Compost worms are born without bearing any of the usual body parts, so it’s not just the red wiggler kind. Worms have no eyes, ears, lungs, nor any teeth for chewing. So you might be wondering as to how they function without these vital parts. Well, worms are able to adapt to their surroundings. They may not have the pair of eyes nor ears for sensing the things around them. But they do rely on the vibrations and bright lights that come their way. As for the lungs, their skin has been its substitute. Worms breathe through their moist skin. So keeping them under extreme conditions (surroundings that are too wet or too dry) may actually lead them to experience health complications. Aside from all of these, worms aren’t also born with any teeth. But you’ll know how they go about their food intake on the next topic.

Worms don’t usually fed on food scraps

It all makes sense since composting worms don’t have any teeth in them. But of course, how do they feed themselves, right? Well, here’s where the good bacteria and fungi comes into the picture. The microbes and the fungi that are present in the worm composting system are the ones that are working into breaking down the organic scraps.

In a usual worm bin setup, composting worms are essentially provided with an organic bedding and organic food source. But the ones that feed off of these are actually the microorganisms contained inside the worm bin. That’s why it’s also important that the worms keep the bin contents aerated, so that these microbes get a steady oxygen fix. So, the next time you buy worms, make sure to remember this interesting fact.

Worms are invertebrates

Just imagine a red wiggler worm that has no bones in its body. But you can see how able-bodied these soil creatures can still be, especially when it comes to wiggling and crawling their way on the surface. But even if they have no bones, their body still requires some calcium flowing into their system. You can provide red wigglers with calcium rich organics, like eggshells for example (should be the crushed type).

Red wiggler worms aren’t called surface dwellers for nothing

Don’t expect your worms to burrow no more than 18 inches deeper. They’re simply not accustomed to that depth since they’re born as surface dwellers. Only earthworms such as garden worms can burrow at much lower ranges. Now, red wiggler worms are Epigeic. They are the kind of worms that only thrive when placed on soil surfaces. So note of this fact when you do decide to manage your own worm farm of red wiggler worms.

Pests inside the worm composter are more of a human disturbance than to red wigglers

Vermicomposting worms can be made into fish baits or as live food for birds, moles, raccoons, lizards, and other animals. But when they’re securely contained inside the bin, nothing can harm them (except for extreme and unhealthy conditions of course). Even if mites, black soldier flies or ants are found inside the worm composter, you can be assured that these won’t harm nor feed on your compost worms. They will be more of a disturbance to humans, since these can contribute to spoiling the contents of the bin, or even overpowering the worm population.

Vermicomposting with Red Wigglers and Nightcrawlers

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

It’s very common to use red wigglers and European nightcrawlers for vermicomposting. But other than that, these two earthworms have its own distinct characteristics.

Now, composting with worms (it’s better that you start and buy composting bin materials for this process) is a process that helps break down decomposing organic wastes into nutrient packed worm compost (also known as worm castings). By using worms, this composting process helps recycle further all the scraps from the kitchen and all the garden wastes, to make these into a valuable organic fertilizer. These castings from worms can further be used to supplement your plants and soil; and it definitely helps enhance the structure of your soil; and also helps improve its water-retention capability.

Worm composting has its other benefits too. So, aside from finding a natural way to recycling your organic wastes, it also provides worm tea (liquid based fertilizer that comes from worm castings that have been previously brewed) that you can use to spray on your indoor plants. Through composting with worms, you also get the chance to raise and breed more. And from this, you may also be able to make a profit out of selling your composting worms to local bait shops, fishermen, and other dealers. And since this natural process saves you space and money, you also get to practice how to use what you can at home.

Red Wigglers

When it comes to composting, the red wiggler worms (also known as manure worms, tiger worms and brandling worms) are typically the most preferred when compared to nightcrawlers. Although both earthworms work by eating decomposing kitchen scraps and garden wastes, the Red Wigglers involvement in the composting process is more favored.

These red worms can actually cut the typical composting time of 8 months down to only just a month. But aside from these facts, they also produce castings (also termed as Black Gold) that are always packed with nutrients. Of course, they only get to eat the best kind of organic wastes; and this by-product from red wiggler worms can then be used as an organic fertilizer for your plants, and as a conditioner for your soil. These worms can clearly supply a better alternative to using chemically-made fertilizers.

Nightcrawlers

When you’re vermicomposting with any type of nightcrawler, you should know that they too can still be good in a lot of composting-related things. They can also help improve the condition of the soil, and encourage a healthy growth in plants. And since these earthworms like to burrow and create tunnels, they actually help aerate the soil to make way for enough air and water to flow into the soil system. And just like red wiggler worms, they too help with the breaking down of organic wastes, which then turns into quality-made castings as well. Other than that, they can also be used as live worm food, and as fish bait.

Although there is also a downside to using and raising European nightcrawlers (or any other type) when vermicomposting. This type of earthworm actually survives on cooler temperatures. They will die eventually in your worm bin if they were to be kept in warm surroundings.

