Worm farm composting is a time tested and efficient way to enhance your recycling efforts that can be accomplished with the help of our little friends the worms. As one of Mother Nature’s tools for breaking down organic wastes, worms are capable of providing efficient waste conversion with some interesting side benefits as well.
Worms are one of Nature’s key components in the composting process. Composting is the process where biodegradable waste material is broken down and converted into a soil like substance called compost. Worms actually eat these organic wastes and food scraps. After they’ve digested and broken them down, the “poo” that comes out, a soil like substance called worm castings, can be gathered and used for fertilizer for flower and vegetable gardens, fruits, and lawns as well. Sort of a Mother Nature “Garbage In, Gold Out” can be the result.
Throughout history back to the time of ancient Egypt, savy farmers realized and used these little helpers to enrich soils and get better harvests. Flowers have been known to actually bloom before their regular seasons when worm compost has been mixed with the soil.Vegitable and fruit harvests are known to yield up to a twenty percent increase, with better flavor and crispness. And the soil benefits as well with plants having a higher resistance to diseases and pests, reducing the need for herbicides and pesticides.
Entrepreneurs caught on to this as well over the the years. Worm farming has long been known as a successful “niche business” in several ways. Many garden supply shops carry bags or boxes of worm farm compost or castings as fertilizers. And, with the increase in home gardening due to our current tough economic times, the demand should go up. And while the “night-crawler” reigns as king for fishing bait, what school-boy fisherman hasn’t dug a can of worms from out back and taken his bike fishing. Sporting goods stores do quite a seasonal business of the little wigglers. In recent years, a thriving online industry has developed as well for both the castings and the worms and accessories as well.
One of the biggest benefits of worm farm composting to consider is the portability and adaptability of the process. A home scale worm farm can be crafted with a container as small as several inches deep and wide by say 18 inches to a couple feet long. Worms are sensitive to light, heat, and vibration, so take these factors into account. Your worm farm can be started on a back porch or patio, or in the back yard or garden, so it’s adaptable to urban settings as well. Just side towards cool, quiet, and shaded, and you should see success. Add some moist paper, leaves, or cardboard and some soil, then add worms. Feeding your worms is easy. Toss, stir, or mix in your food scraps, yard clippings, or plant waste, and let them go to work for you. They consume up to their own weight per day. There are some things you wan to avoid like meats, salts, andacidy items like onions and citrus, but this information can be found on the web and in a variety of books on the topic.
These simple steps scaled to your needs or goals, will get you started on the path of organic gardening in a very simple but effective way. As noted earlier, we are seeing and should continue to see a rise in interest of home gardening as an offshoot of the economy. Our grandparents and generations before learned to work with Nature to survive, and as a society we face a return to some of this nearly lost knowledge. So just “being Green” could be the fashionable term today, but from a practical point of view, there’s plenty of benefits to having your own organic garden today, and some simple worm farm composting can be a big help in many ways.