Presentation on theme: "Worm Farm Facts Vermiculture is the raising of earthworms under a controlled environment Vermicomposting is the process of recycling material into."— Presentation transcript:
Worm Farm Facts Vermiculture is the raising of earthworms under a controlled environment Vermicomposting is the process of recycling material into something very useful, by using worms. “What a good feeling to find out that there’s a way to change what we think of as totally useless into something VERY useful and it has been under our feet since the beginning of time.”
Worm Facts Worms are part of the animal kingdom… These are called Eisenia Fetida but you may know them as: Red Worm Tiger Worm Red Wiggler
Worm Facts Worms have rings called segments. When worms are fully grown, they have between 120-170 segments.
Worm Facts Worms use muscles and tiny hairs called “setae” to move. Setae act like the brakes on a car, helping the worm to slow down or stop. Some muscles go in circles around the body and other muscles run the length of the body. The movement of circular muscles squeezes the front end forward. Other long muscles squeeze together and help move the rear end of the body towards the front end. This creates forwards and backwards movement.
Worm Facts Worms have NO teeth… They cannot really chew their food like you do. They have a gizzard inside, close to their mouth, similar to birds such as a chicken. As food is eaten, some grains of sand and soil enter the worm’s gizzard. These grains of sand and soil then push against each other, mix with moisture, and grind the food into tiny pieces (kind of like their very own personal food processors).
Worm Facts Worms do not have lungs but breathe through their skin… Oxygen is taken in through the skin and it goes right into the bloodstream. Skin must stay wet in order for the oxygen to pass through it. Too much water will drown them. Keep worms damp, moist and slimy.
Worm Facts Worms have very unique physical features… Like 5 Hearts! Also, worms are VERY sensitive to light… They have cells in the front of their body that warns them of light. Because light hurts them, they need to be in a dark place.
Worm Farm Facts What will Worms Eat? Green Waste: Grass clippings Produce waste from grocery stores Pumas from all fruit crops Coffee grounds-but not too much! Most Left over food from your school lunch
Worm Farm Facts What will Worms Eat? Brown Waste: Wood Sawdust Paper Leaves Corn cobs /shucks Crushed Egg Shells & A little bit of Sand
Worm Farm Facts What Not to Feed Worms ! Even though worms will eat almost anything there are some things that are best to avoid: No!Meat No!Oil – like salad dressings No!Any kind of fat –meat or vegetable NO!
Worm Farm Facts What Does A Worm Produce With All That Eating? A very beneficial substance known as WORM CASTINGS! (AKA… worm dirt… worm manure… or worm “poop”…) Are Nature’s Natural Fertilizer-no chemicals needed! Provides nutrients (food) for plants Retains water for soil so plants can grown even when it doesn’t rain! Helps plants resist diseases so they grow faster & stronger Environmentally friendly - created from 100% recycled materials Naturally insulates plant roots & reduces soil erosion Breaks up hard clay soil so plants can grow faster & bigger
Worm Farm Facts How to Begin your Worm Farm: 1.Get a plastic bin – fill it with shredded newspaper & a small amount of compost, peat moss or dirt 2. Add worms 3. Start adding food scraps – Up to 5 lbs. Per week Watch Them Go To WORK!
Worm Farm Facts Building a Worm Farm: What kind of container can I use? Plastic or wood container with a lid Small enough for you to handle but big enough for your worms (shoebox or larger) Ventilation is the key to success! Drill holes for drainage and air NEVER put the lid on tight! Container should be dark! Worms like it dark!
Worm Farm Facts Prepare the Bedding: Bedding holds moisture and provides air spaces for the worms. Shredded paper is a good choice for bedding, others are leaves, sawdust, or peat moss. Before placing bedding in the bin, be sure it is good and moist! Add a small amount of sand or crushed egg shells for grit.
Worm Farm Facts Add the Worms! Red Worms Red Wigglers Manure Worms Night Crawlers WILL NOT survive in a worm bin!
Worm Farm Facts Keep it Up! Keep an eye on the amount of food and adjust if needed. Keep it moist! If it is too moist, add more bedding. Running out of room? Time to harvest your worms! Remove the remaining contents of the bin (castings) & use them on your houseplants, garden, yard, trees. Worms can double in population every 3 to 6 months under the right conditions If they get too crowded they stop eating. So share some worms with a friend!
Worm Farm Facts The DON’Ts! Don’t feed the worms things that are not edible. (plastic, rubber bands, foil) Don’t let you cat use it as a litter box! Don’t spray bug spray near your bin! Don’t use garden soil Don’t use straight manure in your bin!
Worm Farm Facts Example Sign for your WORM BIN! My family and friends are working every day to turn your waste food into rich black humus. When it’s ready to go into our raised beds the plants and flowers will be so happy! We are the experts at Vermicomposting!
Worm Farm Facts For a free copy of this Worm Farm Facts Powerpoint, visit AWF’s website at http://alabamawildlife.org/conservation/?pageID=29http://alabamawildlife.org/conservation/?pageID=29. For a free copy of our Worm Bin Box Project Plan, visit AWF’s website at http://alabamawildlife.org/conservation/?pageID=115http://alabamawildlife.org/conservation/?pageID=115.