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Vermicomposting A Look ON How “You” Can Use Worms FOR Composting.

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Presentation on theme: "Vermicomposting A Look ON How “You” Can Use Worms FOR Composting."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vermicomposting A Look ON How “You” Can Use Worms FOR Composting

2 Definition of a Worm any of numerous relatively small elongated soft-bodied animals any of numerous relatively small elongated soft-bodied animals a person who has a nasty or unethical character undeserving of respect a person who has a nasty or unethical character undeserving of respect

3 There are four main groups (1) Flatworms Platyhelminthes (2) Ribbon worms Nemertea (3) Roundworms Nematoda (4) Segmented worms Annelida Redworms are part of the Annelida family. TYPES OF WORMS

4 Anatomy of the Worm Pharynx: used to grab food Esophagus: gets pushed down the esophagus, then onto the crop Crop: the crop is a storage compartment for food. Gizzard: uses muscles that grind up food Intestine: digestive juices break material down Bloodstream: some of it will pass into the bloodstream Anus: whatever is leftover comes out the anus as castings

5 Worm Facts There are 4,400 species of worms There are 4,400 species of worms 2,700 different kinds of earthworms 2,700 different kinds of earthworms A worm has no arms, legs or eyes. A worm has no arms, legs or eyes. An earhtworm has five hearts An earhtworm has five hearts Earthworms do not have teeth Earthworms do not have teeth Earthworms lay eggs Earthworms lay eggs Earthworms are invertebrates Earthworms are invertebrates The earthworm's body is covered with chemoreceptors (say kee- mow-ree-sep-tuz) which is how the worm tastes things. Chemoreceptors are tiny sense organs which detect chemicals in the soil. The earthworm's body is covered with chemoreceptors (say kee- mow-ree-sep-tuz) which is how the worm tastes things. Chemoreceptors are tiny sense organs which detect chemicals in the soil.

6 Worm Facts Cont’d In one acre of land, there can be more than a million earthworms. In one acre of land, there can be more than a million earthworms. The largest earthworm ever found was in South Africa and measured 22 feet from its nose to the tip of its tail. The largest earthworm ever found was in South Africa and measured 22 feet from its nose to the tip of its tail. Worms can grow a new tail, but not grow a new head if they are cut off. Worms can grow a new tail, but not grow a new head if they are cut off. Earthworms are hermaphodites Earthworms are hermaphodites Charles Darwin spent 39 years studying earthworms more than 100 years ago. Charles Darwin spent 39 years studying earthworms more than 100 years ago.

7 Breeding Redworms reach breeding age in 9 to 12 weeks. Redworms reach breeding age in 9 to 12 weeks. An adult redworm can lay one egg capsule a week. If they did???? Redworm Multiplication Chart for one year

8 Definition for Vermicomposting Vermicomposting is the process of breaking down organic waste material using red worms. Vermicomposting is the process of breaking down organic waste material using red worms.

9 About the Red Worm Red Wriggler (Lumbricus rubellus)  x 4-6 mm  Mature in 179 Days; longevity days  Eat half their body weight a day  Is known as a surface feeder  Redworms reach breeding age in 9 to 12 weeks  Egg capsules hatch in approximately 21 days  One capsule will have 2-12 redworm eggs and average 2 to 4 redworms actually hatching.  49,550 redworms from one redworm under optimal conditions for 365 days.

10 The Vermicomposting Process Where Do I Start?

11 First You Need A Bin! All Kinds of Types and Styles

12 2. Then you need Worms tunnel deeply in the soil and bring subsoil closer to the surface mixing it with the topsoil. Slime, a secretion of earthworms, contains nitrogen. Nitrogen is an important nutrient for plants. The sticky slime helps to hold clusters of soil particles together in formations called aggregates. Worms tunnel deeply in the soil and bring subsoil closer to the surface mixing it with the topsoil. Slime, a secretion of earthworms, contains nitrogen. Nitrogen is an important nutrient for plants. The sticky slime helps to hold clusters of soil particles together in formations called aggregates.

13 Bedding The Following Materials are acceptable for Bedding Any type of aged manure (avoid chicken; too hot!) Any type of aged manure (avoid chicken; too hot!) Straw or hay Straw or hay Shredded newspaper, cardboard, leaves, or grass Shredded newspaper, cardboard, leaves, or grass Wood shavings (preferably mixed with one of the other materials) Wood shavings (preferably mixed with one of the other materials) Peat Moss (first soak and wring out, before adding; too acidic) Peat Moss (first soak and wring out, before adding; too acidic) A combination of any of the above materials are acceptable!

