Thousands of tons of waste are dumped into landfills which is harmful to the environment because as it decomposes it produces poisonous gases and methane. Many environmentalists and governments as well as agricultural ministries are becoming extremely interested in Vermiculture which is the technical term for worm farming. Worm castings which is the rich natural compost produced by special composting worms can provide an answer to any household recycling of kitchen waste and scraps that are normally just dumped in refuse bins. Imagine the benefits a worm farm can have for hospitality institutions, restaurants, and homes which is another step forward in protecting the environment from excessive waste. Worm castings produce rich dense natural fertilizer which is a far better alternative to man made pesticides and chemicals used on mass produced fruit and vegetables.
How to set up your own worm farm.
Worm farming is an easy way of recycling kitchen scarps and peelings and turning it into useful compost for your garden, pot plants or vegetable patch. This rich natural compost called worm castings will produce amazing growth in any plants. Worm farming can be done all year round as long as your worm farm is kept in a place that is neither too hot nor too cold.
A guide to get started in worm farming
A. To start your own worm farm for a flat or small apartment you will need a container that has a ventilated lid. A sensible size is one that is at least 10 inches deep and 20 inches wide and the same in length. Of course it can be a lot bigger if you have a backyard or space in your garage. It is best to have a container that is watertight and the lid must keep it dark because worms like the dark. Keep the worm farm away from lost of noise and vibrations because worms are very sensitive to this.
B. You need to prepare your worms bedding next which should consist of shredded moist newspaper. Try and avoid glossy sections and color print which has unnatural inks which worms do not enjoy. Make layers of garden soil and shredded newspaper which all should be well moistened. You can add a few kitchen scraps for good measure to get you started as well. Some tea bags and coffee grinds are a great start. Crushed eggshells and peels also work great.
C. Now you need to introduce the worms which you could purchase from certain hardware stores, nurseries or online dealers which can send them to you if you have the Internet. These should be special composting worms called red composting worms or tiger composting worms. Do not try common garden earthworms because they are not effective enough for a worm farm dedicated to decomposition of organic wastes.
D. Feeding your worms can be done regularly and as a point to note – these red composting worms can eat their own weight every day. Their excretions are called worm castings which is what you are after because this is the rich fertilizer that you are looking for. Avoid feeding your composting worms meat because this will end up making your worm farm smelly which you definitely do not want. Use some common sense and stick to egg shells, peels, old food and vegetables that are well past their sell by or use by date. Worm farms must have fresh air so keep the lid well ventilated to prevent suffocation.
E. Worms will lay eggs more readily when you add egg-shells because this provides calcium for reproduction. You will see tiny oval shaped cocoons which will tell you your red composting worms are reproducing. Be very excited because this means your worm farm is a success. Soon you should see tiny white offspring from your red composting worms.
F. Following this simple guide to starting your own worm farm will have you hooked before you know it because worm farming is not only useful but a great hobby as well. You can later expand into worm farming on a bigger scale once you have got the hang of it. If any one asks you then tell them you are now a fully-fledged vermiculturist!