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Vermiculture (Worm Farming)

Worms are a great addition to any urban homestead. Composting worms are what you want. Regular earthworms eat mostly dead brown materials. Composting worms eat both brown and green materials. That is why they are so useful in the home to handle food scraps. Generally, 1,000 worms weigh approximately 1 lb or almost 1/2 kilo.

Supposedly they are able to eat 1/2 their weight in food daily. This must be only under ideal conditions in highly monitored settings. Generally think 1/3 their weight daily and you will easily calculate how much food to give them. I just cut up greens from food preparation, place in a ziplock bag and freeze overnight to kill any fruit flies and their eggs. This method works very well. I have no problems with fruit flies. We keep 2-3 bags frozen.

Feed them as needed. Bury a full medium size ziplock bag full of defrosted food into the worm soil mix. Cover fully so as not to attract fruit flies. Bury it all in one part of the worm bin. That makes it easy to check every few days. When the food is mostly consumed/processed which means it looks like soil where the food was, bury another ziplock bag of food in the bin but in a different place. That way it will be easy to know when to feed them again. If you have red wriggler composting worms this is very important because they can die of overfeeding.

Anyway, the photos show how to harvest worm castings from your bin. When the medium looks like finely pebbled soil and has that same consistency throughout the bin, it is time to separate the worms and harvest the castings. If you have any questions regarding the photos or setting up a worm bin/system, just write me a note above and I'll get back to you.

Why do all this? Worms cleanse pathogens from compost and soil. They add huge immune factors to the plants and serve as a great nutrient supplement. Sugar levels are very high in plants grown with up to 20% worm casting in soil.

Another great use for worm castings is in microbial and green teas to boost plant growth and fruit production. You can mix a large handfull of worm castings into a gallon bucket, strain and then spray directly onto and around your garden leaves. This helps protect them from diseases.

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