14 Bedding Cont’d Keep bedding material moist enough so that it feels like a well-wrung sponge. Keep bedding material moist enough so that it feels like a well-wrung sponge. Add at least six inches high of bedding material (no specified amount is necessary) Add at least six inches high of bedding material (no specified amount is necessary) Worms will eat their own bedding Worms will eat their own bedding

15 Aeration Holes must be drilled either through the lid of your container or on the sides; doing both is recommended. Holes must be drilled either through the lid of your container or on the sides; doing both is recommended. Either make holes very small or cover with screening to avoid fruit flies. Either make holes very small or cover with screening to avoid fruit flies.

16 Drainage Is very important Drill holes in bottom of bin Cover holes with screening Make sure to have a catch basin underneath bin Use your excess liquid as compost tea for plants

17 Location Worms live where there is food, moisture, oxygen and a favorable temperature. If they don’t have these things, they go somewhere else. Worms live where there is food, moisture, oxygen and a favorable temperature. If they don’t have these things, they go somewhere else. Vibration Vibration Prefer damp, dark areas Prefer damp, dark areas

18 Can You Vermicompost Outdoors? You can leave your bin outdoors during the summer (keep well secured from rodents) You can leave your bin outdoors during the summer (keep well secured from rodents) Build an insulated bin (search internet for ideas or use your imagination) Build an insulated bin (search internet for ideas or use your imagination) Place in an area that gets lots of warm sunlight Place in an area that gets lots of warm sunlight

19 Location Cont’d? Worms are cold-blooded animals Ideal temperature is anywhere between 15 to 30 degrees celsius

20 The Feeding Always feed worms as soon as you add them to your bin Always feed worms as soon as you add them to your bin Feed at least once or twice per week Feed at least once or twice per week Make sure food is covered Make sure food is covered The smaller the food scrap the faster it will be turned to compost The smaller the food scrap the faster it will be turned to compost Crushed egg shells reduce acidity and adds calcium Crushed egg shells reduce acidity and adds calcium

21 The Feeding Cont’d Worms Vs. Waste Red worms eat half of their body weight a day; that means 1lb. ( worms) equals ½ a lb. a day equaling 3½ lbs. a week. Red worms eat half of their body weight a day; that means 1lb. ( worms) equals ½ a lb. a day equaling 3½ lbs. a week. Average household (4 or 5 people) throws away 7 lbs of food wastes per week. This would mean 2lbs. of worms would be necessary. Average household (4 or 5 people) throws away 7 lbs of food wastes per week. This would mean 2lbs. of worms would be necessary. Find out how much your household throws away a week. Find out how much your household throws away a week.

22 What Is a Worms Meal Plan? A Healthy Diet Any type of fruit or vegetable (excluding: see non-healthy list) Any type of fruit or vegetable (excluding: see non-healthy list) Coffee grinds/tea bags Coffee grinds/tea bags Egg shells Egg shells Nut shells Nut shells Bread Bread Leaves Leaves Shredded paper products Shredded paper products Sawdust/Shavings Sawdust/Shavings Straw Straw Grass Clippings Grass Clippings Weeds Weeds Corn Stalks Corn Stalks Any type of manure (excluding: see non- healthy list) Any type of manure (excluding: see non- healthy list) A Non-Healthy Diet Meat Meat Dairy Dairy Chicken Manure Chicken Manure Cabbage Cabbage Onion Onion Garlic Garlic Hot Peppers Hot Peppers Any hot spices Any hot spices Salt Salt

23 Time to Harvest What am I Harvesting? Castings: Is the excrement from the worm Is the excrement from the worm They provide slow release nutrients They provide slow release nutrients Contain a high percentage of humus a) defender of disease b) stimulates plant growth c) increases water permeability and retention Contain a high percentage of humus a) defender of disease b) stimulates plant growth c) increases water permeability and retention Found to contain 5x’s more nitrogen, 7x’s more phosphate, 40% more humus Found to contain 5x’s more nitrogen, 7x’s more phosphate, 40% more humus

24 Harvesting Method 1: Move worms and finished compost to one side of bin, then add bedding and food scraps to the other side of your worm bin. Then after worms have moved to the other side you can remove the finished vermicompost.

