Vermiculture, otherwise called vermiculture composting, worm composting or vermicomposting is an aid to self-sustainable system that can be easily done, maintained and set up with the use of 2 factors. They are worms and compost pile combined. It is also a form of organic waste material recycling/ re-processing which is a better alternative compared to exposition of waste material to heat (incineration), thereby releasing harmful aerosol and carbon dioxide to the air that we breathe, eventually destroying little by little, the ozone layer that protects us from ultra violet rays of the sun. Vermiculture is a cycle that uses red worms commonly called as African Night Crawlers (ANC) to decompose material or in processing the organic and bio-degradable waste in our communities.
With the use of experience by many backyard farmers and backyard gardeners in any place on Earth, the scope of producing organic fertilizer using this technology has vastly affected yields and production of vegetable crops and ornamental agriculture as well. With the help of actual experimenting and experience, those who opt in to become followers of healthy living via green planting and organic farming learned a lot of factual information shared on the internet using websites, blogs and educational materials such as adobe document files and more.
Schools and professionals in the agriculture industry have also contributed to the development and use of vermicomposting. In the Philippines for example where me (the author of this blog) and my wife live, we have done countless search and research using online resource to find out what fits best as an environment for worms and the microbial essentials needed to help decompose bio-degradable materials and convert them into organic fertilizer called as vermicast.
With vermiculture, we are hoping to inform Filipinos as well as the whole world that there is a way to help and if altogether, our efforts, small and big will combine to contribute to self-sustainability, healthy organic farming and green living, in a few years, the world will be a better place for our new generation. This is just the start and let this blog be an aid to it.
Using as aid tools, worm bins or plastic containers, the worms were fed to multiply and eat and eventually excrete and produce what we call as vermi tea (liquid fertilizer) and vermicast (topsoil fertilizer). Both were found to be useful aid in organic farming, high yield and production output of crops, fruits as well as make beautiful out of ornamental plants.
By essence, the bins must be of dark-colored material sue to the fact that ANC’s or worms doesn’t like to be exposed to light. The design of the container or bins should go well with a system where you can easily have direct access to the compost and worms. This is for the purpose of harvesting although there were videos revealing that there is always a constant change when it comes to designing your bin for easy harvesting of the compost pile made out of worm manure or excretes called as vermicast. Designs also reveal that it is essential to make the bins aerobic which means that air holes must be bore in the lid and upper part of the bin to allow airflow at a rate that is manageable to maintain moisture at 70%-80% based in research and actual experience.
Special conditions must also be met when creating your vermicomposting staion. For actual example, a layer of bedding material is placed on top of the compost. This could contain damp or high-moisture retention materials like shredded useless paper or old newspaper. For now, it is the best choice for bedding. Otherwise, if you don’t have any, you can use loose potting soil or shredded leaves which are already in their advanced state of decomposition. This kind of material controls and holds moisture more than anything else but if you find in your own experiments and actual experience in handling your own vermicomposting station, please feel free to do so and share it here so others may benefit from it.
Remember that if your purpose is to help the worms or ANC multiply faster, you have to feed them constantly but not overly. You also have to provide them a nice and well suitable environment with enough food and an ideal breeding environment. Bins should be situated in an area with a temperature range of between 55 to 77 degrees but be sure to make your position kept in a strategic place where the number one enemy of worms are – ants, frogs, mules, rats, chickens and the like. They will eat and kill your population of African Night Crawlers if that happens so it is a must do for a set up.