GardenWorms.com recommends the Red Worms

Our Red Worms are always shipped year-round. And we’ll make sure to send it directly to your doorsteps, 100% live guaranteed! Get to pick from our selection of worm packages, and experience the thrills that vermicomposting has to offer. Buy yours today!

To know more about the product, check the Red Worms here.

Raising Earthworms Successfully

Monday, June 28th, 2010

european nightcrawlersEarthworms are basically these red-bodied and segmented creatures, that has muscle tissues that allow them to move forward and backward comfortably. When raising earthworms, bear in mind that they have no sense organs but have well-developed systems in their body (this includes circulatory, digestive, excretory, muscular, and reproductive). They grow by feeding on natural products and also come out as composting worms. These worms basically help the environment through their castings (worm poop). And when compared to typical pets like cats or dogs, earthworms are now made as pets too. They also have certain care requirements that needs regular maintenance.

Take note that earthworms need the following things to grow, to survive, and to undergo proper vermicomposting: the right temperature and lighting, moisture, aeration (also known as ventilation), and a good natural food source.

These small creatures, especially when raising red wigglers, can live within temperatures that range from 55° to 85° Fahrenheit. You should be able to maintain bed temperatures between 60° to 70° for worms to have intensive insulation of their cocoons, and for hatching purposes. You can always add a little water and/or turn on fans should the temperature rise.

Now when it comes to moisture, earthworms need ample amounts of it to help them breathe. They breathe through their skin so they need to be kept moist all the time. Beddings should be able to maintain a sufficient percentage of moisture, and this should range from 60% to 85% (beds shouldn’t be soggy-wet). Since earthworms can dry-out and die fast, always keep them in a sheltered place that doesn’t have direct sunlight in it. Long periods under direct sunlight can definitely kill them. This good tip can be best applied on indoor worm composting, with low light. Also have the right aeration when raising earthworms. They can survive in settings that have more or less low oxygen, as well as be kept underwater for several minutes. So remember to maintain your earthworm beds with the right amount of moisture, as keeping it too wet can take out the oxygen that these worms need.

A good food source on the other hand should also be all natural. Earthworms should be fed with products that are rich in nutrients. So don’t be surprised with animal manures being considered as the best feed for composting worms.

So always remember these important guidelines on How to Maintain Worm Farms at Home, and you’ll be able to give your wigglers the best care there is. Raising earthworms successfully will definitely boost your earthworms lifespan and numbers.

GardenWorms.com recommends the Worm Composter

worm composter

Worm Composter

Interested in keeping your own worm farm but have limited space in the house? With the help of the Worm Composter, recycling kitchen waste can be made easy! The Worm Composter comes with two well-built polypropylene boxes, which works as an odorless filtering system for your worms composts. This is turn becomes nutrient-filled organic fertilizer.

To know more about the product, check the Worm Composter here.

Vermicomposting in Garden Beds

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Vermicomposting in garden beds comes with different challenges.  You still do the same procedure except with the use of worm bin but this time, you do it directly in your garden beds.

The usual process would ask you to have worm bin where you will raise the worms until they excrete their wastes called compost.  This time, what you have to do first is dig holes in the garden bed.  However, you have to keep in mind that doing worm composting this way with the use of Red Wiggler worms isn’t as easy as the usual way.

Your first problem may be the temperature because you know very well that Red worms hate too hot and too cold places so you have to choose the best location.  Unlike worm bins, you cannot transfer the garden beds.  Remember that even if you do worm composting in garden beds, composting worms still have the same needs.

Once the holes are ready, put all the organic materials that you have.  You can use tea bags, coffee grounds, grass clippings, kitchen scraps (excluding oily ones), fruit peelings (except the acidic fruits like citrus) and other wastes.  As mentioned, vermicomposting in garden beds is like the usual process except with the absence of worm bins so still, you are not supposed to add meat, fish, bones, pet droppings, dairy products and other organic materials that were sprayed with insecticides or pesticides.

You may also worry about the artistic side of your garden especially if it’s a flower garden since the wastes are exposed.  Well, you can cover the garden bed with straw or coconut coir.  Dig or stir the compost pile using shovel to mix the materials and for sure, Red Wiggler worms will do their part.

Red Wiggler Worm Facts

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

To help you understand worm composting, here are Red Wiggler worm facts to introduce you to your composting worms.

Red Wiggler Physical Attributes

Red worms are hermaphrodite.  Having two sex organs, you can already breed them even if you only have two worms on hand.  Breeding for them is better under a temperature of 15-20 degree Celsius.

Also, red worms cannot see.  You may be wondering how they can detect light as they are afraid of it.  Well, Red Wiggler worms have light sensor which makes it easy for them to sense when they are exposed into such.  However, they can live with red light.

You also have to know that this kind of composting worm does not have teeth.  This is the very reason why you have to cut their food into pieces and why you have to shred their bedding.  It would be hard on their part to feed on big and organic materials.