25 Harvesting Cont’d Method 2: Empty the contents of your worm bin onto a plastic sheet where there is strong sunlight or artificial light. Wait minutes, then scrape off the top layer of vermicompost. The worms will keep moving away from the light, so you can scrape more compost off every 20 minutes or so. After several scrapings, you will find worms in clusters; just pick up the worms and gently return them to the bin in fresh bedding.

26 Harvesting Cont’d Method 3: build a small harvester frame of 2 x 4s with a 3/16-inch mesh bottom. Place the worm compost on the frame and sift the worms out. Larger pieces of compost can be returned to a new batch of bedding and worms.

27 Problems With the Bin? Here’s What you can Do! Indicated Problem Indicated Problem Rotten smell (uncovered food, poor aeration, overfeeding, bin to wet) Rotten smell (uncovered food, poor aeration, overfeeding, bin to wet) Worms are leaving the bin (hungry, poor conditions) Worms are leaving the bin (hungry, poor conditions) Worms are not multiplying (poor conditions) Worms are not multiplying (poor conditions) Solution i) Make sure food is covered, don’t feed for a week ii) Add straw, leaves or sawdust iii) Drill larger holes, leave lid off i) Feed them ii) Cover drainage holes with screening i) Add straw or manure ii) Change bin location (vibration)

28 Problems With the Bin Cont’d Indicated Problem Fruit Flies (uncovered food scraps) Fruit Flies (uncovered food scraps) Worms are Dying (bins to wet or to dry) Worms are Dying (bins to wet or to dry) Solution i) Bury all food scraps completely and cover the entire top with bedding ii) Mix in dry bedding if wet, dampen bedding if dry

29 Why Would I Want to Vermicompost? Why Would I Want to Vermicompost? Benefits Ready for use in only three months or less You can do it indoors; especially during those cold winter months Keeps waste from filling up our landfills Educational for people of all ages Produces a sweet smelling compost, rich in nutrients Ideal for plants and gardens The worms turn and aerate the pile, so you don’t have to Regular compost needs to be aged Can be used in an office or apartment building Saves you money by reducing your costs on other fertilizers

30 General Information Casey Lunman Owen Sound, Ontario Phone: or Casey Lunman Owen Sound, Ontario Phone: or Cathy's Crawly Composters Bradford, Ontario Phone: Cathy's Crawly Composters Bradford, Ontario Phone: Cathy's Crawly Composters Cathy's Crawly Composters Canadian Original Vermicomposting Al Eggen Toronto, Ontario Phone: (416) Fax: (416) Canadian Original Vermicomposting Al Eggen Toronto, Ontario Phone: (416) Fax: (416) Canadian Original Vermicomposting Canadian Original Vermicomposting The Worm Factory Janet and Jack Livingstone Perth, Ontario Phone: (613) Fax: (613) The Worm Factory Janet and Jack Livingstone Perth, Ontario Phone: (613) Fax: (613) The Worm Factory The Worm Factory Pennie's Lane to Vermicomposting Penny Bernas Paris, Ontario. phone fax Pennie's Lane to Vermicomposting Penny Bernas Paris, Ontario. phone fax Pennie's Lane to Vermicomposting Pennie's Lane to Vermicomposting Web Wiggler Worms John Briese Brampton ON Phone Web Wiggler Worms John Briese Brampton ON Phone Arbour Environmental Shoppe Ottawa, Ontario Ph Fax Adrienne Armstrong Arbour Environmental Shoppe Ottawa, Ontario Ph Fax Adrienne Armstrong Green Venture Hamilton, Ontario Green Venture Hamilton, Ontario Green Venture Green Venture

31 Close In India 1,000 farmers have reduced their chemical fertilizers by 90% by using vermicompost as a soil amendment for growing grapes, pomegranates, and bananas. Similar work is underway on mangoes, cashews, coconuts, oranges, limes, strawberries and various vegetable crops. In India 1,000 farmers have reduced their chemical fertilizers by 90% by using vermicompost as a soil amendment for growing grapes, pomegranates, and bananas. Similar work is underway on mangoes, cashews, coconuts, oranges, limes, strawberries and various vegetable crops. Could we do this? Yes or No


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