Another truth about Red Wiggler worms is that they breathe through their skin that is why their environment should always be moist.  Air is also important because they are still aerobic organisms.

Red Wiggler and their Needs

Red worms can make worm composting effective as long as their needs are all met.  As said, they do not thrive on too hot or too cold areas.  Thus, a temperature of 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit should always be maintained.  The acidity level on the other hand should be kept at 6.0-6.5 as too much acidity may kill the worms.

As with foods, Red Wiggler worms can eat half or as much as their body weight.  You can give them a little lesser than what they need but never overfed them. Red Wiggler worm fact shows that a pound of worms can process an estimated amount of ¼-1/2 lb. wastes every day.

Buy Red Wigglers here!

Vermicomposting Industry

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

With the adaptation of vermicomposting worldwide, it has not only gained popularity as a small scale project but as a large scale industry as well.  It has penetrated the market as more and more people are deciding to invest in the said process.

With the large scale vermicomposting, there are actually two systems being used.  We have the windrow and flow-through system.  Each has its own way of raising composting worms and harvesting the end products.  One machine can process as much as 75-150 pounds of organic wastes in a day thus giving you an amount of 50-105 of worm castings.  The byproducts will then be released in the market for consumption.

The response of people to the call of doing vermicomposting has impacted the market today.  There are businessmen who are raising composting worms to sell to those who are interested in the said venture.  There are also those who have taken the risk of investing in vermicomposting materials. If you check the internet, you can see many companies selling different types and designs of worm bins and beddings.

For those who are not familiar with worm composting, there are also worm kits available packed with all the materials needed and of course the manual that you need to get started.  Even schools are buying such products because they recognize the value that the process can impart to the children.

So far, the industry of vermicomposting has expanded.  With the many businesses related to it, there are also more jobs for the people.  The success that this field is gaining is expected to grow more in the future because of its being 100% organic, being doable, being less time, money and effort consuming.  It will begin as a hobby and eventually, it will become a money maker project.

Vermicomposting with Rabbit Manure

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

bunnyVermicomposting can even be better off when rabbit manure is added along the process.  Rabbit manure is known to be rich in nitrogen and phosphorus which are nutrients needed by plants.  Unlike other types of manure, those from rabbits are not smelly.

To do vermicomposting with rabbit manure, you have to first set up the worm bin.  Have the holes drilled at the top and bottom part for aeration.  You also have to make sure that the bin is clean and not transparent.  Then, place the moist bedding inside (bedding can be shredded newspapers and magazines).  Once the bin is all set, you may introduce the worms to their new home.  They may try to escape at first so you have to keep the lid open for a while to allow light inside.  This will keep the worms from climbing out as they are afraid of light.

To incorporate the rabbit manure, create a small well at the center of the bedding.  Once hollowed, you may place 4-5 pounds of manure in it.  The composting worms will then work on that organic material until it is converted to a nutrient-rich natural fertilizer.  Remember to always keep the bedding moist even with manure on it.  You may do so by adding around 2 gallons of water every week.  This moisture will keep your composting worms working.  And since rabbit manure is easily decomposed, it won’t take long before you get the result.

Once the process is done (that is around 3 months), you can already harvest the castings of the Red Wiggler worms.  Just an additional reminder when adding rabbit manure in vermicomposting:  try to limit the amount of nitrogen present in the manure by adding peat moss in the bin.  Too much nitrogen may also kill the worms.

Tiger Worms for Composting

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Red wiggler wormsUntil today, the tag Tiger Worms for Composting can still be heard in the vermicomposting industry.  Not that it has become the trend but Tiger worms have proven to be effective in the process making them more famous among other types of composting worms.  Also known as Red Wiggler Worms, Eisenia Fetida, Red Worms and Manure Worms, Tiger Worms possess all the characteristics needed to produce nutrient-rich compost.

The reason behind the Tiger Worms for Composting mania is the fact that Tiger Worms are excellent in many ways.  First, they are able to dig deep into the soil (up to inches to be exact) allowing a more loosened and aerated soil.  Second, their ability to consume large amount of organic materials is unfathomable.  They are able to consume half or even as much as their body mass.  With this, their ability to produce larger amount of organic fertilizers is as well overwhelming.

Third, Tiger Worms are not as demanding as others.  You house them in your old plastic container with shredded newspapers as their bedding and that’s fine.  You place their house under your kitchen sink or even in your basement and garage and it’s still fine with them.  You just have to maintain a temperature of 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit and an acidity level of 6.0-7.0 pH level and everything is good.

Lastly and most importantly, there is this so called Tiger Worms for Composting phenomena because Tiger Worms are more than capable of producing casings that are 100% natural.  These castings can be used as organic fertilizer for your plants or you can also make compost tea out of those castings.

So should you want to have vermicomposting on your next stop, do it with Tiger Worms only.  That way, you’ll have the experience firsthand.